Page last updated at 08:50 GMT, Monday, 19 October 2009 09:50 UK

A tale of how it turned out right

Andrew Simms
VIEWPOINT
Andrew Simms

Western governments, including the UK's, are desperate to restore the global economy along "business as usual" lines. But, argues Andrew Simms, that is a short-sighted approach; a radical, green-tinged redevelopment would bring much bigger environmental, social and economic benefits.

Sat-nav system in car
If the only navigation system you have keeps directing you over a cliff, it's time to reprogram it

If someone offered you a plan that would get rich countries on to a radical path of deep, immediate carbon cuts to tackle climate change and also solved a great swathe of social problems, would you take it?

A team of scientists and economists at the New Economics Foundation (nef) has come up with one.

It's called The Great Transition.

It provides a blueprint - or rather, a greenprint - for how the UK can make a step-change in delivering quality of life for all, whilst living within our collective environmental means.

What may shock some people is that it will do this even as the UK economy stops growing in a conventional economic manner and GDP falls significantly.

Economic madness

For decades, the addiction of business and politics to economic growth has steamrollered all attempts to make the economy environmentally sustainable.

The assumption of "growth forever" sits behind every major industrialised economy. Yet, as the great economist Kenneth Boulding put it: "Anyone who believes exponential growth can go on forever in a finite world is either a madman or an economist."

Electric car
Electric cars: enough of a bright spark for green transition?

One thing is sure: in spite of being well-intended, the recent Climate Change Committee call for more electric cars and nuclear power was a disastrously inadequate distraction from the type, scale and speed of measures actually needed.

So how did we find this holy grail of policymakers - a genuine win-win in which environmental imperatives, social objectives and the economy are brought together?

In short, by coming up with the equivalent of a new economic sat-nav. Because if the only navigation system you have keeps directing you over a cliff, it's time to reprogram it.

Only by including in economic calculations the social and environmental costs of business-as-usual can we properly assess the alternatives.

Alarm warming

At one extreme, of course, allowing runaway climate change to occur is infinitely expensive and therefore unthinkable.

The great re-skilling of society... could even break the zombie walk of consumer society and bring us alive again

So no cost below that should be too much to avoid it.

But even over the next few decades, simply by factoring-in reasonable, even highly conservative, estimates of how much we can save by tackling social and environmental problems with proven solutions, the results are astonishing.

Despite the destructive economic events of the last two years and the fact that we're now, perhaps, no more than 86 months away from a new, more perilous phase of global warming, governments are preparing a return to business-as-usual.

The costs of doing so, we forecast, are huge.

Between 2010 and 2050 the cumulative cost of climate change would range from £1.6 trillion to £2.5 trillion ($2.6 trillion to $4.1 trillion).

And the cumulative cost of addressing social problems associated with high levels of inequality is £4.5 trillion.

Little Mermaid statue
Danish standards of equality are less of a burden to society

The Great Transition tackles climate and inequality at the same time.

It puts the UK economy on a rapid decarbonisation diet that puts us on track to playing our fair part in an effective global deal.

These cuts will avoid between £0.4 trillion and £1.3 trillion in environmental costs.

Simultaneously, progressive redistribution toward Danish levels of equality, we calculate, could generate £7.35 trillion of social value.

What is saved and generated in terms of cost and income more than compensates for the drop in GDP that happens as we consume fewer resources.

Mending Britain

How will it happen? First we need to get a real picture of what is going on in the economy. That means having a proper set of accounts that include real environmental and social value.

If we do that, what looks like radical and expensive change turns out to be a new direction we cannot afford to miss.

This is what we call the "great revaluing" - ensuring that prices reflect true social and environmental costs.

Drying whalemeat
Inability to adapt to new conditions can spell the end of a society

Next, following on from the ground-breaking, comprehensive work of social epidemiologists Richard Wilkinson and Kate Picket, whose work demonstrates that more equal societies almost always do better - against a host of indicators ranging from crime to health to the environment - we propose a "great redistribution" to mend so-called "broken Britain".

