Tag Archives: green economy

G-20 and the bottle of expectation on economy, climate and conflict

Every significant political moment generates a bottle of expectation. As it looms up and unfolds, the news media and commentators start rushing to judge how far the bottle has been filled by actual achievement. The G-20 – the world’s 19 richest states, plus the EU, the IMF, World Bank and a couple of other financial institutions – meet on Thursday 2 April in London. In full anticipation that the half-full/half-empty metaphor will be used to excess over the next few days, what are reasonable expectations this time? Continue reading

Four issues at (or not at) the G-20 London summit

It looks like there will be some serious demonstrations to welcome the G-20 summiteers to London on 2 April. Protests will reflect anger at the human costs of the recession and a conviction (or hope) that the system has not only failed many ordinary people but is failing full stop. And there will be a lot of sympathy for the protests because it is hard to see the G-20 straightforwardly addressing the big problems. There are four in particular that could do with high-level attention. Continue reading

How green is our valley?

Not outstandingly green by international standards – more a sludgy grey brown. A comparison of  the green content of several governments’ bail-out and stimulus packages shows South Korea devoting 80 per cent of the extra finance to green investment and activity, while China notches up 37 and the UK is at a lowly 6 per cent. Continue reading

Rubik’s crisis

As the economic crunch continues to unfold, commentators, politicians and thoughtful citizens alike are trying to get a grip on its multiple dimensions. Pity the policy-makers and political leaders who are trying to find the way to solve a six-sided boxful of dilemmas because this is a real Rubik’s Cube of a crisis. Continue reading

The fog of uncertainty in a manic economic depression

In an interview published on 30 August last year, UK Chancellor of the Exchequer (Finance Minister) Alistair Darling  revealed his view that the economic downturn was “arguably the worst” in 60 years. He was quickly dumped on for talking down the economy and the underlying analysis was gleefully trashed. Grim prospects, The Economist acknowledged, “But the worst outlook in six decades? Nonsense.” Perhaps Darling does not seem so nonsensical today, now that the economic depression is turning manic. Continue reading

Obama in power (2): points from the US President’s speech to Congress

Barack Obama gained several points in opinion polls and a lot of favourable media comment for his speech to Congress on Tuesday 24 February. Its main focus was the economic crisis in the US. He had little to say on foreign policy, nothing new, mostly generalities, with a couple of worthwhile points. But in what he said on responding to crisis, there was much that reflects how the President sees the US place in the world and may therefore be suggestive of his administration’s stance and future actons. Here, without comment, are brief excerpts from the speech with points that I found especially significant on that score. Continue reading

Stern, climate change and “extended world war”

First the Huffington Post and then Fox News have both published a story containing some garish remarks by Nicholas Stern about “extended world war” as a consequence of climate change. The report feels as though, even if accurate, the remarks were taken sharply out of context because alarmism is not Stern’s usual currency. But the real concern is that it’s not helpful to depict the link between climate change and conflict in that way.

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