To neoliberals, the environment is an externality. It holds no intrinsic value: somewhere to grab resources and dump waste and pump our greenhouse gases and CO2 emissions.
Jonathan Bartley speaking at The Resurgence Talks in May 2017
Inequality is growing to the point where just six people have the same amount of wealth as half the world’s population, says Jonathan Bartley, co-leader of the Green party in the UK.
Large transnational corporations have outgrown entire countries and in the UK real wages are actually declining, he observes in his talk for the Resurgence Trust in London.
Jonathon Porritt, the co-founder of Forum for the Future is an eminent writer, broadcaster and commentator on sustainable development, will be giving the next Resurgence Talk in London on 28 March 2018. More details here.
Jonathan argues neoliberalism - defined by deregulation, privatisation, weakened unions and atomised consumers - has brought us to this crisis point and its ideas are bankrupt, both morally and economically.
This has been detrimental to the environment: "To neoliberals, the environment is an externality. It holds no intrinsic value: it's somewhere to grab resources, dump waste and pump our green house gases and CO2 emissions.
"But we know our economic prosperity depends on the health of the environment - it’s the ultimate source of everything we make and use from food and materials to the very air we breathe.
"We believe a thriving environment means a healthy future for all of us. Sadly this fact has disappeared from all political debate."
He says the UK needs to restore community ties and build a green economy.
In countries like Germany he adds, they are already putting the transition to a low carbon economy at the heart of their industrial strategies not just for the good of the planet, but because it makes economic sense.
Yet, he concludes, these connections aren't being made in the UK and we are tumbling down the list of places where green investors are choosing to come.
Jonathan Bartley is co-leader of the Green party.