Helena Norberg-Hodge and her colleagues argued in last week’s Echo that we must radically change the current economic system and move to localisation if we are to prevent disastrous climate change and democratic disintegration.
However, while the authors appear to believe the vast bulk of climate scientists that set out the impact of CO2 emissions on the planet, they don’t appear to pay any attention to the vast bulk of economists who argue that free trade and open markets are the best way to cut poverty, reduce oppression, increase freedom and promote innovation.
In fact to bolster their case they don’t mention any of the positive changes in recent decades that have been achieved across the world as a result of open markets. These include hundreds of millions of people escaping poverty, massive cuts in maternal and child deaths, the much greater empowerment of women, far fewer deaths from war, advances in wind and solar energy, and large increases in the number of democratic countries. Nor do they explain how their model will achieve a world of peace, progress and happiness and avoid the poverty and oppression of previous planned economies.
Garth Luke, Mullumbimby