Green growth and the limp left

Green growth and the limp left

Watching the sunset

Our modern, developed lifestyles pollute the planet. We fly planes, drive cars, eat beef and build with bricks, steel, concrete and tarmac. We are driving the planet to the end of life on Earth as we know it.

But what will happen if we cut consumption? (Note: Consumption is stuff we pay for. Watching a sunset out of the window isn’t consumption. Watching it in a cinema is.)

Consumption and jobs

Consumption is key to limp-left economics. It creates demand for production and production creates jobs. Cutting consumption, cuts production and destroys jobs. What do the limp left suggest for the poor, the wage-slaves, who depend on jobs for their income?

The limp left still argue for growth (mainly for jobs) and claim consumption can be decarbonised. They call their growth “green growth”. Unfortunately, we do not have time to replace polluting consumption by their green consumption. For now, green growth is a fantasy.

So what to do about jobs?

Tax, subsidise and redistribute

If we hold onto the idea that jobs are good for us as a society, we can subsidise them directly or we can subsidise incomes – as with in-work tax credits. If the subsidies are large enough as many jobs as necessary can be created, either by direct subsidy to the employer or by allowing workers to accept lower wages. Both policies support the standard of living of the poor.

How should subsidies be financed?

Tax the affluent polluters.

Message to the limp left: Get real! Stop growth and redistribute.

Message to the affluent: You are screwing the planet. Pay up.


Capitalism can cure climate change but …
Jobs and climate change
Amartya Sen on growth and climate
Reducing the cost of labour to create full employment (1978)
A minimum wage is bad for the planet
Will low paid workers pay the price for saving the planet?
Stop growth, redistribute wealth and try to save the planet
Is Green Growth a Fantasy?
Open Letter to James Hansen
Carbon Taxes (Labour Policy Portal)
Tax carbon to create jobs for the young
Joined up economic and climate research needed
A green recession and full employment
Job creation doesn’t need economic growth
Greenwash from Stern?
Tax carbon. Subsidise jobs

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