Caring for Growth by Tim Jackson
In no time, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced us to recognize that our capitalist economic system prioritizes second-order priorities like wealth to the detriment of first-rate ones like health. The question now is whether we will seize the opportunity to rethink the economy in the age of climate change.
GUILDFORD – The sun rose resplendent over the highest town in the Alps early last year. In a world that now seems more distant than the moon, the captains of capitalism had gathered for their annual jamboree. Halfway between a beauty contest and a religious rite, the World Economic Forum had been meeting for half a century in Davos to celebrate the “freedom” of the market.
But beneath the shiny surface lurk the noticeable cracks of a chronically dilapidated system. The snow over the city was thinner than at any time since the Forum’s first meeting in the early 1970s. In Australia, the fires that had burned during the long “black summer” were still raging. It would be the hottest January on record.
Climate change was not the only concern of the satisfied Davos crowd. It was increasingly recognized that the world economy had faced new and uncomfortable challenges. These have been variously attributed to over-indebtedness, trade wars or political populism in the hands of capricious rulers. No one could decide who was more to blame. But the damage was obvious.
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