Snippets from Christine Milne's speech at the National Press Club in Canberra.
26 Sep 2012
"The economy is a tool; a tool we humans invented - like democracy and politics - to help govern our relationships between each other, and between ourselves and the world we live in. If our economic tools are not getting the outcomes we want, making us happy, safe, healthy, better educated and fulfilled and protecting and preparing our country for an increasingly uncertain future in a world on track to be 4 degrees warming, then it is time our economic tools changed."
"Most of the battles of political philosophy over the last two centuries have been about competing views of how to run an economy. Where the old economic right, broadly speaking, has sought to create a 'strong' economy and the old left sought to create a 'fair' economy, neither has grappled with how an economy can be strong or fair when ecological limits are being reached: 'without environment there is no economy'."
"What is not excusable is that the old parties continue to do so. They have failed to keep up over recent decades when the huge ecological challenges of the 21st century - from accelerating global warming to food and water shortages, from air and water pollution to energy crises and resource depletion in a world headed to 9 billion people - have become overwhelming. How can we say we are working towards a strong or fair economy when we aren't addressing these challenges? Just as we hit the limits, the big old parties are moving closer to each other and further out of touch with what people and the real world need."
"To set us on our new path, a path to an economy which serves the needs of people and nature, both for today and for tomorrow:
- We will need new economic tools;
- We will need to learn to do more with less;
- We will need to reprioritise our investments; and
- We will need sensible management of taxation and revenue to fund these investments.
"What will be different is that we will have replaced the idea that Australia's wealth is dependent on digging-it-up, cutting-it-down and shipping-it-overseas with the knowledge that our prosperity depends at a personal and collective level on our brains, on our health, on our creativity and on a healthy environment."
"But are the Greens actually anti-growth? That depends on what you are growing and how it is measured. I am for growing natural, human, social, manufactured and financial capital and I am against growing global warming, species extinction, poverty, poor health, inequality, conflict and corruption."
"The Greens want to see everyone given the opportunity to "practise the Art of Living", we want to see people lifted out of poverty, and we know that unless this is done while protecting the environment which sustains us it can only last a very short time. That is what growth is supposed to achieve. The problem is, we measure it with the wrong tools; tools which tell us we're growing when in fact we're not.
If economic growth as it is currently measured isn't actually making us happier, healthier, cleverer or safer then it isn't real growth. If we are growing our economy in defiance of physical limits, that isn't real growth: it's a confidence trick."