In the face of recent, catastrophic market failures, the "great re-balancing" then sets out a new productive relationship between markets, society and the state.

It builds a more effective "ecology of finance" so that money and investment flows to where it is most needed - such as the low carbon transition of our energy, housing and transport systems.

A national Green Investment Bank, for example, with start-up funding from windfall taxes on fossil fuel company profits, could provide initial capital.

It's a big, bold plan that tears up business-as-usual.

The details can be argued over; but given the scale of the challenge, we believe that this is one time when we really can say "there is no alternative".

Chilling tale

All change is threatening. Change to new ways of living - even if familiar to people in other cultures and different generations - we find hard to imagine.

But failures of imagination can be fatal.

When Greenland was occupied by Icelandic and Scandinavian settlers in the early Middle Ages they soon made themselves at home with familiar customs and methods of food cultivation.

When the great chill bit deep in the 15th Century, instead of adapting by learning from the climate-adjusted indigenous people, who they dismissed as skraelings (wretches), they clung to what they knew, and died out.

Far from that grim scenario, today the great re-skilling of society to manage this transition could even break the zombie walk of consumer society and bring us alive again as individuals and communities.

The Great Transition is a tale of how it turned out right.

Andrew Simms is policy director of nef and a co-author of The Great Transition

The Green Room is a series of opinion articles on environmental topics running weekly on the BBC News website


Do you agree with Andrew Simms? Does the UK - and other countries - need a Great Transition to a new way of measuring and stimulating value? What are the chances of governments making this kind of change? Or is continuing with GDP-oriented "business as usual" an acceptable way to progress?

I agree with this nice article. It is warned that measures including investing in greener technologies and encouraging consumers and businesses to reduce emissions are necessary to avert climate change. we need a step change in politics. If we change the politics we can make the UK competitive in a low carbon world and, most important of all, enable this country to play its part in beating climate change.
Engr Salam, Kushtia,Bangladesh

'The Great Transition' highlighted by Andrew Simms is an excellent idea. We require a suitable comprehensive package instead of blindly running on the fast changing pattern of the current civilization. The market and the current trends are making every person more and more burdened and isolated from the society. People who are acquainted with the existing patterns have false perception that economy is going to suffer. The transition and methods can be designed in such a way that ultimately economy, society and nature would be flourished. The current trends are 'acquired trends' and can definitely be modified by suitable methods. In general the political person is the representative of the people. He has got his own perceptions and ways for handling the things. The primary concern of these people is to maintain their own status. When they are in good positions, they usually toe the line of their political party. The political parties follow the line of getting maximum votes and maintain their position. It does not mean that political people do not have concerns for the climate but their main objective is to retain their position, climate comes at less prior positions. Non-political person can fight these causes in a better way. Else, political person must realize that they can assure more votes if they work for handling the climate change. They must believe that the bold steps to improve the health of planet are going to help them too.
Sanjay Singh Thakur, Indore,India

Big Government has failed, it is part of the problem and by trying to manage any transition while retaining control will continue to fail. By devolving down, not to quangos or regional assemblies which simply replicate Govt with yet more costs, but to the people and actually state that the public have control of the solution, and listen to the public and engage with them, then we might get somewhere. Gordon Brown jetting around the world to save the planet and two Jags Prescott being paraded as an environment whatever he is person, well its just two fingers to the rest of us! Frankly its insulting. Why can't we have a Govt that treats us like decent honest intelligent people, most of us are, and want to do our bit, its just we need simple help and encouragement. Not constantly treated like naughty children! Change that and the rest should be easy! If we are responsible enough to be allowed to vote, why, between elections, are we treated with such contempt?
Simon Mallett, Maidstone, Kent

