New politics boosted?
The G7 agreement on canceling debt was the best news of the week-probably of the year. It's a first essential step in ending the rigged world trade that guarantees that rich countries get richer and poor ones poorer. There was agreement between the three of us on Sunday on the radio program Llinyn Mesur. Merfyn Robert from the financial world and Richard Jones from Oxfam hailed this significant news but hoped that the USA could be convinced. There is little hope of that while Bush rules.
I believe the political world is ready for the new politics of world justice. It must start here. Europe, Japan and the USA all protect our agriculture industries and impoverished those in developing countries. A bright idea is to combine attacks on the globe's two great scourges with a realistic tax on aviation. That would cut the fouling of the atmosphere with carbon from aircraft that have a huge fuel tax advantage over less polluting transport modes. The money could be deployed to remove the shackles of debt that imprison developing countries.
On both the environment committees I sit in the UK and Europe, a major concern is to end the perverse incentive for the increase in air journeys. It will be unpopular but is essential. Up to 15% of polluting carbon is created by aircraft. There is additional risk of radiative forcing - a new worry. That's the change in the balance between radiation coming into the atmosphere and radiation going out. An expert last week named higher air fuel taxes as the single best step to tackle global warming.