This stems not only from their lobbying power but also from their structural power, the ability to influence policy without having to apply direct pressure on governments through agents. For those advocating political, social and environmental reform this book presents excellent practical eco-social policies to achieve both sustainable consumption and social justice. It is noted that while capitalism has been a relentless driver of technological change contributing to the improvement of eco-efficiency, we have nonetheless seen growing output and emissions outpacing any technological efficiency gains. While this theory presents a normative standard for evaluating the social dimensions of climate change, Gough also develops a descriptive and analytical framework he calls an eco-social political economy. In contrast, this book places climate change at the centre of discussions of the social dimensions of wellbeing.
Its defining characteristics include a new international division of labour, the global spread of production networks, trade and financial flows, the dominance of finance, rising profit shares and widening inequalities within countries Glyn 2006; Newell and Paterson 2010; Duménil and Lévy 2011; Koch 2012; Stiglitz 2013. In practice, however, it is problematic to identify needs in a complex world faced with the uncertainties of accelerating climate change. I hebrewaized my surname on 6th September 1986 to Dǻrori דרורי in Hebrew, دا روري in Arabic. It actively promotes English Literacy in Israel. In particular there is a gulf of incomprehension and misunderstanding between economics and other social science disciplines. Capitalism as a system Political economy is willing to refer to capitalism and the capitalist system, a now global system driving the relationship between economy, climate change and human needs. Heat refers to how climate change is threatening the limits of our planet.
Meeting needs will always be a lower carbon path than meeting untrammelled consumer preferences financed by ever-growing incomes. A central question is that of limits — brought to international attention by the publication of Limits to Growth Meadows et al. It not only confronts social policy with a qualitatively new agenda, but it will also make the pursuit of economic and social needs and rights more difficult. This book is particularly valuable in the way it explains how these phenomena are interlinked. As Gough himself remarks, this suggestion is an optimistic view of how such a transition will work out in the future. This is the fundamental assumption framing the discussion of economic and social issues and policies in of the book.
Thus there is a double obligation on the rich world to decarbonise rapidly its production and consumption practices and to fund generously mitigation and adaptation programmes in the global South. The third, degrowth, is incompatible with the accumulation drive of any form of capitalism yet is ultimately — and quite soon — essential for our future prosperity, if not our very existence. Modern-day institutionalism is a prominent paradigm in fields of study including economics, political science, international relations and social policy. However, the global capitalist economy is a mighty system with an inbuilt dynamic propelled by actors with immense power, so much so that it is already overwhelming planetary boundaries. But climate policy alone could be unjust and inequitable. He has shown us how it is possible to reduce inequality, satisfy human needs in culturally diverse ways and reduce the risks of dangerous climate change. But the compatibility of capitalism with ecological constraints is even more problematic.
Some attention is then devoted to the recomposition of consumption and how this could pursue both sustainable climate mitigation and equitable wellbeing. By definition, charging higher taxes on high carbon goods will also have the effect of diminished revenue from shifting consumption away from them. The pursuit of profit harnesses, shapes and drives technological progress. The chapter traces the development of welfare states and shows how they are being eroded by external and internal pressures, and have been outflanked by a rise in inequality. The result is a coherent, usable framework that has considerable value in guiding -- policy discussions.
It is a historical coincidence and, I would say, a tragedy that the widespread recognition of climate change as a global threat has arisen in the neoliberal era — what Naomi Klein 2015 calls the great misfortune of Bad Timing. This paper summarises some of the arguments in my forthcoming book, Heat, Greed and Human Need: Climate change, capitalism and sustainable wellbeing. Although post-growth is still considered a highly radical demand, Gough is not afraid to postulate a transition pathway beyond the capitalistic system. An alternative is required, and summarises A Theory of Human Need Doyal and Gough 1991 and related frameworks. Invest in low carbon transport 4.
Such consumption will have to be actively managed and can no longer be left to individual choice. In brief, this responsibility is defined as decarbonising its production and consumption practices and funding mitigation and adaptation programmes in the South. A distributive dimension is therefore essential to implement sustainable production and consumption. This is probably the best of those books that I have come across. The essential premise is that all individuals, everywhere in the world, at all times present and future, have certain basic needs. Capitalism as a mode of production driven by accumulation is always encased within particular social formations, comprising social and political institutions.
Combining ethics and human need theory with political economy and climate science, it offers a long-term, interdisciplinary analysis of the prospects for sustainable development and social justice. Post-growth, redistribution and wellbeing 9. This book builds an essential bridge between climate change and social policy. Such a survey reveals both common trends and significant national and regional variations. The Social Dimensions of Climate Change 2. Fourth, this book stems from a life-long interest in social policy — the mobilisation of collective action and state power to improve human wellbeing. A new social settlement or class compromise re-established private ownership of property and markets but contained within a public commitment to full employment, state regulation of key industries and a comprehensive welfare state.
Widen social consumption — Improves equity and sustainability 5. It then turns to the role of inequalities — international and intra-national — and their impact on emissions and responsibilities for global warming. . A further feature is the existence of a class of people who sell their labourpower for wages; they are without property of their own, or at least without sufficient property to support themselves and their families over their lifetime. The reproduction of human capacities and environmental services in local contexts has for long depended on pre-capitalist, uncommodified and collective arrangements.
The eco-social approach enables us to scrutinise the interrelationships and three-way conflicts between the domains of the biosphere notably global warming , society and the economy. The most realistic policy to achieve this transition, it is argued, is gradually to reduce paid work time — another vital eco-social policy. This aims to bring into a more embracing framework the following elements: the economy profits and the drive to accumulate capital , ecology ecosystems and organisms, including humans , the social domain paid and unpaid labour, human and social resources and relationships, and inequality and the political states, governance and power. A particularly interesting feature of the book is the way in which the author brings his expertise on welfare to bear on climate policy. These are simplified definitions, but they help map out the distinctive approaches of need theory and political economy in this book.