NEF would be onto something if they could avoid shooting themselves in the foot with their blind anti-growth ideology. Yes growth as usual is a one way trip off the evolutionary cliff-edge but if we really fixed the global economy (instead of just trying to shrink the UK economy) we are more likely to see a surge of economic growth corresponding to the surge of planet-saving activity. Andrew's hero Kenneth Boulding explained how to do this 40 years ago. Decarbonisation is deck-chair shuffling compared to Boulding's vision of an economy designed to circulate resources instead of turning them to waste in the land, water and air. Economic growth (a financial measure) can then go up whilst waste and resource flows plummet. A green bank is deck-chair shuffling compared to making the entire economy and all banks sustainable. Redistribution is a no-brainer but the effect would be of course to increase spending and growth. NEF please take note that politicians cling to growth not be!cause it reflects reality but because it hides the reality of things getting worse. Calls for ending growth translate into "hippy green nonsense - please ignore!" This work for the NATO Science Programme is far more ambitious and politically viable: http://www.wiserearth.org/resource/view/2f007297ce994215d709c47f4c9230a1
james greyson, Lewes, UK

He who pays the piper calls the tune! or as I have heard it said elsewhere quote.."Where a person stands on a topic depends on where they sit on that topic" When an article appeared on the Green Room, I got into the habit of scrolling down first to see where the author was coming from. You would be amazed at how obvious some of the authors are. But this guy had me beat, so first I read some of the comments to see how others had reacted. Two gained my attention, one from a contributor from not far from where I live and the other from Steven Walker whose article I read and enjoyed many months ago and who regularly comments on other articles. Keep up the good work, Steven, maybe someone will eventually listen. So I read the article to see if I could discover what they couldn't. Alas and alack no. There was no "meat in the sandwich". But not to be entirely negative, I then googled "nef" found the website and did actually find some meat but still encapsulated in what I would describe as "weasel words" or "politico speak". For instance, one of their policies (proposed policies) is the "re-distribution of wealth" "Great" we all shout"we'll endorse that!" OK but how do we actually "redistribute wealth"? Robin Hood and Dick Turpin had a few ideas on that topic along with that infamous Ozzy guy! (remember, I'm a kiwi!) Their tactics don't go down too well these days, the modern approach is to do with taking from the poor and giving to the rich. Do these guys really expect governments to make these radical changes? Do they really think they will be allowed to? The "wealthy" have demonstrated a remarkable ability to not only retain their wealth but to actually "grow" it. We didn't all come down in the last shower of rain. Oh dear, what a cynic I have become, can't blame it on my upbringing...my Dad would probably turn in his grave if he could read this. So....to return to my quandary......just who is paying this piper and just what is their agenda...I'd love to follow but I'm reminded of that old adage........"if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is"
Mike Perkins, Whangarei, New Zealand

Great Transition much too conservative: mite work w/addition of mandatory birth control, measures to limit res ligio, & compulsory greening of global ecosystem...w/o these, rely on prayer.
don bronkma, Washington DC USA

nef should present their ecological footprint as global hectares per hectare not per capita. UK would be bad, but it would show the US in a much better light. But they would not want that would they? Statistics used for a philosophy.
Andrew Simmons, UK

Interesting reading the extremes of debate - between those who would sustain the status quo (and be cynical about transition) and those seeking a new economic value system (but without the tools or solutions or viable alternatives to the current system.) No matter - even if a new more sustainable socio-economic system was developed, the current cultural fragmentation and economic powermongers would undermine it. Many of the ideals behind Communism were not wrong or misplaced - but those in charge of Communist states simply manipulated the masses to their own ends, undermining/corrupting some good principles while developing some bad ones. Capitalism worked hard to undermine that social-economic model - and it will do so again to any other new model. The 'divide and conquer' principle at work! For a great transition there will need to be the construction of a robust new system - which incentivises/motivates people within natural limits with access to diverse opportunities yet generating positive markets (as opposed to the current trends in weapons, superficial fashion and cosmetics, energy toys and power tools, and addictive consumer behaviours). To work, any new system will require universal patronage and uptake. All or nothing! Before that can happen, humans have to discard their cultural baggage, senseless points of division/conflict and identity crisis - of ego, tribe, blind corporate loyalty and nationalism. The Great Transition has to both narrow and re-expand/reform cultural diversity - a tough call!
Steve Rees, Maidstone, Kent

