The Green Gap

In the Cold War, we feared a Missile Gap was a strategic weakness. Nowadays, we must awaken to the fact that the Green Gap is true strategic weakness: the nations whose economies will thrive in the coming years will not be those with the biggest factories, but those with the most sustainable, efficient, and ecological markets. What we require is a Strategic "Green Reserve" of ecological design to weather the coming changes that both climate and resource scarcity will force on the international economy.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Revisiting the Open Letter to Mom and Dad

Well, here we are. The Spring has come home, and Europe and North America are finally waking up to the paradigm-ending economic shocks we had back in 2008. When the Guardian ran a piece recently about the Occupy Wall Street movement, what it had this to say about the current crisis:
What we've learned now is that the economic crisis of the 1970s never really went away. It was fobbed off by cheap credit at home and massive plunder abroad – the latter, in the name of the "third world debt crisis". But the global south fought back. The "alter-globalisation movement", was in the end, successful: the IMF has been driven out of East Asia and Latin America, just as it is now being driven from the Middle East. As a result, the debt crisis has come home to Europe and North America, replete with the exact same approach: declare a financial crisis, appoint supposedly neutral technocrats to manage it, and then engage in an orgy of plunder in the name of "austerity".
Echoed my own sentiments so closely that I was relieved to know at least one other person was thinking the same way as I: that this is the fight our parents failed to finish in the 70s. They failed to finish it because the oil taps opened up again, credit began to flow, and stagflation made them hold on to their jobs. It was a perfect storm of threats and inducements to maintain the established economic order.

Thankfully, people are standing up and calling a spade a spade. On the 6th of March this year, I said:
We're at a historical tipping point. There is still time to do something about it, but the job of my generation now is to force [your generation] to care. We've got to snap you out of this late-life reverie of a paradisiacal post-employment existence in the south of France, sipping wine. The economic system is buckling. If we keep thinking of things in the terms of well-worn economic adages (you know, the same theories that said such a thing as stagflation couldn't exist - the same stagflation you lived through?) we will keep getting the same economic results. We need a change. We need you to wake up that dormant war-resisting flower child. We need to pull the cobwebs off your sleeping inner homesteader. Didn't you notice that the American boomers - the ones who grew up as flower children - were the same parents who proudly sent their kids off to war in the Middle East?
Well, here we are.

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