03 October 2019, The Tablet

The Green New Deal


The Green New Deal

Downtown Detroit, seen through a broken window at the abandoned Fisher Body car plant
PA/DPA, Johannes Schmitt-Tegge


The fate of the environment is bound up with a world financial system that is out of control, argues an economist who predicted the crash of 2007, and only a radical restructuring of the global economy can save the ecosystem from breaking down

The law locks up the man or woman
Who steals the goose from off the common
But leaves the greater villain loose
Who steals the common from off the goose.
(Anon., seventeenth century)

A key goal for people of faith at the turn of the millennium was Jubilee 2000, a campaign to write off the unpayable debts of the poorest countries. The campaign’s guiding principles were grounded in Judaic and Christian biblical ethics on human rights, opposition to usury and the need for periodic correction to imbalances – the Sabbath and Jubilee principles.

While the leadership of the worldwide Catholic Church is always reluctant to be drawn into campaigns, and while many conservative Catholics opposed our demands, development agencies, including Cafod and Sciaf – the Scottish Catholic International Aid Fund – mobilised church groups to pressurise their local MPs; and in 1998, 70,000 demonstrators came to Birmingham and linked hands to form a human chain around the centre of the city, where that year’s G8 meeting was being held.

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