In QE44, Andrew Charlton exposes the rift that will shape our future progress versus planet; rich versus poor. Who, then, will save us? Charlton shows there are two leading candidates: economists and environmentalists. Each says they know what is best for our grandchildren. Yet environmentalists see economists as merchants of greed with a blind faith in markets. And economists see environmentalism as an indulgence for the middle class of richer nations; those who enjoy the lifestyle afforded by economic growth, but take its source for granted.
In Australia, this battle has plunged our politics into one of its most tumultuous periods, splitting the business community; driving a wedge between the left and right of the Liberal Party; separating Labor's working-class from its progressive supporters; propelling the rise of the Greens and stirring up their counterweight in rural protest. Across the globe, economists and environmentalists vie over who has the right response to climate change, population, or food security issues. In this groundbreaking essay Charlton argues that our descendants will only thank us if we find a way to preserve both the natural world and human progress.