ECONOMICS AND ALLIANCES

http://evonomics.com/seven-ways-transform-21st-century-economics-economists/

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Unfortunately the logic of “sustainability” activists is undermined by the same realities as undermine the US campaign “against” ISIS. The US claims to be fighting ISIS but in fact has created and sustains ISIS. Similarly with climate change. The Paris climate agreement claims to be a way of “dealing with” climate change (through profitable taxation, among other things, and emissions trading of ”bads”). But policy on global warming for decades has been to create it through climate modification (a generation ago the “ice age” was perceived as being a problem, suggesting that global warming would be a good idea.) Climate modification is marketed as a way of “mitigating” global warming, but its effect is to exacerbate it. Trump has spoilt this game by saying that climate change is a fraud and modifying environmental policy accordingly. This has prompted the military to come out against him in defence of the Paris climate agreement. Climate change has always been their business but now they are having to defend it against the presidency. Of course there is nothing pro-environmental about Trump’s policies. The same environmentally destructive practices continue as before. But the Paris climate agreement involves an element of taxation of big corporations that is not of any interest to Trump’s backers. Of course it also involves taxation of the rest of us also. But the military relies on state support, and on taxation, so they are going to be “with the ecologists” when it comes to climate policy. Ecologists will continue ineffective protests against secondary symptoms of this alliance, but the alliance is more securely based than the protests against it.

Varoufakis made comments against the neoliberal assumptions underlying emissions trading (in his Guardian “Erratic Marxist” interview) but unfortunately has not paid any systematic attention to the ideas whose surface he skims in the interview.

W. Hall

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