One response to “A changing climate for industrial policy”

  1. Paul Hesp

    Wilfried Lütkenhorst points out that markets are no help in stopping climate change. No surprise there: markets are a human invention, not natural law – but businessmen, economists, and politicians seem reluctant to acknowledge this. Given their full agendas, a brief summary of some home truths may be useful:
    – Manufacturing industry creates material goods. Material goods require natural inputs. We have one planet. Material resource scarcity is therefore built into industrial growth, global trade or not.
    – Industry is driven by private enterprise. Private enterprise has positive and negative public consequences; among the latter are pollution and unsustainable resource use.
    – In addition to upsetting natural processes (e.g. through monocultures, large-scale logging, and badly controlled mining), the careless use of scarce resources pushes up their price. Those who suffer most from higher prices are those with the lowest incomes.
    – A good analysis of the increasing number of “natural” disasters will show that they are at least in part man-made, and that industrial growth has often indirectly contributed to them. Those at the bottom of the social ladder suffer most.

    Taking into account these simple points, industrial policies may become more realistic. For, if development, sustainability and human security are not balanced, none of the three will be achieved.