We live in bittersweet times. On the one hand, we face multiple challenges, crises and threats, from climate change, economic instability, growing social inequalities and resource depletion. On the other, we’ve got a real chance for change in the way we think about economics, the things we value and what really matters to us as societies and communities. It’s with this bewildering and complex dynamic in mind that I bring you Friday’s over-simplistic Good News, Bad News.
This week, the good news is:
- Carbon emissions have decreased by 3% from 2008 levels, because of the recession. This is the sharpest fall in emissions for 30 years, according to the International Energy Association.
- E.on will not be building a new coal-fired power station at Kingsnorth, at least for now. While pressure from climate campaigners may have had a impact, the company cited the recession as being the main reason for shelving the plans.
- Income inequality is now coming under the political radar of the Conservative Party. The painstakingly thorough work of Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett of the Equality Trust has shown that countries with less inequality are generally stronger, safer and happier places to live. nef held fringe events on inequality, featuring Dr. Wilkinson, at all three party conferences.
The bad news:
- Peak oil is still likely to hit us within the next ten years, despite recent discoveries of new fields in the Gulf of Mexico, says a new report from the UK Energy Research Centre.
- British people say they wouldn’t give up their flights to help the climate. A study conducted by Loughborough University found that fewer than 20% of people said they were trying to reduce the number of flights they took.
- The Conservative Party are putting corporate lobbyists up for parliamentary seats. An investigation by the Times newspaper found that over a fifth of the Conservative Party prospective parliamentary candidates most likely to gain seats in the next election are or have been involved in corporate lobbying or public relations.