POSTED: February 4, 2019
Economy | Finance | Politics & Enterprise | System Dynamics | Themes

The Burning Question | BBC World Service Debate w Tim Jackson and Michael Liebreich

February 2019

CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0 :: Nate2b /

In Autumn 2018, CUSP Director Tim Jackson responded to an essay by Michael Liebreich, sparking a month-long debate on social media. BBC Business Daily brought Tim and Michael together to discuss the ‘burning question’ face-to-face: Is eternal economic growth feasible (and desirable) on a finite planet?

The debate can be streamed via the BBC website, or be downloaded in MP3 (18MB). You can also follow the Business Daily podcast series on itunes.

From the BBC website:

Climate Change: Can the world economy continue to grow without burning fossil fuels? Or do we all need to cut back on our consumption in order to save the planet?

It is a question that splits the green movement. Justin Rowlatt hosts a fiery debate between two environmentalists on either side of the divide, who have already been tearing chunks out of each other in a very public dispute online.

Michael Liebreich, who runs a clean energy and transportation consultancy in London, says the technological solutions to global warming are within our grasp, and that maintaining economic growth is essential to bringing carbon emissions under control. Meanwhile Tim Jackson, professor of sustainable development at Surrey University, says that it is precisely the world’s obsession with economic growth that is dooming Planet Earth to disaster.


1 Reply
  • Stephen Owuor February 4, 2019 (5:09 pm)

    Prof, your interview/debate on the BBC today was an eye opener for me. I admit that your work is completely new to me but it became abundantly clear only a few minutes into the program that your passion for your beliefs are as intense to say the least . Alas, your opponent kept cutting you off with his loud voice giving a number of us the idea that he really didn’t want anyone to hear you out.
    I got the program in the middle but I was impressed enough, and intrigued enough to want to study [humbly] your work. I come from Kenya, a third world country, facing climate change with all its disruptions. Thank you for all you are doing.

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