A call for pragmatic austerity

In: Uncategorized

12 Apr 2009

Will Hutton endorses recent Anthony Giddens’ call for a pragmatic middle of the road environmentalism in his regular Observer column (see 2 April 2009 post for book reference). Hutton rejects the utopian conservatism of the likes of Prince Charles and what he sees as the left wing anti-capitalism of the G20 protestors. Instead he favours mainstream arguments such as energy efficiency being sensible and the need for energy independence. However, he tellingly reveals that his goal is to persuade the mass of the population to make sacrifices: “to persuade western publics to make sacrifices requires more than trying to terrify them. It requires laying out concrete actions that collectively make sense now.” Hutton and Giddens are essentially arguing that the demand for austerity should be couched in the language of realism (for a similar argument in the Financial Times see post of 12 December 2008. Also see post of 4 February 2007).

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