Archive for » April, 2009 «

Wednesday, April 08th, 2009 | Author:

Everyone is green now, at least in theory. A warming planet has panicked the world into looking for alternatives to fossil fuels even as billions of people begin to achieve the sort of luxurious Western lifestyle that will, without reform, cook the Earth. If the science of climate change is fast-moving, the politics are even faster, with a huge array of treaties, promises, pledges and targets giving the appearance of lots of action—but with little actually being achieved. Three books take very different approaches to sizing up the problem.


Anthony Giddens, a professor at the London School of Economics, is a sociologist most famous for developing the “Third Way”, the centre-leftish political philosophy espoused by Tony Blair and Bill Clinton. His book argues that the scale of the climate-change problem and the difficulty of reconciling greenery with development demands a new political approach.


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Thursday, April 02nd, 2009 | Author:

Gordon Brown’s New Deal will do little to advance renewable energy

One of the most impressive monuments to Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal is the network of dams that stud the Tennessee River valley, built to provide work and to modernise a backward corner of America during the Great Depression. Seventy-five years later and on the other side of the Atlantic, work is once again growing scarce and an economy is in need of modernisation, this time to secure energy supplies and slash the release of planet-heating greenhouse gases. The British government has been playing up the parallels, with much ministerial talk of a “Green New Deal”. In March Gordon Brown promised the creation of a “low-carbon economy” for Britain that would provide jobs and clean up industry. Lord Mandelson, his business secretary, talked of a new industrial revolution and said that there was “no high-carbon future”.