De-growth vs a Green New Deal

Robert Pollin in New Left Review:

Climate change necessarily presents a profound political challenge in the present historical era, for the simple reason that we are courting ecological disaster by not advancing a viable global climate-stabilization project. [1] There are no certainties about what will transpire if we allow the average global temperature to continue rising. But as a basis for action, we only need to understand that there is a non-trivial possibility that the continuation of life on earth as we know it is at stake. Climate change therefore poses perhaps the ultimate ‘what is to be done’ question. There is no shortage of proposals for action, including, of course, the plan to do nothing at all advanced by Trump and his acolytes. In recent numbers of NLR, Herman Daly and Benjamin Kunkel have discussed a programme for a sustainable ‘steady-state’ economy, and Troy Vettese has proposed re-wilding as a means for natural geo-engineering. In this contribution, I examine and compare two dramatically divergent approaches developed by analysts and activists on the left. The first is what I variously call ‘egalitarian green growth’ or a ‘green new deal’. [2] The second has been termed ‘degrowth’ by its proponents.

More here.