I'm surprised that, despite your co-authorship, you do not provide any links to the actual document or NEF. Making the details harder to find is not helping the argument and hides the real impact such as a universal 67% inheritance tax, removal of private land without compensation, and so on. As an author of The Great Transition you cannot claim any objectivity in assessing. By not linking to it you are making it harder for others to do give this objective view also.
AJ, Melbourne, Wonderful Land of Oz

I see a lot of sense in this article. And it's not just about climate change; it's energy, peak oil, pollution, over-population, species loss, resource depletion, to name just some of the most urgent. Life on this planet is at a watershed not seen since the dinosaurs died out. Governments just aren't thinking big enough at the moment. Unless we start to take drastic and meaningful action along the lines proposed in this article, our civilisation is doomed.
John Russell, Devon UK

I agree with Steven Walker. Nice words but - apart from new indicators - no details of what the fundamental change could be. My ideas are at: http://www.geocities.com/CapitolHill/Lobby/2104/realindex.htm Basically I think we have to move from a work based economy to a resource based economy. Work inevitably uses resources. If we expect everyone to work before they are entitled to a livelihood (and our population keeps growing) we will not reduce our resource use. My system would allow people who use less to either, make an income by selling their right to use a share of resources or, to withold their share from the market so that less resources are used. Industrial resource users would have to buy rights to resource use from the people and could only continue to produce if the people wanted their products. They would put their prices up to cover the cost of these rights but the people would have the money to pay the increased prices - if they chose.
Helen Marsh, Kaiwaka, New Zealand

Before you all get around to spouting off about socialist parasites or moaning about how it's all capitalism you all might get around to doing a search of the New Economic Foundation (which I did: http://www.neweconomics.org/) and then looking at its ideas, which I haven't done yet but will when I get done trolling through the news. I think they have good ideas, and how they refine and carry out these ideas should be the subject for constructive discussion.
Christopher Hobe Morrison, Pine Bush, NY, USA

This is a biased article. Lets see what the 'could bring benefits' means Could mean that "might harm the UK economy". It's equally valid based on the evidence. However, as usual, the BBC shows its bias by picking a headline in favour of costing people trillions. Nick
Nick,

this is exactly what is needed in the uk the whole of the uk needs to change , banking , bussines, public, and the goverment taxes on those who pollute with the money going into helping us to create low carbon economy we need the goverment to commit to reducing emisions by 40% by 2020, say no to new coal, and put more money into renewables energy looking more at wave and tidal power
carl holmes, wirral / uk

Calling it "The Great Transition" doesn't help anyone. The whole piece is worded like some kind of propoganda. Pragmatic, economically sound environmentalism is a far better way forward. The greens have been far too militant to gain any sympathy for their cause, no matter how worthwhile it is. Only by hitting the general public in their pocket will change occur and that doesn't have to come from any policy. Oil prices will rise, and people will find ways to be more efficient. I have induction hobs and energy efficient everything. I can't change the environment by myself, but I do save myself pounds.
Alastair, Newport, Pembs.

