Politics, they say, is the art of the possible. But the possible is not fixed. What we believe is possible depends on our knowledge and beliefs about the world. Ideas can change the world, and Green House is about challenging the ideas that have created the world we live in now, and offering positive alternatives.
The problems we face are systemic, and so the changes we need to make are complex and interconnected. Many of the critical analyses and policy prescriptions that will be part of the new paradigm are already out there. Our aim is to communicate them more clearly, and more widely.
In this, we will remain independent of political parties, campaigns or commercial vested interests, but will be happy to cooperate with anybody – individuals or organisations – who shares our beliefs and our sense of urgency.
FACING UP TO CLIMATE REALITY
Green House is pleased to announce the launch of a new major project. This project will address the widening chasm between climate science and climate policy, the reasons for it, and how to bridge it. Its starting point is that the time for false hope is past, and only courageous realism will enable us to respond adequately to now inevitable and impending serious climate damage. This message – as we have found already when expressing it in public – can be cathartic, leading to a realistic assessment of future needs and prospects and avoiding the despair and paralysis that result from the collapse of a fragile or shallow optimism. The premise and shape of the project are set out in an introductory essay available here. We have already recruited some highly-respected contributors and funding partners to join us on this ambitious project, and we will be seeking to involve others as it develops.
BREXIT AND ITS IMPLICATIONS FOR THE GREEN TRANSITION
The UK Referendum vote to leave the EU will have profound consequences for environmental, social and economic policy not only in the UK but in Europe as well, where that decision calls into question a number of assumptions about the nature and direction of the European project. Green House is coordinating a major international project on ‘The potential impact of Brexit on the prospects for a green transition in Europe’, funded by the Green European Foundation and involving six countries: France, Germany, Ireland, Poland, Sweden and the UK. The project will feature events and publications in all participating countries, and will culminate in a major international conference in London in November. Details of individual events and publications will be made available here .
Linked to this project, we are pleased to announce the launch of a report written by Green House authors Victor Anderson and Rupert Read for Green MEP Molly Scott Cato entitled ‘Brexit and Trade: Moving from Globalisation to Self-Reliance?’. The launch was held at Europe House in central London on Tuesday 28 March. Copies of the report are available here.
A GREEN TRANSITION FOR THE ISLE OF WIGHT
Moving from Europe to a small island economy (and we don't mean the UK), we have published a new Report on the economics of transition at the local level. ‘A Green Transition for the Isle of Wight’, by Jonathan Essex and Peter Sims, develops a mathematical model for calculating the potential for new job creation in a green transition at the local level. It can be downloaded for free here, or ordered in printed form from our 'Publications' pages. An event is planned for the public discussion of the report findings on the Isle of Wight on 16 June. More details will follow.
A CRITIQUE OF THE RSA'S 'INCLUSIVE GROWTH COMMISSION'
Our latest Green House 'Gas' is a response to the RSA’s high-profile ‘Inclusive Growth' project, and it argues that that project is fatally flawed by its failure to question the growth imperative and to recognise that ‘growth’ is often a substitute for redistribution – for genuine inclusion. You can download it here.
GREEN POLITICS AND INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT
Widening the focus again, from the Isle of Wight to the global South, Peter Newell, Professor of International Relations at the University of Sussex (and the latest recruit to Green House's Advisory Group) argues that we urgently need to bring Green politics to bear to chart a different model of development that provides real prosperity and well-being for all the planet’s inhabitants while placing sustainability centrally. This would be a radically different approach to development that addresses the root causes of under-development in growth mania, unregulated global business, militarism and worsening inequalities. To achieve this requires a progressive development politics that forges alliances with sympathetic governments and institutions and social movements and NGOs seeking to realise a vision of development as if both people and planet mattered.
This is intended to kick-start a bigger debate. To join in, download Green Politics and International Development here.
‘Limits to growth’ comes to Westminster at last!
A report from the launch of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Limits to Growth at the House of Commons by Green House Chair, Rupert Read
Growing is a dangerous business. A person over seven feet tall is at massive extra risk of having a heart attack. Imagine how it would be for them at eight feet tall. Or nine. Or…
Aren’t we always told that ‘the sky’s the limit’? That more growth is clearly better?
Green House is delighted to welcome two new members to its Adivsory Group. They are Norman Baker, the former Transport Minister and long-serving MP for Lewes, now working directly in one of the areas he promoted politically, that of green transport; and Julian Huppert, the prominent scientist, transport and civil rights activist and former Liberal Democrat MP for Cambridge. More details on all the members of our expert Advisory Group can be found by clicking on the relevant drop-down heading under 'People' above.
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