Monbiot held the audience rapt as he explained the fundamental incompatibility of economic growth with the emission cuts needed to avert catastrophic climate change.
\’Eee\’s not grasped it, has he? Economic growth is defined as the addition of value. Not by the consumption of resources, or energy, or anything else for that matter. But by the addition of value to whatever resource is being used. The finding of new methods of adding value we call new technology. We could have an entirely carbon neutral economy, one that recycles everything, one that abstracts absolutely no new resources from the earth, and we\’d still have economic growth.
Given our current technology it would be a very low standard of living for us all, to be sure, and it would also be very slow growth. But there is no "fundamental incompatibility" between economic growth and the environment.
This however is simply delicious.
Many of the organisers of the climate camps honed their skills in the anti-roads movement of the mid-1990s. Some came from the traveller, squatter and free party communities, an alliance of resistance built up to counter the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994, which criminalised travellers and activists reclaiming land and buildings for social, cooperative use. These activists came from a culture of anti-authoritarian anti-capitalism – rejecting the property ladder and the commodification of living space, and embracing collective enjoyment, dance and music.
The continuum of this culture of resistance, of a struggle for a commons, for control over one\’s own and one\’s family\’s life, for non-alienated labour and social interaction, stretches back to the Diggers, Levellers and the Luddites – English radicals struggling against the monarchy, taxes, land enclosure and austerity measures designed to empower a new industrial class, funded by a feudal and colonial land-grab and slavery.
This historical memory, and these beliefs in a global commons, in leaderless, participative organising and grassroots anti-state and anti-capitalist action run deep through the camps.
Right, so we\’re to solve climate change through a global commons are we?
Are these people really such dingbats as to not get that climate change is in fact a Commons problem? That it is precisely because anyone can emit CO2 without being limited by either regulation (Hardin\’s social option) or property rights (his private one) that we actually have a problem at all?
Dear God, please don\’t let these peopleanywhere near anything that requires logic to perform: you know, that chewing gum and farting at the same time sort of thing?