We live in 1933. In 1933, people thought that the Great Depression was ending, and that the crisis was overcome. A few years later, Germany invaded Poland, which should have not come as a surprise, and the real crisis started: World War II. How surprising will disruptive resource scarcity and climate change be, a few years after the current economic crisis? WWII made the UN and GATT necessary. The next crisis, which will be a resource and environmental crisis, will not just create another institution, but more probably a 'world government'. Again, this will not be for fun, but because it will be necessary to solve global problems at an unprecedented scale. This would be very sad, because it would not show action but again only reaction. Now I get to what I am really afraid of: the fact that we as human beings believe that we are powerless, powerless to make any change beyond what is immediately necessary and in the self-interest. I believe in the opposite: human beings are capable beyond imagination: we learned to harness nature, connected all corners of the world and put a man on the moon. Currently the main principle and target that most individuals, companies and nations share is economic (GDP) growth, so material growth. This is totally legitimate, especially for developing countries with young, growing populations where growth is simply an issue of survival. But for developed countries, economic growth is only one stage in development. Also, economic growth itself is not bad for sustainability because environmental goods and services are in general expensive and if we buy more of them instead of cheap, dirty goods, the economy in theory will grow. This is a question of the quality of growth. But we need more than material growth and monetary gain as a guiding principle to solve a problem at the scale of climate change. Material growth without limit is simply not sustainable. What lies at the heart is finally putting the values and principles that we have known for so long into practice while making difficult decisions on climate change. Unity in diversity, Justice, Public and individual responsibility, both in developing and developed countries, Leadership, Trust, Act local and think global; seeing the world as one country while respecting local circumstances, Equity, Cooperation, New, inclusive forms of decision-making and true democracy, A long-term vision, Transparency and independent search for truth, Elimination of extremes of poverty and wealth, Abandonment of prejudices, The value of knowledge, The understanding that human development is much more than material growth
Joachim Monkelbaan, Geneva, Switzerland

Why there aren't there easier to access and understand guidelines and events for the general public to implement low carbon behaviours and technologies in their lives especially for sustainable energy and transport?
Alex, London

I would be wary about looking to Denmark for exemplary values: they used to have one of the highest divorce rates in the world.
R.B. Peberdy, Oxford

I agree with taking total life cost into account. I disagree with redistributing wealth in the ways proposed. Giving everyone free education and health care benefits people and reduces inequality, but giving everyone £40k endowments and distributing shares to give employees a stake - why? Some will keep them long-term while others will immediately sell them for spending money, leaving the usual inequality. It's ignoring human nature.
Clive Mitchell, Cardiff

I attended the NEF conference at the weekend and Andrew's keynote speech was impassioned and well-thought out. His endorsement of the idea of an ecological 'Plimsoll line' of 350ppm (carbon in atmosphere) is one practical example. It appears that fundamentalism of any flavour is undesirable, be it social, religious or market fundamentalism. In my view, even people who think they are 'free thinkers' have become increasingly fundamentalist (just think of Richard Dawkins!). This debate is essential, desirable and necessary.
Nicholas Hemley, Bristol

Great! And overdue! The world is a system with a set of underlying interlinked structures and no conglomaration of single parts. It took us ca. 40 years to note that there possibly was some sort of wisdom behind "The Limits To (Exponentiell) Growth" in a finite world. And re GDP - even the European Union recognized this August that it is more a trap than an opportunity to rely on only this indicator. The Eu needs more of these people thinking in the long run, like those in the nef, like Tim Jackson etc that give us a wake up call. "A stitch in time saves nine" another systems thinking wisdom.
weis-gerhardt stephanie, aachen, germany

The greatest truth of the world is that people will never be of the same opinion. It is therefore unfortunate that the majority view amongst the 1% of the population who control policy, production, economy and who wield social power through an insidious misuse of the media are of the opposite opinion to the majority of far sighted and altruistically motivated scientists on matters of global warming. You see, power (like riches) is something you can't take with you when you die. If you are hungry for wealth and control, if the idea of LIVING a life at the top of the heap consumes you, then you are by default interested in only that section of future history which may directly affect your life. Once you're dead, it doesn't matter, you don't have to think about it, better to get on with the act of living the good life. There will never be systematic change for the future so long as the people who are in control of the purse-strings maintain this attitude. Sadly, the only foreseeable way to affect a change of control is through a series of tragic global disasters that physically dislodge the power from the cold dead hands of that 1% (along with most of the rest of us). Anything short of that just isn't realistic.
Anon, South West, UK

