This is sort of long but it’s interesting, the long and short of it is that the climate change bill that the Obama Admin. is pushing has a final cost of between $2.6 trillion and $4.1 trillion dollars, depending on who’s doing the math, if you add this to the trillions of deficit spending we already have, add in the health care bill they are trying to ram down our throats, then add the cap and trade cost (I call it the cap and tax), it will bankrupt our country, in other words we will owe out more money than what we, our children and their children will ever be able to repay, if the socialist/democrats have their way, all this will come about within the first 18 months that Obama is in office,
My question is, How can we turn this boat around?? or is it already to late???

The Great Transformation (BBC NEWS)


A tale of how it turned out

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

Economic madness

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

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

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

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

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


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