Economic Futures of the West

Economic Futures of the West

New Thinking in Political Economy series

Jan Winiecki

Jan Winiecki explores the various problems that the West must deal with in order to remain an efficient competitor in the world economy. These, he argues, are primarily consequences of the ever-expanding welfare state; consequences that are not only economic but also socio-psychological and, therefore, political. The author also considers the evolution of Western Europe and the USA from a new perspective, noting the ‘Europeanization’ of US economic policies and regulation and the ‘Americanization’ of polices and regulation in some European countries. The book concludes that the main challengers to the West – Brazil, Russia, India and China (the so-called BRIC group of countries) – are unlikely to gain economic supremacy over the West any time soon, given that they have to contend with their own difficulties.

Chapter 3: Climate alarmists, climate skeptics and the politics and economics of global warming

Jan Winiecki

Subjects: economics and finance, austrian economics, political economy, politics and public policy, international relations, political economy


In December 2009 I participated in a conference on energy and the environment organized in Berlin. One session was devoted to presentations of a few scholars from various disciplines, skeptical about the anthropogenic (human-made) global warming (AGW) resulting from the increase in ‘greenhouse gases’ (primarily CO2). They offered their perspectives on the scientific validity of the AGW phenomenon, its probability of occurrence and expected consequences. Other sessions, dominated by technologists, economists and political scientists, considered the need to make the horribly costly adjustments in energy generation and usage suggested by climate alarmists and – unfortunately – accepted by a majority of West European elites. Approaching the conference hotel for the first time, I found large groups of people with banners saying in various ways the same thing: ‘No need to discuss! Action is required!’ It turned out that they were groups of eco-warriors from various ‘green’ organizations.

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