Sunday, November 16, 2014

Elsewhere ... Carbon, Capitalism and Unsustainability ... and a disappointing SDLP conference

Elsewhere last week I blogged on Slugger O'Toole about ...

Carbon, Capitalism and the Transition from Unsustainability with a report on Prof John Barry's inaugural professorial lecture at QUB on a very wet Wednesday evening.

Perhaps the only Professor of Political Green Economy, the academic and North Down Green Party councillor argued that "injustice and unsustainability go hand in hand" before critiquing a capitalism that is addicted to “orthodox, undifferentiated economic growth”.

His answer? Economic growth needs replaced with economic security, with Resilience (creating head room), Redundancy (a principle of long-term sustainability to not put all our eggs in the one energy/financial/resource basket) and Reducing resource and energy use. John finished by quoting George Bernard Shaw who said “all progress depends on the unreasonable man” … so let’s be unreasonable. You can listen to the lecture in two halves and browse some of the slides over on the post on Slugger.

Yesterday I blogged about the SDLP party conference. While there was mention of vision and a "New SDLP", the event - and not just the leader's speech - lacked passion and oomph. Deputy leader Dolores Kelly and ex-minister Alex Attwood delivered the sparkiest speeches of the day, and while there was plenty of Sinn Fein-bashing and an appearance by Mairia Cahill at a fringe event, there was little that seemed to lift the mood and morale of party members who are perhaps sitting in neutral waiting for a new leader. You can listen to the morning's debates on motions and Alasdair McDonnell's leader speech.

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