Tuesday, July 12, 2016


One knows that things have been pretty extreme when it feels like sleeping in when you are woken up first at 05.30 a.m. Yet for the last days, William has been unusually merciful and the kids have even been taking overlapping midday naps, leaving me with a bit of time to catch up on things, including some summer reads as well as the eager anticipation of my new article “The Environmental Risks of Incomplete Globalization” appearing in print with Globalizations. Not the least in the wake of Brexit, it is becoming increasingly clear that the Left lacks a comprehensive response to the globalization of the world and that the few attempts that are indeed articulated still fail to see the possibilities of new global forms of welfare capitalism. Similarly, there is much talk about that economic growth is somehow “over”, be it for demographic or other reasons. This appears to be just as a “wildly mistaken interpretation of what is happening to us” as it was to Keynes in 1930. That is not to say that a reconfiguration from debt-driven economics to a new paradigm based on wage-driven growth and broad social investments will be an easy political task. Nor, as both Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders vividly illustrate, is the spectre of protectionism truly dead. Mercantilist thinking still holds a profound influence over folk economics everywhere. Likewise, social democrats still have to recognize the economic possibilities (to say nothing of the moral necessity) of a world with open borders.

Meanwhile in Germany, even the proponents of Energiewende are now admitting that the climate goals were always secondary to their religious abhorrence of nuclear energy, regardless of any immediate health impacts (see the new WWF report “Europe’s dark cloud” on coal-burning) or the crucial role of nuclear innovation in reducing the problem of long-term radioactive waste disposal.


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