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Ian Greenwood, like Thomas Attwood, addresses contemporary problems

November 3, 2010

James Robertson, in his 2002 Attwood lecture said: 

For over two centuries political democracy has been spreading through the world, thanks to Attwood and others like him. But our capacity to control the power of money and harness it to the public good has lagged far behind. So much so that failure to bring the workings of money and finance into line with economic justice and the realities of the Information Age is already damaging confidence in political democracy itself

Though the writer has seen no evidence that Thomas Attwood was aware of the sort of environmental and resource issues facing us today, he was concerned about unemployment in the city as “whole factories were abandoned or sold up” and proposed many measures to restore prosperity. 

David Moss, Attwood’s biographer, notes that Thomas abhorred the ‘un-necessary’ distress caused by inaction when intelligent observation indicated a risk-free alternative – currency management. 

Spurred by similar feelings, structural engineer Ian Greenwood proposes a mechanism to divert part of commercially created money – a credit creation charge – which would fund energy transition and climate change adaptation measures. Part of his proposal has already got ‘muted praise’ from Whitehall and the Bank of England.  

In Australia the Goods and Services Tax is at 10%, Canada 5%.  In the UK VAT had been brought down to 15%. But none of these countries have a mechanism that allocates ring-fenced funds against climate change.  

He and his wife, Jude, are writing a book describing the way in which currency value has been at the heart of a series of global problems: from global terrorism to inadequate protection of the agricultural and land which is vulnerable to inundation or turning to desert. 

The book will show how the Green New Deal can be helped to reality by charging at the base rate of interest for any new money, raising funds to be ring-fenced for renewable energy, sustainable transport and super-insulation, assisting the introduction of energy transition and climate change adaptation measures.

However, Ian is not just passively waiting and hoping for these proposals to be heard – he has acted.

Keenly aware of the city’s skills shortages and the aimlessness of young people in fear of long-term unemployment or a lifetime of short-term unskilled jobs he has taken a Grade II listed factory complex, in Balsall Heath Birmingham, to offer workshops and training in a building which will demonstrate super-insulation and other environmentally friendly features alongside generous units where work can be seen in progress.  The idea is that in this fascinating building a clear understanding of industry, how it developed and where it went wrong can be gained on one site with a sustainable business and community model inspiring people back to work using real skill but needing less money and material to operate. Read more about it here

Contact Ian Greenwood +44 (0)121 449 0278


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