Thursday, September 04, 2008

The Editor,
The Guardian

"Recession alert piles misery on Brown” (Lead story, 3 September). The real political story is not that of Brown's misery, nor even New Labour's pending dismissal, but that the recession, when it hits, will pile the misery of unemployment, poverty and insecurity on the ordinary people of Britain and of the world. Like all crises, a recession contains a both a threat and an opportunity. The opportunity lies in the fact that, provided we do not go to war as we did in 1939, recession will lead to a drop in CO2 emissions worldwide, and this drop can be sustained by massive public investment in energy saving and renewable energy technologies. Green Keynesianism, which will generate a Green New Deal building on Roosevelt's undertaking in the 1930s, is the only rational and humane economic response to the p impending worldwide crisis of confidence in the existing financial system. Orthodox economic assumptions are presiding over a world of inequality, unhappiness, and life-threatening environmental degradation, a world that cycles from mindless hyperactivity to abject inactivity. There is no logic in wallowing in economic stagnation in the presence of these global problems. As well as renewable energy, the green sector of the economy offers good work for all, ranging from housing provision to the care of the elderly, and from arboriculture to community building. Given the political will, it is possible that a Green Phoenix economy will rise out of the ashes of the dyseconomy created by the discredited ideology of the “free” market.

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