YET more juvenile reporting from the BBC (and apparently yet another ‘Environment Correspondent’):
Helen Briggs reports: ‘A landmark review has called for transformational change in our economic approach to nature.
‘The long-awaited review by Prof Sir Partha Dasgupta, of the University of Cambridge, says prosperity has come at a “devastating” cost to the natural world.
‘The report proposes recognising nature as an asset and reconsidering our measures of economic prosperity.
‘It is expected to set the agenda on government policy going forward.
‘At its heart is the idea that sustainable economic growth requires a different measure than Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
‘Prof Dasgupta said: “Truly sustainable economic growth and development means recognising that our long-term prosperity relies on rebalancing our demand of nature’s goods and services with its capacity to supply them. It also means accounting fully for the impact of our interactions with nature across all levels of society.”
‘Covid-19 has shown us what can happen when we don’t do this, he added.”Nature is our home. Good economics demands we manage it better”.’
For a start, the comparison with Covid is not only absurd, but utterly insulting. Before we had our modern, technological and industrialised society, all sorts of diseases ran rampant. Thanks to our new developed economies, we have managed to avoid most of the deaths and misery which disease used to bring to young and old alike.
As for the idea that we should not measure GDP, but some sort of wellness index instead, this was the inane drivel David Cameron used to rattle on about (and Prince Harry still does!)
It is, of course, easy for the well-off to lecture poorer people how they should place less emphasis on material goods and instead concern themselves with more ephemeral issues. Particularly when their main concern is which Caribbean island to jet off to next winter.
Governments and media may focus on GDP, but to the man in the street, his standard of living and job security is what matters. And ultimately it is this concern that governments have to answer to at the polls.
And let us be clear – what this latest report calls for is reduced consumption. That is a fancy description for making us all a lot poorer.
Forget about enjoying the fruits of our endeavours, owning practical cars, holidays abroad, eating nice food, living in comfortable houses with the latest technologies, bringing up well-fed and -clothed families and living in societies which can afford to provide the health care, education, welfare and security that would have been unimaginable just a few short years ago.
What these new age hippies really want is to return us all to the Dark Ages.
Worse still, they want to condemn the third world to a life of poverty.
This first appeared on Not A Lot Of People Know That on February 3, 2021, and is republished by kind permission.