V-Growth In Practice
It was the combined experience and knowledge gained from writing, travel, and business in global commodities that initially gave rise to Roger’s interest in the ways in which the world’s economy and environment interact. This first led to a book – Failed Transitions (USA)/Squandered Dividend (UK) published in 1993 – a journalistic look at the likely impact of the market on Eastern Europe’s physical and economic environment following the collapse of communism in 1989. Poland – the Green Tiger followed, in response.
Writing about steel gave Roger an unusual insight into the worlds of mining, heavy and light industry, international trade and their ecological implications. Iron and steel are one of the world’s largest sources of carbon dioxide, virtually irrespective of how they are produced. Nevertheless in his V-growth scenario, much reduced volumes of steel will continue to be used for many years for wind mills, tidal power stations, bikes and vehicles, buildings, as well as capital and household goods: only some will be recycled, the rest will have to be smelted in a few highly efficient blast furnaces.
Since retiring in 2011, he has been active working with a range of advocacy and charity groups on economic and environmental V-growth projects. These have included
- Supporting sustainable transport via communal taxis in Mozambique.
- Opposing free trade agreements and their negative impact on climate change.
- Encouraging ecological agriculture (including tree planting) in Malawi and elsewhere.
- Encouraging the communal ownership of consumer goods.
- Investing in solar and wind farms; and energy efficiency to reduce fuel poverty.
- Lobbying against dams on wild rivers in China.
- Contributing to plans for environmentally and socially sustainable neighbourhoods.
- Cutting communal coal burning to reduce air pollution in Poland.
- Challenging the way in which economics is taught and discussed.