This week, The Independent’s Archie Bland reassesses the legacy of New Deal economist John Maynard Keynes and wonders whether his ideas might be resusitated to tackle the financial crisis with green investment.
Meanwhile, Duncan Green, head of research at Oxfam, has joined the Green New Deal chorus:
“The only historical precedent is the kind of mass industrial shift to arms production that takes place during wartime. The challenge is for us to do it through choice rather than in response to actual climate chaos, because by the time climate disasters really start hitting the US and Europe, it may be too late for many of the poorest parts of the world. We need a global version of the New Deal, but we cannot afford to wait for the shocks of war and catastrophe that delivered that change… “
Finally, Newsweek weighs up the chances of a global Green New Deal, looking at what governments around the world are doing to cut carbon, create jobs and promote renewables. Again, however, these writers keep avoiding the elephant in the room: growth.
Mercifully, John Naish bucks the trend with a comment piece in today’s Times explaining how Keynes wasn’t ‘some dry old number-shuffler’ but rather a man dedicated to pursuing the good life – to art, culture, beauty and friendship. And this Keynes would have scorned our obsession with growth and ever-increasing consumption. Naish explains:
He predicted that only a sizeably ignorant minority would pursue constant, selfish consumption: “When the accumulation of wealth is no longer of high social importance, there will be great changes in the code of morals,” Keynes wrote.