John Quiggin: Against the doomsayers:
The central message of the doomsday school is simple:
we can’t protect the environment unless we are willing to accept a radical reduction in our standard of living.
Although they agree on this point, they disagree radically about its implications, dividing into two opposed groups
- Deep Greens who say that we should radically reduce our standard of living and protect the environment
- Dark Browns who say that we should do nothing to protect the environment because to do so will wreck our standards of living
Experience since the first World Environment Day in 1972 suggests that neither of these positions is true.
I agree with what John says. It’s also the position that WWF promotes consistently, and what the Future is Man Made campaign is all about.
That doesn’t mean change isn’t required – it is, and rapid change at that. But it’s about getting beyond “old thinking”, inertia resulting from the “it’s the way it’s always been done” thought process. It’s about rethinking the way we do things, being smarter about how we use resources, about being aware of not wasting the resources we do use and have.
P.S. I do get the irony of the title of my post – hopefully this is a case of a double-negative becoming a positive?