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.
On the symbolically appropriate date of 5 November, Green House held a discussion event in the House of Lords to launch our new book - 'The Post-Growth Project: How the End of Economic Growth Could Bring a Fairer and Happier Society' .
Our panel consisted of (L to R) Baroness Jeny Jones, Molly Scott Cato MEP, Rupert Read, Zoe Williams (the Guardian) and Aurélie Maréchal (Green European Foundation).
After very lively discussion, we were bemused to find that we had to be escorted from the building by the police, as they had 'kettled' the Occupy Democracy protestors in Parliament Square. This prompted some of us to wonder who were the real revolutionaries: was it the demonstrators wearing the Guy Fawkes masks outside the 'mother of all parliaments' and apparently frightening the security personnel, or was it the group earnestly debating the end of growth inside? We planted our metaphorical bomb (illustrated below) and left quietly with our police escort. You can order your own copy here.
Further news from the Post-Growth Project:
The final Report from this phase of the project is now available for download from this website, or to order as a printed report. It is 'How to Make Do and Mend our Economy: Rethinking Investment Strategies for Construction and Industry to meet the Challenge of Sustainability', by Jonathan Essex. You can download it, together with the other Reports that make up the book, and all our earlier publications, from our Publications pages.
And to keep the debate lively we are also publishing a provocative Green House Gas by Bill Blackwater on the question ‘Why do capitalist economies need to grow?’ which argues that growth is essential to capitalism and that therefore anybody who believes we need to abandon growth must accept that this means we need to abandon capitalism; and we invite responses from anybody sufficiently provoked. Our Gases can also be downloaded from our Publications pages.
A contrasting line was taken by the recent New Climate Economy Report, Better Growth, Better Climate, which received a fair amount of coverage in the media. Green House author John Blewitt comments on this missed opportunity in his blog here.
You can download copies of our most recent reports on the Recent Publications page or find out who is involved on the Green House People page. Please also see who is supporting us on the page about our Advisory Group or check out our influences at Find Out More.
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We will shortly be publishing a response to the call for submissions from the House of Commons Political and Constitutional Reform Select Committee looking at the future of devolution in the United Kingdom. Watch this constitutional space.
New Green House 'Gas' published! 'What's the point of the EU? The World War I Centenary and the myth of the EU's 'peace mission''. Download it from our Publications pages.
Green House (intellectual) Fireworks Night at the House of Lords! See main column for details.