This Week in the New Normal #36

The successor to This Week in the Guardian, This Week in the New Normal is 's weekly chart of the progress of autocracy, authoritarianism and economic restructuring around the world.


Technically from last week, but more than worthy of note, the Independent headlines that:

Europe and China carbon emissions lowest since Covid lockdown amid economic downturn

Going on to say…

Beijing’s Covid restrictions and high global energy prices are thought to be behind the drop in emissions

So, apparently the “economic downturn” (or global recession, if you’re not interested in twisting words) has a silver lining – lower emissions.

Now, the idea that lockdowns were good for the planet has been peddled before – it wasn’t at all true, but since does that make any difference? – they were laying the groundwork for a “climate lockdown” which has yet to materialise (it is till very much on the agenda, see this article from a few days ago).

But the idea that a recession can be good for the climate because people can’t afford to fuel their cars or heat their homes is both new and very unsettling.

That can easily be parlayed into carbon taxes and so on. Just wait for it.