A City trader-turned-activist was interviewed outside the Bank of England last October, during the Extinction Rebellion action. He said: "We haven’t got twelve years. We should have started yesterday."
In a climate emergency, the loans that fossil fuel companies can still raise from the banks were – his word – ‘barmy.’
‘Extinction Economics’ will gather some of the country’s most distinguished thinkers on this most pressing of questions: how do we transition our economy away from carbon?
Scientists, activists and economists met and ate and argued as they wrote the New Green Deal at Ann Pettifor’s flat, just off Baker Street.
This was a response to the 2008 crash, which Pettifor had famously predicted. It planned to set the world’s economy on a path to genuine recovery.
The creation of well-paid, skilled jobs in low carbon technologies, programmes to improve energy efficiency, plus financial incentives to shift investment away from fossil fuels, were all central to their plan.
Molly Scott Cato is finance speaker for the Green Party and was an MEP for the South West for sixteen years, until last January. She was in Parliament Square in October 2018 when the Extinction Rebellion was first declared.
She has supported the Green New Deal in the UK and as an MEP helped to push through recent continent-wide legislation tying the European financial system to targets agreed under the Paris Accord.
Kelvin Clayton is a Bridport resident, a philosopher and a Green Party councillor at both county and town level. His focus will be on how the aspiration to continuous economic growth installed itself as an ‘unarguable’ good and the effects of this ‘common sense’ view on both our social fabric and the state of the planet. He engages with such unexamined assumptions both locally, as a Councillor, and from the perspective of a distinctively European philosophical tradition.
Our panel discussion will be moderated by Larry Elliott. Though best known as economics editor on The Guardian, he was also a founder-member of that Green New Deal Group which met and still meets in Ann Pettifor’s flat.
He has consistently made the case for rapid transformation away from the carbon economy as the only plausible response to neo-liberalism’s collapse in 2008. He views austerity as the catastrophic wrong turning that was taken instead.
The Green New Deal was briefly talked up by both Gordon Brown and Barack Obama, then dropped. Its adoption by ‘Justice Democrat’ candidate, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, in her successful 2018 bid for election to the US House of Representatives, has dramatically revived the project.
Our speakers, in other words, are all contributors to a local, regional, national, Europe-wide and now global discussion. Bridport XR is proud to make that discussion available to our community.
The event was partly funded by a Port East ‘Soup Event’. This event has been postponed until further notice, due to the covid-19 epidemic.
Horatio Morpurgo is a writer and campaigner. His most recent book, The Paradoxal Compass (2017), sets current efforts to protect Lyme Bay in the longer historical context of the West Country's relationship with the sea.
Image: Joe Brusky, Flickr.