The Queen's Postbag Becomes A Battleground For Credit Crunch + Energy Debate


Image via Flickr by memake

A new UK consultancy group called Abundancy launched on a royal wave last week with an open letter to Her Majesty The Queen. HRH Elizabeth II no doubt receives bag loads of mail every week so why should she pay special attention to this one? Well, not only does the letter have high profile signatories such as Alain de Botton, Jonathan Porritt, Jeremy Leggett, Rob Hopkins and Jules Peck (letter's author and co-founder of Abundancy), but the letter is actually a response to a question The Queen asked herself about the credit crunch - "Why did no one see it coming?"A Riposte to British Academy
The letter to The Queen is not only a response to her question about the credit crunch, but is also a direct riposte to another letter sent to Her Majesty a few weeks ago by the British Academy. The Academy's letter attempted to explain "why so few experts predicted the crunch", but the new letter accuses the first of having a "limited horizon" and "failing to address the wider context of more serious macro issues facing mankind." In other words the British Academy letter did not connect environmental issues and energy dependency to our current economic problems.

Palace's Postbag Improbable Battleground
In their article last week the Financial Times described Buckingham Palace's postbag as an "improbable battleground for a spat between rival intellectuals about the credit crunch." The FT said the second letter "clouded the waters" and that "Defenders of the British Academy letter could argue that it answers the exact question the Queen asked, without either denying or accepting broader concerns." We, however, believe that it is impossible to truly understand the origins of a phenomenon such as the credit crunch without exploring the wider global context.

Our Insatiable Hunger for Energy
Last week's letter to The Queen goes to the heart of the problem, "The Academy's letter focuses on some "imbalances in the global economy". However, the key to addressing our current situation is to recognise the far more serious imbalances between our insatiable hunger for energy, its finite nature and the environmental pollution in its use."

A Public Dialogue
It goes on to discuss "growth versus prosperity" and quotes The Prince of Wales on ending the "consumerist society where growth is an end in itself." While the letter has a critical angle it also takes a positive tone, highlighting the excellent academic, journalistic and grassroots work that is going on to encourage positive change. It finishes with an invitation to The Academy to enter into "a public dialogue about these issues."

To read the letter to The Queen in full visit Abundancy's website. Abundancy has been founded by three TreeHugger favourites Jules Peck author of Citizen Renaissance, John Grant author of The Green Marketing Manifesto and Tamara Giltsoff of Live|Work and OzoLab.

Abundancy

Financial Times
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Tags: Carbon Emissions | Conspicuous Consumption | Peak Oil | United Kingdom

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