I believe Greta is correct when she speaks of “fairy tales of economic growth”. Here she echoes that well-known observation of David Attenborough:
But the very people that applaud her for her radicalism are still wedded to the language that Greta so passionately decries. The above screenshot is taken from a Labour Party broadcast from earlier this year.
The same language of growth is there in the Labour Manifesto:
Similarly, a “no deal Brexit” will cut 3% off the UK’s economic growth, The Guardian lamented recently.
The get out for those who wish to maintain the language of economic growth alongside a concern for what we are doing to the planet is the idea of so-called Green Growth. It’s a have your cake and eat it philosophy. But a recent report from the European Environmental Bureau casts serious doubt on this strategy.
If this is correct, it will take a complete re-think of economic policy for both the Left and the Right in order to meet the challenge posed by climate catastrophe. Not least, it will involve our political leaders having to persuade voters that it is in everybody’s interests that rich countries like ours will have to learn to make do with having less.
Unless we start to address such issues, the applause that the Left has for Greta will only ever be a cheap ‘for show’ radicalism.