We’re still facing the Triple Crunch

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As Larry Elliott notes this morning:

One Sunday in October 2008, Alistair Darling flew back from Washington to find Britain on the brink of banking meltdown.

Let's be blunt: Labour solved that one.

But the underlying issue remains. The Green New Deal group had already addressed that underlying issue in July 2008 (Larry's a member, along with me). As he puts it though:

There is the potential there for not just one crisis but three: a situation where the ATMs freeze up, the planet warms up, and the lights go out.

So what does he think the options are?

It's not pretty but there are at least four possible choices. Choice one: do nothing because modern financial capitalism is robust and self-correcting, there is more oil in the ground than we think, and global warming is a fantasy. Possible, but given that it was the same mindset as prevailed in financial markets pre-2007, fraught with risk.

Choice two: argue that there is an incompatibility between growth and sustainability, so the big developing countries cannot hope to aspire to western levels of consumption, which need to be reduced anyway. Perhaps true, although the deep green road map for getting from A to B is somewhat sketchy and currently lacks political support in both the developed and developing worlds.

Choice three: bring human ingenuity to bear by investing heavily in new forms of low-carbon green growth while at the same time negotiating a binding global climate change deal. Tough, expensive, and open to the objection that green growth is pie in the sky.

Choice four: file under "too difficult" and hope it is not too late to respond when the crisis breaks.

As he says:

Personally, I'd go for choice three, while accepting that choice four looks most likely and that choice two may eventually be forced on us anyway.

I'm more optimistic about 3.

But what's clear is there is no way we can choose 1 or 4: they're the route to much more serious problems.

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