Larry Elliott is the Guardian’s economics editor. He is beming ever more strident on the need for reform to tackle climate change. This morning he says:
Winning the race against time [to combat climate change] requires political leadership. It means acknowledging that the Chinese model of managed and directed capitalism might be more appropriate than the Anglo-Saxon model. A massive scaling up of investment in clean technology is needed, because the $300bn spent on decarbonisation worldwide last year merely matched the cost of the losses in the US from climate and weather-related events. It also means scaling up the lending of the World Bank and the regional development banks to help poorer countries build wind and solar capacity. And a global carbon tax set high enough so that fossil fuels remain in the ground must be implemented.
And, more than anything, it means accepting that the world needs to wage war against climate change. Powerful vested interests will say there is plenty of time to act, and they are aided by climate-change deniers who say there is nothing to worry about. These people need to be called out. They are not deniers, they are climate-change appeasers. And they are just as dangerously misguided as fascism’s appeasers in the 1930s.
It is only fair to add that Larry and I are both members of the Green New Deal group, but this, as far as I know, has no influence on what he is writing here.
What he is saying is pretty fundamental. It's not just that the model of capitalism we have is bust. We all know that. But he is suggesting there is a compelling reason for changing it.
People can, and do, live with bust relationships for years. We are with Anglo Saxon capitalism. People do that because they cannot think of anything better. So they live with least worst.
But Larry is saying there may be something better. I am not wholly convinced China has all the answers. I very much doubt Larry does either. But the point is that there has to be something a lot better than what we have now. And climate change gives us every reason to change.
I suggest we get on with it.