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Image: Brookings Institute / Flickr

When forced to explain why so few anticipated the global financial crisis, former US Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan blamed in his Foreign Affairs article “Never Saw it Coming“, animal spirits, investors’ herding behavior, unimaginably large tail risks, and black swan events. When it comes time for global leaders to defend their decades of inaction on climate change, which is set to trigger an environmental and economic crisis on an unprecedented scale, their defense may well look a lot like Greenspan’s. And it will be just as unconvincing.

My latest Opinion piece published through Project Syndicate, sets out a scenario-in-brief of how circumstances might elicit a Greenspan Defense. Like today`s crisis, taxpayers will pick up the bill, but unlike today, that bill will have more profound consequences for societies`capacity to create sustainable prosperity....(Read more on the Project Syndicate website). 


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