So much of the analysis of how we respond to climate change assumes that economic growth and emissions reduction are compatible goals. But is this wishful thinking? To question maximising economic growth as an organising principle of society seems close to economic heresy.
Enter Tim Jackson, a professor of Sustainable Development and author of the book, “Prosperity Without Growth”. He argues it’s time to re-think the very notion of growth and what it means to be genuinely prosperous.
Jackson is speaking as part of the 2010 Alfred Deakin Lecture series, “Brave New World?”. Curated by Tim Flannery, the 2010 Deakins presents the climate change challenge from ten different perspectives, with a focus on ten different spheres of life. Are we, the series asks, willing to take the hard personal, political and economic choices that will truly reduce emissions? Are we brave enough to make the changes – in thought and deed – that are required of us? Are we able to shape this new world, or will it shape us?
The Deakins were started in May 2001, as part of the celebrations surrounding the Centenary of Federation. Some of Australia’s top thinkers came together with key international guests to present their ideas about the nature and future of a civil society. The lecture series was named to honour the legacy of Alfred Deakin, Australia’s second Prime Minister, a humanist and nation-builder whose social vision put in place much of Australia’s political and social infrastructure.
Tim Jackson is Professor of Sustainable Development at the University of Surrey and Director of the Research Group on Lifestyles, Values and Environment (RESOLVE). Since 2004, Jackson has been Economics Commissioner on the UK Sustainable Development Commission and is the author of their controversial and groundbreaking report, now updated and expanded in the book, “Prosperity Without Growth: Economics for a Finite Planet”. In addition to his academic work, he is an award-winning playwright with numerous radio-writing credits for the BBC.
Nick Rowley is a Director of Kinesi, a Sydney-based firm working with government and private clients on tackling the climate problem and achieving measureable, reportable and verifiable greenhouse emission reductions. Previously, Rowley has worked for more than ten years at the centre of government on sustainability, climate change and broader policy and political strategy in Australia and the UK, as an advisor to British Prime Minister Tony Blair and NSW Premier Bob Carr.
Tim Flannery is a writer, scientist and explorer. He has written many award-winning books including “The Future Eaters”, “Throwim Way Leg and Country”. In 2005, “The Weather Makers” was published and became an international bestseller. He is a member of the Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists, the National Geographic Society’s Australasian representative and a director of the Australian Wildlife Conservancy. In January 2007 Tim Flannery was named Australian of the Year and from 2007 to 2010 he was Chair of the Copenhagen Climate Council.