Varied bedwetters are complaining that the Covid recovery doesn’t seem to be being driven by going all green and worshipping Gaia. This being true of course but the logical deduction isn’t being made. Which is that going green and worshipping Gaia isn’t an effective nor useful way of building back after coronavirus.
The prospect of a global green recovery from the coronavirus pandemic is hanging in the balance, as countries pour money into the fossil fuel economy to stave off a devastating recession, an analysis for the Guardian reveals.
Meanwhile, promises of a low-carbon boost are failing to materialise. Only a handful of major countries are pumping rescue funds into low-carbon efforts such as renewable power, electric vehicles and energy efficiency.
Now, we can look at this one way and think that all of those things are desirable. We can also think that rebuilding the economy is desirable. Not broiling Flipper over the fumes of that last ice floe is desirable, not being poor is also desirable.
However, the correct way to think here is to ponder whether the one is the effective manner of doing the other. There it’s not so clear – building back green might not be the way to build back that is. As The G goes on to say:
A new Guardian ranking finds the EU is a frontrunner, devoting 30% of its €750bn (£677bn) Next Generation Recovery Fund to green ends. France and Germany have earmarked about €30bn and €50bn respectively of their own additional stimulus for environmental spending.
OK, cool, so what’s the effect of that?
We have the first set of economic statistics relevant to the eurozone for this month:
Flash Eurozone PMI Composite Output Index( 1) at 49.4 (50.4 in September). 4-month low
The eurozone economy is shrinking again:
(Eurozone PMI from IHS Markit)
Oh, that’s not very good then.
We’re also told about the US:
In the US, before the election, only about $26bn (£19.8bn), or just over 1%, of the announced spending was green.
So how’s that working out then?
The purchasing managers indices for October show the U.S. economy still growing strongly in October.
Manufacturing is still accelerating by one reading while services fall back a bit in speed – not all that surprising with further social restrictions as a result of infection rates.
The importance is that, absent further lockdowns, there seems to be no need for more stimulus to keep the economy going.
The US economy isn’t fully recovered as yet but it’s moving, unlike the eurozone, in the right direction.
We’re also told that:
On the other end of the scale, China is faring the worst of the major economies, with only 0.3% of its package – about £1.1bn – slated for green projects.
Note that’s year on year change. So, China has not only fully recovered from the coronavirus interruption it also now has a larger economy this quarter than it had this same quarter last year. And it’s larger by about 1 or 1.5% less than their normal growth rate. That is, in what we’re seeing so far the permanent damage to the economy is trivial.
Isn’t that interesting? Economic recovery is inversely related to the amount pledged for a green recovery. Why, it’s almost like going green is a luxury that can only be afforded by a rich economy, rather than a cause of richness itself.
Which, given that that is what conventional economics keeps insisting is why The Guardian and points Gaia refuse to believe it.