“Roasted, toasted, fried and grilled”

January 28th, 2013

No, this isn’t a recipe index, but a warning about the effects of climate change.

” …..unless action was taken to combat global warming, the next generation would be “roasted, toasted, fried and grilled.”

Not a pleasant prospect  – and this prediction comes, not from an environmentalist but from the head of the IMF, Christine Lagarde, at the meeting of world financial leaders at the swish Swiss ski resort, Davos.

It is quoted in a fascinating fantasy debate in the Guardian  between John Maynard Keynes, Milton Friedman, Karl Marx and our very own Fritz Schumacher, founder of Practical Action.

I have a very low level of understanding of economics – despite the best efforts of my economics student daughter to explain the basics.  But even I can grasp the essential point that if we carry on emitting carbon at the rate we are we will destroy the very basis on which our economic wellbeing depends – the earth itself and people, lots of people will suffer.

The global downturn has had the effect of reducing carbon emissions for many nations simply because industry is not making as much, which seems like a golden opportunity to reform our energy supply.

Small scale wind power scheme in Peru

1.3 billion people in the world lack access to any form of modern energy and 2.7 billion still cook over open fires using biomass.  While in the developed world  energy companies invest in environmentally damaging  ‘fracking’.  Reducing our carbon emissions and redirecting   investment to renewable energy for people with no energy would stimulate growth in the developing world, pulling millions out of poverty without destroying the planet  – surely a win-win situation.

It doesn’t sound so hard, does it?


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