First the good news; Manchester City Council has committed itself to producing a report on Steady State Economics. This follows an open letter to its Economy Scrutiny committee [see membership here]. last November. That letter was signed by co-ordinators of Friends of the Earth, several academics and social enterprise leaders and one of the editors of Manchester Climate Monthly.
According to a document released on the City Council’s website the report will;
Include “a potential strategy to counter the tension that exists between the sustainability that steady state economics advocates and the Council’s economic policy.”
Explain “how the Council’s economic policy fits into the context of the priorities identified in the report to create a model of sustainable economic growth based around a more connected, talented and greener city region;”
Provide “comparison of the steady state economic models with other economic models”
and explain “the economic model that the city works under ensures the economy grows in ways that minimise negative impact on the environment.”
The report is scheduled for discussion at a meeting to be held from 10am on Wednesday June 20th, 2012 at Manchester Town Hall. (We would encourage everyone who is interested in Manchester’s future to attend! It’s free and will be very very interesting. We promise.)
Now the caveats and quibbles
– the signatories of the Open Letter that kicked all of this off last November have not been alerted to the impending report and meeting.
– the offer from the signatories of the letter was to work WITH the Council. What is being offered by the Council is – if you were being cynical – the opportunity to be a rubber stamp for work that they have done in-house, without collaboration.
– we have no idea how thorough or even-handed the report will be. The reason there was an open letter in November 2011 was that the Council’s first bite at this cherry had taken a year and was little more than a page in length.
Still, “victories” of this sort are rarer than horse’s teeth, so let’s not look the gift hen in the mouth. Or something like that.
Watch this space.
What’s a Steady State Economy? Visit the Centre for the Advancement of the Steady State Economy.
Why is infinite growth a bad idea? Watch this short youtube – “The Impossible Hamster”