'Is the economic crisis going to be the end of green?'
New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman has asked, provoking a furious debate online. I've been hearing such rumblings a lot lately. The financial meltdown has certainly eclipsed climate change as the crisis du jour: and if last month's UN climate talks in Poznan were anything to go by, it's making it even harder to get progress from governments that is anything other than cheap and half-hearted.
This is a most dangerous state of affairs. It's like finding out that you've got cancer, but then delaying going to the doctor's for treatment for a few months because you want to repaint your house. No doubt your house needs a lot of work, but ultimately there's little point if you won't be around to enjoy it.
Stopping climate change must be our number one priority – and this is the main theme of this month's magazine. But how we go about it goes hand in hand with the task of rebuilding a fairer economy, as we highlight in the 'Clean Start' special feature. The same crushing injustices that triggered the financial collapse have been driving global warming. Now, suddenly, we have an opportunity to change the system. Can we seize it?
With this in mind, the NI held a 'Clean Start' event on 15 December. Speakers included NI contributors Walden Bello and Susan George, and the lively discussion ranged from how we got into this global mess, through specific policies that would put us on a fairer greener path, to how we build a movement to make it happen. Don't worry if you missed it – you can watch clips of all the speakers on our website.
The stakes couldn't be higher. I urge you to get involved, at: www.newint.org/cleanstart
Jess Worth for the New Internationalist co-operative.