Yanis Varoufakis and David Adler argue in the Guardian today:
American carnage and Brexit collapse, detention camps and environmental breakdown – the daily barrage of bad news makes it easy to forget that these are disparate symptoms of the same disease unleashed by the 2008 financial crisis.
Back then, activists in Europe and the US pushed for a holistic cure: a Green New Deal to deliver necessary investments in people and planet. But establishment economists waved them off, preferring a shot-in-the-arm of easy money. Now, all the grave symptoms of recession have returned – and the old drugs don’t work any more, antibiotics to which the disease has already adapted.
But now is not the time for I-told-you-so. Never before has so much idle cash accumulated as in the past decade – and never before has circulating capital failed so miserably to invest in human health and habitat. We are long overdue for a Green New Deal.
But as they rightly say, conventional quantitative easing bought change off and maintained the status quo. But not any more it won't. Change is, now, essential:
If 2008 saw the original development of the Green New Deal proposal, then, 2019 is the time to deploy it: a moment when the architects of the old strategy, pockets empty, no longer seem able to defend it. “There was unanimity,” said Mario Draghi, retiring president of the ECB, “that fiscal policy should become the main instrument.”
It is not, however, the case that any old change will do:
But fool me twice, shame on me. Having squandered the last crisis, we cannot fall again for Draghi’s promise of a mild Keynesian stimulus in the face of human extinction. Instead, we must mobilize behind the Green New Deal as the only reasonable response to the coming recession.
As they conclude:
It is tempting to think of the present moment as a crossroads: we either get our Green New Deal, or we descend into eco-fascism. But the fallout from the last recession suggests that – if we do not articulate a shared demand – we might just as easily get a slightly reconfigured version of the status quo: a little more green around the edges, sure, but with roughly the same distribution of power and resources. Such a plan is already under way in Europe, where the European commission now calls for a “green deal” with none of the transformative content of the Green New Deal agenda.
With the climate strikers marching on their front feet – and the old guard caught retreating on its heels – we have a clear opportunity to achieve a true systems change. But it will require us to make clear to our governments: it is a Green New Deal or bust.
I could hardly disagree, could I? It's been more than a decade coming, and about 440 blogs worth of effort here to help keep it going, but the time for the Green New Deal has arrived. And it's now.
But not a word of it was heard in the Queen's Speech, which hardly mentioned climate-related issues at all. Which is how out of touch this government is.