Birmingham,The Stirrer, Black Country

news that matters, campaigns that count

for Birmingham, the Black Country and beyond

Barbara's Blog

THE ENERGY CRISIS AND THE GREEN NEW DEAL

09-01-2009

Gas Burner

Does Russia's willingness to hold the world hostage over energy supplies hide an opportunity as well as a problem? Barbara Panvel thinks so.

The need to allocate resources to producing home-grown energy instead of depending on far-flung energy sources becomes even clearer as shipments of Russian gas to Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Macedonia, Greece, Bosnia, Serbia, Italy, Austria, Germany, Slovakia, the Czech republic, Hungary, Slovenia, Poland and Turkey are reduced or shut down. guardian.co.uk/world/2009/jan

However, as Philip Stephens of the Financial Times writes, if keeping the planet cool is seen to be the project of do-gooders alone the masses will mobilise all right – against it. ft.com/cms/

He believes that the way to ‘mobilise the masses’ is to recast the argument, because opportunity ‘sells’ a lot better than hair shirts. Switch off lights at home by all means, but publicly emphasise larger opportunities to reduce the build-up of CO2 by campaigning for the reduction in lighting of public, retail and commercial buildings.

The general public needs a positive and hopeful plan to rebuild the real economy. At a time of growing stress and increasing unemployment, and as the large-scale retail sector follows finance and manufacturing into decline, the only convincing proposal is the Green New Deal’s plan to boost the economy by innovation in vehicle design, energy efficiency, construction methods, renewable energy and reuse of materials.

This is consistent with Stephens’ advice to politicians: to accentuate the opportunities in business, jobs and technological advance; foster security in poorer regions; and bind the rising powers into an equitable international system.

Warning that the shift to a low carbon economy will not be painless, Stephens adds ominously: “nor is global warming”. Rather than worrying about the costs of positive action, he believes that leaders should focus on the economic, social and environmental costs of doing nothing.

And as MP Austin Mitchell has emphasised for years - without borrowing a penny or using tax revenues, this and other governments could and should create additional money [M0] to develop the green transport, energy, construction and agricultural systems of the future (see link here).

DO WE NEED A GREEN NEW DEAL? DISCUSS THIS ON THE STIRRER FORUM

Google

The Stirrer Forum

The Stirrer home

valid xhtml

©2006 - 2009 The Stirrer