Pathway to a sustainable economy

George Monbiot (‘Green growth’ doesn’t exist – less of everything is the only way to avert catastrophe, 29 구월) has written more or less the same article for years, but he rarely offers practical solutions. 진실, uninhibited economic growth on a finite planet cannot continue, and politicians who offer us continued growth but along a “green pathway” are either being disingenuous – dangerously misleading – or simply lying. But “doing less of almost everything” is too simplistic an answer.

Monbiot recognises that wealth must be distributed, but he does not say how. And as long as what we are using is unequally distributed, any measures designed to achieve that goal are potentially unjust. Fortunately, the alternatives are not more of the unlimited growth that is already wrecking the planet, or some kind of green dystopia in which people’s lives, numbers and consumption are closely controlled. There is a third way, involving, 예를 들면, the wider adoption of ideas that underpin the “community wealth-building” approach by Preston city council and the Centre for Local Economic Strategies, and of various green new deals, and which may be summed up as “local production for local need”.

The best description of how such a society would work on a practical basis is still William Morris’s great romance News from Nowhere, published 1890-91, and I recommend that Monbiot has a read of it at the earliest opportunity.
Dr Patrick O’Sullivan
Co-editor, William Morris & News from Nowhere

George Monbiot’s claim that “there is no such thing as green growth” is unhelpful. The economy is a set of social institutions intended to improve life. The current set is distorted by the preoccupation with increasing the velocity with which money changes hands. That may be the only possible criterion for the economy in Boris Johnson’s mind, but others are available.

Two options that run happily alongside each other are the solidarity economy and the wellbeing economy. Both value wellbeing, social justice and sustainability. Green growth occurs when wellbeing and solidarity increase – intergenerational solidarity, 물론이야, entails sustainability. So could we not think positively of growing, but in a different direction to that which conventional economics directs us?
Tony Brauer
Jordans, Buckinghamshire

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