Looks like the universe is serendipitously feeding my streak of focus on growthism. Clipped from Geoff Mann reviewing William Nordhaus’s new tome at the LRB:
Nordhaus attempts to make climate change compatible with ceaseless long-run growth by emphasising the global economy’s ‘carbon intensity’ instead of its carbon sensitivity. The Spirit of Green is most sanguine in its demonstration that a decreasing amount of CO2 is required to fuel a unit of global growth. I think his point is that since growth requires less carbon than it did in the past, we should be more hopeful. Maybe I am missing something, but it seems to me that continued emissions are continued emissions. Long-term studies of emissions pathways show that the problem, in the end, is the absolute volume of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. We simply have to stop emitting them as soon as possible. There is no hope to be placed in the gradually declining carbon intensity of growth that nonetheless continues to add to the atmospheric pool. In fact, if growth accelerates, decreasing carbon intensity is quite compatible with increasing emissions. The problem, in the models and in our current reality, is the arrogant fidelity to growth.
No further questions, your honour.