What we learned this week

“The question isn’t whether or not tackling climate change is affordable – it is who will pay for it” says Grace Blakeley at the New Statesman, in reply to the Chancellor telling us we can’t afford zero carbon (my thoughts on that here).

If you’re the kind of person who like to put their money where the future is, the community solar co-op MaidEnergy launched a new share offer this week.

A form of energy that I am more sceptical of, though I would be delighted to be proved wrong about, is nuclear fusion. Construction began this week on what will be Britain’s biggest private fusion reactor.

Stella Creasey MP writes powerfully about her experience of being pregnant in parliament. Basically, parliament fails women MPs and of all the many ways it should be reformed, this ought to be one of the most basic to get on with.

Speaking of democracy, a certain Brexiter MP by the name of Liam Fox has been holding early conversations on trade deals with other countries, and refusing to release any details about them. Global Justice Now are raising funds to challenge this in court.


  1. Grace Blakeley doesn’t say how we can afford it, just asserts we can. £1 trillion over 30 years is affordable (£33 billion per year, 4% of current UK govt spending) but it is misleading to suggest it won’t require cuts to other areas one way or another.

    As to Stella Creasy, I feel for her with her fertility troubles. However, she misses the point that the solution, having a stand-in MP, is not in the gift of IPSA. Only Parliament can decide that, which is as it should be given the complexity and ramifications of such a change.

    MPs seem not to understand their powers, expecting some higher power to solve problems. This is the kind of thing Douglas Carswell push Brexit for, to force the UK governing class to take responsibility.

    1. Government spending isn’t fixed in stone. There are many ways to raise $33 billion a year, with or without cutting elsewhere.

      You can start by removing Britain’s support for fossil fuels, estimated at £10.5 billion for 2019. Add a handful of pigovian taxes on fuel, high emission vehicles, road pricing, etc – recognising that they will decline over time as the disincentives kick in. A green investment bank can fund billions each year at no long term cost to the treasury. Britain foregoes about £33 billion a year in uncollected tax, some of which is clearly recoverable. There are 101 other ways you could do it. And that’s without mentioning some of the taxes or spending cuts I advocate that make you angry.

      Saying there have to be cuts elsewhere is politics, not economics. The chancellor was saying that because he doesn’t want to do it.

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