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?

7 thoughts on “Oh Dear”

  1. Moonbat would do well to reflect that the “slash-and-burn” forms of agriculture employed by roving groups of people in say, the Amazonian region, are the polar opposite of the enclosed structures of land that made possible the Agricultural Revolution of the 18th Century in Britain, one of the most under-celebrated achievements in human history.

    As for his citing of the Levellers, there is a lot of nonsense written here. These men, in many cases, were ardent supporters of private property and it is a myth put about by the left to claim they were some sort of early collectivists. Of course, a lot of the Millenarian cults of the early-modern period before, during and after the Reformation, such as in what is now Germany, were proto-communists. In many cases, they demonstrated the early forms of totalitarianism, intolerance and hatred of individuality that later played itself out in the fascist/communist doctrines of the last century.

    Sometimes Moonbat says something that is vaguely sensible and we give him another chance, but at root, we just have to accept and face the fact that the guy is an over-rated fathead.

  2. BlacquesJacquesShellacques

    “Economic growth is defined as the addition of value.”

    Close, but you really need to add “at the smallest possible cost”.

    That is, using the fewest possible resources.

    Capitalism has highly advanced greeniness built into it and the big “G” “Greens” are too stupid to realize it.

    All of this is why the guy who adds $5 worth of value at a cost of $5 bankrupts the idiot, probably a Green, who adds the same $5 value at a cost of $7. The latter alternative is exactly what the Greens advocate when they want us to abandon fossil fuels, shut down the nukes and end all carbon emissions.

  3. 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,

    How do you get control over your own and your family’s life when a bunch of workshy thugs can decide to “reclaim” your home because you’ve gone off to work?

  4. I love “honed their skills” .

    While you are correct in the main (and there’s a good argument that economic growth is needed more than ever if we are going to afford to replace the world’s energy generation infrastructure asap) there is some sense in what George says: there are a billion or two people in this world who are yet to bring their consumption of resources level up to ours, and as (hopefully) their economies grow, resource usage will too. I’m an optimist, so I think that this demand will spur the development of new materials, energy generation technology, and technology to bring the current millions of uncultivated acres into agricultural production. (we could even see reforestation and the growth of nature reserves too, in a super optimistic scenario). But you can tell a story whereby a market system that does not internalise environmental costs, populated by agents operating on a short-term, self-interested basis, will end up stripping the planet bare. Or something.

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