Friends, colleagues and esteemed contacts
The tenth anniversary of the collapse of Lehman Brothers, and the onset of the financial crisis, is on 15th September, as you doubtless know. The Green New Deal group, a team of British green economic thinkers of which I am a member, has updated a report it wrote at that time, recommending an investment programme on the scale of the New Deal of the Great Depression in the 1930s, to repair economies and keep people in work. Had this happened, we might have had a chance of staving off the rise of authoritarian and proto-authoritarian populism that has swept the world since. Our arguments (and the same or similar arguments by many others like us) were not acted on then. Many have analysed why, not least of late Jeremy Grantham and Martin Wolf, as precised in the Future Today chronology. Now we fear arguments such as ours have to be acted on, or our civilisation will collapse into a collage of police states, ruled by despots desperately trying to dismiss as fake news the environmental disasters that increasingly will be washing away their economies, and any prospects their populations may once have had of a life worth living.
My apologies for a degree of gloom today. I invite you to be buoyed, as I am, by the upside potential in all this. But there is no doubt that time is very pressing.