Global Growth must not slow down because of Climate Change

The expansion of the market economy could focus on attracting investments that would target green infrastructure that would not cause damage to the environment.

The climate debate has taken a very dangerous turn. There is a trend, extremely disturbing, that advocates halting economic growth in order to “save the planet”! Such excesses, which in certain political circles tend to take majority proportions, tend to lead the whole world to the brink of economic stagnation and perhaps even destruction. This trend led Alessio Terzi to take the matter seriously and write the excellent “Growth for Good: Reshaping Capitalism to Save Humanity from Climate Catastrophe”) (Harvard University Press, 2022).

Terzi is primarily concerned with climate savers’ strong opposition to market mechanisms. What he insists on is to stop criticizing globalization and the market economy and focus on growth and the rate of expansion of the economy. He is also a fan of risks to the environment, but he insists that the solution does not lie in the destruction of the economic mechanisms that lead to development. He assesses that it will be preferable for both climate fans and those interested in avoiding economic decline to look more towards other features of the market economy, such as addressing economic and social inequalities.

The expansion of the market economy could focus on attracting investments aimed at green infrastructures that do not cause damage to the environment and that do not lead to the construction of old-fashioned industries that indirectly lead to pollution and environmental burden. Indeed, if this investment process turns to new technologies that delimit their object in the context of “clean” technologies. Something like this, which is certainly not easy, will be able to restore confidence in development without at the same time damaging or even polluting the environment. What should not escape anyone’s perception is that if any rate of development is overturned, the consequent economic disaster will drag along any environmental sensitivity and care.

It should also not escape us that the gradual abandonment of fossil fuels for the needs of the economy will leave behind all those sectors of the economy that are “carbon intensive”. Consequently, this will expose all those employed in these sectors to the risks of unemployment. Enormous issues of equality will therefore emerge, which can only be addressed through rapid and dynamic rates of development. And to avoid a broader social resistance to any attempt to “green” the economy. Government care is therefore necessary so that at the same time it manages to achieve serious rates of green growth without creating problems of inequality and social injustice.

And something different. According to media reports, “the rapid evolution of reptiles on Earth was probably triggered by nearly 30 million years of global warming about 270 to 240 million years ago. The Age of Reptiles was essentially the birth of climate change rather than a previous mass extinction of mammals and other animals, according to new estimates by scientists from the US and Canada.”

The important question, of course, is how the then-terrible climate changes that changed life on Earth happened without carbon dioxide emissions and without industrial pollutants. That is, it is clear that the “intense capitalist growth rates” were not to blame then. Which of course did not exist… So there are many causes from time to time (volcanic eruptions, distance of the Sun, etc.) that lead to major climate changes. Let’s keep our minds open.

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