Climate change is in fashion this week, what with the publication of the report by the former World Bank chief economist and all. My brain is too tiny to take it all in, so thankfully everyone else has done it for me - even Gordon Brown wrote me an email about it - although I deleted it unread.
The Telegraph tells us that business welcomes Stern report although it contains this brilliant quote “Without countries like the US, China or India making decisive commitments, UK competitiveness will undoubtedly suffer if we act alone. This would be bad for business, bad for the economy and ultimately bad for our climate.” Yup, if we're at the front of measures against climate change it will be bad for the environment - that's logic.
The FT is impressed by the fact that "the Stern review suggests that the economic benefits of early action to curb greenhouse gases would far outweigh the costs – by eventually as much as $2.5 trillion a year." It also notes with interest that it advocates a "pro-growth strategy". It's not alone in seeing the problem as an economic one. Forbes headline with Climate Change Will Cripple World GDP... no! not the GDP! I thought it was only black people who'd suffer! In that case something must be done.
Tony Juniper and George Monbiot have both been typing away on this at the Guardian in a rather more positive way. The Independent also use this as a crowbar to effect some positive changes saying, possibly correctly, that "British ministers are hoping his hard-headed economic analysis will be enough to persuade the doubters in the White House to curb America's profligate use of carbon energy"
Caroline Lucas (Green MEP) is concerned at this government's hypocracy, stating that Blair's "government has been sidelining precisely those EU directives and initiatives aimed at tackling climate change - delaying implementation of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive, and failing to set binding targets for energy demand reduction under the Energy Services Directive, to name just a few...he has the gall to call on fellow EU premiers to improve their performance, whilst he is sidelining and undermining the very initiatives designed to reduce the emissions which are fuelling the problem."
The Green Party more generally are concerned that without addressing the way the economy works we'll face an impossible struggle, something Stern predictably fails to do - attempting to rely solely on international agreements (that the US would be unlikely to sign). Although the Greens are not all negative nellies. Female principle speaker Sian Berry looks to the positives saying that "The review has produced results in a language that George Bush can understand - that of money. Politicians often say we can't afford to tackle climate change; this review makes it clear we can't afford not to. The monetary impact of climate change is what you seem to need to do to get people to take notice, hopefully this will have the desired effect."
What of the bloggers? Philobiblon makes a very short but very apt observation on all this, the ever clever Dave's Part discusses mixing the red and the green, socialism or your money back goes for quoting Engels at length (each to their own), Chairman Tao, and The Stirrer both have their own takes on this. I'll add a few more as they're written. You could even read the actual report here, but whatever conclusion you come to on how we're going to tackle climate chaos, everyone's certainly talking about it and this bodes very well for the demonstrations this coming Saturday in London (and around the world).
No, you can't come on my coach. No, no you can't. Sod off. It's full - yeah!