Does the “Zurich consensus” provide grounds for cautious optimism?
It is now clear that the so-called "Washington consensus", the obsession with markets and the studied refusal to engage with global problems, is dead. The month of November 2008 may be seen by future generations as a turning point in human civilisation. While the Club of Rome has been warning for decades of the consequences of unsustainable growth, organisations like the World Economic Forum and the International Energy Agency have until recently supported the old market-oriented approach that assumed economic growth would solve all our problems. Now the financial crisis has exploded that myth and triggered rethinking of basic assumptions. A new consensus is emerging that recognises biophysical limits and the interlocking social, economic and environmental challenges we face. This provides grounds for cautious optimism that we may be entering a period of social learning which will allow human civilisation to survive.
Political Science not elsewhere classified