Humanity will not come to an end if we double debt to GDP ratios, but it could come to an end if we fail to combat climate change.
The Green New Deal has recently been promoted by a group of Democrats, including the inspirational Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. I first came across it in a report in 2008 by the Green New Deal group, most of who are pictured below a decade later (hat-tip: Andrew Simms). The view that we face a potentially existential climate change crisis, which politicians seem currently reluctant to tackle, and which therefore requires a government-led programme in each country on the scale of Roosevelt’s New Deal, is something I share.
Why a New Deal? What is wrong with treating climate change as we would any other kind of pollution, with a mixture of regulations, taxes and subsidies? I think the answer is put rather well at the end of an article in the Economist (hat-tip: Laurie Macfarlane) which seemingly complains about the Green New Deal’s departure from what it calls “economic orthodoxy”.