My understanding was that our population density was about twice as high as it should for sustainable living in the UK?
James Wickham, Kent

"An economy that is pro environment and anti global warming is an economy in which consumerism is at a minimum. " Isn't the free market supposed to give us works at a marginal profit value? I.e. a minumum cost?
Mark, Exeter, UK

"The UK faces a "catastrophe" of floods, droughts and killer heatwaves if world leaders fail to agree a deal on climate change, the prime minister has warned." According to the BBC web site. It appears ridiculous that the one approach is talked about, in public but at the same time a different approach is used in practise such as the use of public money to subsidise selected regeneration schemes. For example The Wards Corner Towers, Haringey, London by the developer Grainger has been offered millions in public money to encourage its construction of flats and chain stores. Yet these towers have no renewable energy sources like wind or solar energy, only incorporate basic government standard energy loss levels or a fraction above yet higher grade technologies such as passive anti heat loss window designs exist. Not to mention why allow the driving out of 70 local stores like the bicycle repair shop for the new chain stores. We need a practical approach to climate change not just words. Start with improving the planning and building insulation rules and incorporate them into the re-design and upgrading of the Wards Corner development. This would show the world how a practical solution is required not just well meant words.
paul , London

I've read a report by Mr Simms and his colleagues at the NEF. It may interest people to know that in the report the examples of sustainable economies they think show the way forward are Communist Cuba and Second World War Britain. In other words state controlled economies where individual and politcial freedoms are seriously curtailed. I suggest you also look up the NEF Happy Planet Index which tells us that Vietnam and Saudi Arabia are better places to live than the UK, US or Western Europe. Now go back over the article and read between the lines to see what he really means.
Richard Wing, Alfreton

I like the sound of this. The Limits to Growth report by the Club of Rome, published in 1972 pretty much recommended this model as a means to halt unsustainable exponential growth. However, what this new report fails to address is the over-population of the planet, and the burgeoning food and water crises. I would like to see governments invest heavily in green industries:- I personally see them as the next industrial revolution, if economists and governments would only do the sums and realise that there needs to be a significant shift in our emphasis from consumption to sustainability. We really need to question whether the Western World can sustain the kind of growth and reliance on consumerism that we have grown accustomed to.
Simon Hodgetts, Worcestershire

The only type of system which will succeed is one based on greed and self-interest. If you don't have it then buy it, if you can't buy it then invade and take it. Nothing will change until our population levels reach the point where they have consumed everthing. We are going over that cliff.
John Lilley, Watford UK

make sure obama gets a copy
Pete , Surrey

Brilliant. This kind of re-thinking of the way the economy and society works is vital. The current obsession with constant growth will cause, and arguably already is causing, huge problems. Sustainability is not just a buzz word for hippy tree-huggers, it's a fantastically simple and important concept in how everything (and I do mean everything) works, either it's sustainable, or it eventually collapses. However, the people in power are old, educated in a era when such concepts were unthinkable and growth was the only way. However, will anyone listen?
Chris, Bristol

" start-up funding from windfall taxes on fossil fuel company profits … It's a big, bold plan that tears up business-as-usual..." Um, no. Taking fossil fuel money to fund ineffective fossil fuel replacement and conservation initiatives IS business as usual. ('How fire can be domesticated': http://www.eagle.ca/~gcowan/ )
G.R.L. Cowan, Cobourg, Canada

Air headed enviro-communist tripe.
David J. Ruck, Cambridge

we need Total Cost Accounting (TCA), for everything. Businesses produce & sell products based on the costs of manufcturing. The waste, if disposed of "responsibly", costs the producer extra. Waste that goes into the environment usually costs the producer nothing and the clean up is paid for by the taxpayer. TCA would show that responsible disposal is more economic because the costs (and taxes) aren't imposed by stealth or criminality.
pete, london

