Letter to Guardian
Paul Kingsnorth's pessimism (A climate deal is like trying to stop the rains in Cumbria, Comment, 25th November) is understandable, but not helpful. We need to remember Fritz Schumacher's maxim, "We must do the right thing, and not worry about whether we will be successful, because if we do not do the right thing, we will be part of the problem, not part of the solution". Agreed, the crisis that we face as a global community are immense, but so are the opportunities arising from that crisis. If the vast amounts of money that are poured into the banking system and the military machine were to be diverted into energy efficiency and solar technologies, together with well-researched, ecologically benign carbon sequestration measures, we could turn this thing around. Paul says "an economy predicated on growth cannot be an agend of change that demands less of it". On the other hand, there is no objection to growth of industries and activities that reduce our demand for energy and materials. Green economic growth is both necessary and desirable. There is no room for unemployment in a Green economy. Impossible? Remember the fall of the Berlin Wall. Nobody predicted it, but it happened when a tipping point was reached in the collective mind of people of the Communist regimes. Remember that humanity abolished slavery. Remember also that further back, humanity abolished human sacrifice. Radical social and economic change is possible. Copenhagen will be one step, however flawed, on the path to that change.