Last week’s papers had a couple of great comment pieces on the Green New Deal and related matters.
In the Times, Camilla Cavendish wonders about the future of British jobs now that retailers are folding and banks cutting staff. “The new world,” she writes, “wll clearly not invole graduate lemmings hurtling towards banking.” Her proposed alternative to these job markets is the renewable energy sector, supported by a Green New Deal. Cavendish then explains how Britain is well “behind the green curve” compared to Germany, Denmark and Spain, and makes some proposals for how the stimulate green investment. It’s well worth reading the whole thing.
Andrew Rawnsley’s piece in the Observer has less of green feel (he starts by talking about a recent holiday in the US and I presume he didn’t swim there) but he does make a strong argument for a Keynesian restructuring of the economy, with investment in clean energy and high speed rail. His essential point is that spending on green technology “will cost a fraction of the billions which have been committed to the feckless banks.” In other words, if you’re going to spend, at least spend it wisely. Read the rest here.
The Independent on Sunday’s leader compares the mediocre compromises of the UN climate talks in Poznan with the promise of Barack Obama. While liberals might be revolting over Obama’s Lincolnesque “team of rivals”, at least two of his core advisors – energy secretary Stephen Chu and transition team manager John Podesta – have some laudable green credentials. The leader explains that not only is Obama geared up to start a Green New Deal at home, he is also set to lead international progress on climate change mitigation. Well, let’s hope so – 2009 is pretty much our last chance to get a global agreement in place.