Mainstream [Bill Clinton] mainstream!

I’ve been collecting examples all this week of green ideas, still derided by such as John Key and Peter Dunne as extremist and growth-stifling, being promoted by people and institutions who are accepted as voices of informed conventional wisdom.

First was the edition of New Scientist that arrived in the letterbox on Monday, with its special section on “the folly of growth”.

We live on a planet with finite resources – that’s no surprise to anyone – so why do we have an economic system in which all that matters is growth

Frogblog has already got that one up. Then there was the UN research report showing that small scale organic type farming is a better bet for feeding impoverished areas of the world such as Africa than large scale machinery and fertiliser intensive farming. But Russel beat me to that one, if not the one where the Deutsche Bank economist seconded to the UN recommended turning the current financial crisis to good purpose to instigate a ‘Green New Deal’.

“Mobilizing and re-focusing the global economy towards investments in clean technologies and ‘natural’ infrastructure such as forests and soils is the best bet for real growth, combating climate change and triggering an employment boom in the 21st century.”

But this is my absolute favourite. Who is more mainstream and centrist that Bill Clinton? (Except for Peter Dunne, of course)

“Food is not a commodity like others,” said Clinton, who heads an international non-governmental organization bearing his name.

“We should go back to a policy of maximum agricultural self-sufficiency,” Clinton said. While there would always be a global market for crops like rice, wheat and corn, he added, “it is crazy for us to think we can develop a lot of these countries where I work without increasing their capacity to feed themselves and treating food like it was a color television set.”

Clinton called for an increase in fair-trade provisions, direct marketing schemes and other policies designed to level the playing field between agricultural producers in developed countries and the mostly small farmers who are responsible for the lion’s share of worldwide food production.

Peter, I think you might have just backed the wrong horse. This is a three-decade event, not a gallop.

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