What we learned this week

Are we on the road to civilisational collapse? asks Luke Kemp for the BBC. “Collapse may be a normal phenomenon for civilisations, regardless of their size and stage… We may be more technologically advanced now. But this gives little ground to believe that we are immune to the threats that undid our ancestors.”

Depressing to hear that the sustainable sugar association Bonsucro has been implicated in land grabs and forced evictions in Cambodia.

Jeremy Leggett’s latest information slideshow looks at China’s action on climate change. “Single party states like China can move faster than liberal democracies”, he observes. “And in seeking to abate climate change and air pollution, China has.”

We’ve got another book event coming up, in London this time on the 13th of May: Growing and Grown up economies: The economics of Arrival. I expect it’ll sell out, so register soon if you’re interested.

More Arrival blog posts from Katherine and myself – New habits for a new economy at the Centre for Labour and Social Studies, and In search of a grown-up economy at Radical Ecological Democracy.

It’s not something I do very often, but I preached a sermon on climate change last week. You can listen to it here.


  1. Interesting that of all of Jeremy Leggett’s slides it is the observation that China as a one party state can move faster than Liberal Democracies you picknout. Are you joining the progressive Zeitgeist away from democracy? Disgust with the victories of Leave and Trump, Woke thought policing and the fashionability of literal Communism all seem to be manifestations of this.

      1. I don’t know, which is why I asked the reason you highlighted that particular phrase from the PowerPoint. Reread my comment. I was asking IF you had joined that Zeitgeist, not stating you had.

        What are your views on the move away from representative democracy in thinking among some of the ecological and progressive activists?

        1. You’ve read this blog for long enough to know.

          I picked a line from the slide deck that I thought summed up both the opportunities and the hazards of what China is doing. If I was secretly communist, I’m sure I could find a more positive article than Leggett’s.

          Speaking of which, can you point me to some examples of this move away from representative democracy? I’m not aware of it, but it sounds neither progressive nor the zeitgeist to me.

  2. How do we watch the watchers? I must admit that I no longer have as much faith as I did in development or environmental NGO’s seems they are often co-opted. Maybe A.I. will help us as long as it is open source and transparent.

    BTW didn’t know you were such a commie Jeremy. Must have been a surprise to you as well. LOL

    1. Bonsucro is just the kind to keep an eye on, as they are a not-for-profit trade body for the sugar industry. It’s easy for companies to outsource their ethics to such a group, or use it as cover. It’s why there has to be third party certification somewhere in the mix. It’s also an example of why human rights and environmental ethics need to go together.

      Since I write a blog in order to share my opinions with the world, the first thing I’d do if I became a communist would be to write a post called ‘Why I decided to become a communist’.

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