I'll bet that Andrew Simms is another person who has spent his entire adult life living off the tax-payer. This piece is designed to help ensure his continued ability to do so. I have no doubt that, twenty years ago, he would have been espousing world socialism as the obvious solution to all mankind's problems, and pointing to the success of the Soviet Union as clear proof that capitalism was wrong. So, no, we absolutely do not need a Great Transition, or a Great Leap Forward, or any other euphemism for allowing these parasites to take over the free world.
Freddy,

The system needs to morph and do so quickly and seamlessly. The biggest block to that is most unfortunately the control my country, the US, has over the world finances by its control of the dollar as predominant currency of trade. It may be necessary for nations of the world to grab the reins from this run away team by reestablishing a new world currency that takes environmental responsibility and preservation of the common good seriously and lets the derivatives trading US fall in the waste basket of world history if it can not change.
Dale Lanan, Longmont, Colorado, USA

An economy that is pro environment and anti global warming is an economy in which consumerism is at a minimum. Therefore, it is a misconception to suggest that there can be a green economy in our current framework where globalisation is not controlled. This is the danger which the governments that will attend the Copenhagen United Nations' Climate Change Conference 2009 must contend with. S. PEREZ-GOLDZVEIG THEHOUSEOFBRANCHOFGOLD
S. PEREZ-GOLDZVEIG, London

This sounds like a lot of hand-waving with grand intentions but few actual details. Any real solution to the climate problems needs a healthy dose of what this essay lacks - pragmatism.
Peter Saffrey, Glasgow, UK

Yes, absolutely. Unfortunately, I don't think that the people who have the real power to change things are.
Keith, Sheffield, UK

This initiative has never been more urgent. There is real hope in it. The present system uses economic activity as the only measure, which is a bit like inspecting a cricket pitch, and being satisfied by the knowledge that it is 22 yards long. There is a lot more to a good life than 'how much?'. As Andrew Simms points out, Kenneth Boulding had it right.
Tom Barker, Chester, England

The telling line in this article is the last - The Great Transition is a Tale- yes it is a story, based on opinion rather than fact - that reduces the real debate about global warming - over since 2005 and now in a 30 year cooling phase - being used to promote a singular argument for the movement of finances into their own category.
JohnS, South Coast

"Between 2010 and 2050 the cumulative cost of climate change would range from £1.6 trillion to £2.5 trillion" Sounds a lot, but its about 0.1% of global GDP over this period. So actually not very much at all. Which is why I don't expect much to change until we get to about 3 or 4 degress of warming. Then people will start to take climate change seriously.
Paul ,

WOW !!! That's really exciting !! . . er, exactly what are they talking about ? I followed the catchy analogy about the sat nav heading towards the cliff . . . - yes we know we have got the wrong values set; we are ripping up the planet whilst we are still standing on it; that bit is pretty obvious. And I followed their example of what happens to itinerant 15th Century Norsemen that didn't adapt to their chilly bits . . . . I got that bit too. - oh, er, is this the same 'Danish Society' that is now getting it right - I am puzzled ? However, not to wander off the point myself; What exactly do they propose to "do" ? - the whole "actual solution" bit seems a teeny little bit lost in the jargon-fuzzy-logic-buzzword-scenario-speak . . . ?? . . where do publish this "Great Transition" so we can read this marvelous revelation; and we can get on with doing whatever it is that they actually intend "do" ? - I was a teeny bit confused about that "doing" bit ? Did these guys just 'save the planet' . . . or simply go off on their own private "stimulating" jargon m*ste*ba*ion ? Speaking personally, it seems like a case of; "catchy title; but it might need a little bit more work in the actual pagey-bits inside ?" Steven
steven walker, Penzance



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