Fraser Nelson

A recession that the green brigade can enjoy?

A recession that the green brigade can enjoy?
Text settings
Comments

The environmental lobby should be the happiest people in Britain right now. The more people laid off, and the poorer people become, the greener this country will get. All that nasty consumption, and economic growth: kaboom!  No more. Those Indians and East Asians who looked dangerously like they were about to upgrade from mud huts for houses, and to start to polluting by consuming - well, they'll be doing that a lot more slowly now. And the great unwashed British masses, who looked like they needed to be taxed out of the sky and off the roads - well, the recession will also take care of them. And the UK economy contracting by between 2% and 5% this year will do wonders for reducing our CO2 emmissions.

See, the recession changes everything: the present, the past and the future. The projected CO2 levels that looked so scary depended on a fairly heroic assumption of growth in both GDP and consumption. As these two fall sharply this year, so will manmade greenhouse gas emissions from the shrinking Western economies. So without a scrap of legislation, we'll hit our targets - and then some.  Crucially, the last decade is looking like a freak economic sprint caused by a surplus of Asian savings and a Western debt binge. So even when we recover, we will not be returning to the old trajectory. We're more likely to crawl out of this recession than to rebound. Those ambitious forecasts for aviation and road use - not to mention China's assumed 10% growth from hereon in - will have to be rewritten, thereby dealing a hammer blow to all that global warming alarmism. Truth be told; I very much look forward to the first study calculating the "green dividend" of the recession.

UPDATE: I had been feeling a little guilty about the above - of course I don't think environmentalists would rejoice in any human suffering. Nor do I think they want to keep the poor down, it's just that this would be the inevitable consequence of their proposals. So I had got the tone wrong, I thought - but, hey, that's the rough and tumble of blogging. Then, as if to confirm my guilt, along comes Tom Harris and says he agrees with me. Proof that I was way too right wing this time.

Written byFraser Nelson

Fraser Nelson is the editor of The Spectator. He is also a columnist with The Daily Telegraph, a member of the advisory board of the Centre for Social Justice and the Centre for Policy Studies.

Comments
Topics in this articleSociety