In the industrial age Manchester was a huge hub of innovation, with hundreds of patents filed. Inspired by this legacy of creative problem solving, the Manchester Report project invited a series of thinkers to present their most imaginative ideas for fighting climate change.
The top twenty are all available to view on the Guardian website, and a vote will pick a winner from the top ten. The most popular suggestions will be circulated to world governments as the final report.
Unfortunately my favourite idea won’t be among them. It’s already out of the top ten – that was Andrew Simms’ recommendation that we stop pursuing growth as our ultimate purpose.
As far as I’m concerned, growth economics remains the underlying question behind climate change, as well as pollution, debt, and a bundle of other besetting problems. “Gross domestic product (GDP) is a simple measure that recognises all economic activity as being of equal value” says the write-up of Simms’ proposal. “By this metric, a citizen who commutes a hundred miles a day in a 4×4, burning up large volumes of fossil fuels, contributes more to economic health than someone who walks to work.”
Until we fix that, most of the other solutions on offer are only a temporary measure.