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Green House: a new green think tank

Green House is a new green think tank about “challenging the ideas that have created the world we live in now, and offering positive alternatives”.

Launching Green House on 21st July, Green Party leader Caroline Lucas MP said:

“This is a really exciting initiative. Green House will present a radical challenge, not just to ordinary politics but to all of us in the progressive and environmental wing of politics. It is also another important step in bringing green politics into the mainstream in this country.”

Green House has a broad advisory group, including founder director of Forum for the Future Jonathon Porritt, former Labour environment minister Michael Meacher, former Plaid Cymru MP Simon Thomas, feminist campaigner Bea Campbell, economist Professor Tim Jackson, and eco-feminist Mary Mellor.

Rupert Read, chair of Green House, explained how Green House intends to draw on environmental thinking from beyond the Green Party:

“This is far more than just a Green Party initiative. Green House plans to operate throughout Britain and Ireland, and to engage thinkers beyond the Green Party. Green House will become a new kind of think tank, with the initiative coming from those who do the thinking, and will not just respond to what funders ask it to do.”

The launch was accompanied by publication of think tank’s first two papers:

  • Sustainability Citizenship by Professor Andrew Dobson
    Arguing that financial incentives, and the politics of nudge, are no substitute for genuine citizenship;
  • Mutual Security in a Green Economy: A Green Approach to Welfare by Molly Scott Cato and Brian Heatley
    Arguing for a re-considered definition of poverty, for disconnecting welfare from the labour market, and ending the idea of a retirement age.

Political historian Andrew Pearmain has contributed the first of the Green House Gases, a series of lighter looks at environmental issues. Progressive Austerity considers whether it’s possible to make social progress in times of economic austerity.

Green House has also published a reading list of books that have influenced its members, from Arendt’s The Human Condition to Wilkinson and Pickett’s The spirit level: Why more equal societies almost always do better.

User comments

  1. Dr Alan Woods says:

    I note that on their ‘This we believe’ page the Think tank state that ‘We believe that the ownership of land is a historical mistake’.

    Clearly property rights play no role in their agenda. Yet private ownership – within appropriate regulatory and ethical frameworks – can be a powerful force for environmental good.

    Countries which have nationalised private property – such as the former Soviet bloc and now China – demonstrate that public ownership of land can be a powerful force for environmental destruction!

    It’s always good to challenge received wisdom – but surely some of the assumptions made by this group also need to be challenged!

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