On the latest drivel from nef

Even though they call themselves the \”Working Group on Climate Change and Development\” it\’s the same old drivel.

Can\’t have continuing economic growth because of environmental limits, yada, yada, yada.

Strangely, the person who comes closest to the truth is Herman Daly in the intro:

Climate change, important as it is, is nevertheless a symptom of a deeper malady,
namely our fi xation on unlimited growth of the economy as the solution to nearly all
problems. Apply an anodyne to climate and, if growth continues, something else will
soon burst through limits of past adaptation and fi nitude, thereby becoming the new
crisis on which to focus our worries.
The fact that the contributors to this volume realise this makes Other worlds are
possible a serious study. The fact that they seek qualitative development that is not dependent on quantitative growth makes it a hopeful study. It is a valuable collection
of the specifi c and the general, of the grass roots details and the macroeconomic big
picture regarding climate change and economic development.

The important point is in that distinction between \”quantitative\” and \”qualitative\”. Both are economic growth for what we measure in GDP is the value added. Qualitative growth is the adding of more value and is entirely consistent with, at least until we run out of ideas about how to add value, ever increasing GDP in a physically finite world.

Everyone else in the report, including Daly himself after those two paragraphs, immediately forgets this distinction and hares off screaming that we cannot have ever increasing economic growth because ever increasing quantitative growth will bump up against the barriers imposed by there only being one Earth.

Which means they\’re spouting bullshit of course and can thus, as is so often the case with anything the nef puts out, safely be ignored.

No, really: at one point we get that the bottom 7 countries haven\’t been getting richer proves that globalisation doesn\’t work. Those bottom 7 being, if you go to look it up, being Zimbabwe, Burundi, Liberia,  Sierra Leone, Congo, Eritrea and  Guinea-Bissau (that\’s 8, I know, S Leone is number 8). Now I\’m not sure about Niger but all of the rest are distinguished by having had, recently, insane dictators, genocides or at the very least violent and bloody civil wars. Their lack of growth might be more to do with that than globalisation, eh?

No, it\’s rubbish.

3 thoughts on “On the latest drivel from nef”

  1. Anyone who says you can’t cut spending without damaging public services just needs to see what the money is being spent on: this drivel.

  2. Look Tim, the equation is quite simple: Unless we kill lots of poor people, lots of poor people will die.

    It’s for knowing stuff like that, that Daly and his pals get paid the big bucks.

  3. “the barriers imposed by there only being one Earth”

    These people are also chronically lacking in imagination. There’s a whole *universe* out there.

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