Greenbelt Group Says Prof’s Radio Comments Are At Odds With University’s Building Plans


The Guildford Greenbelt Group (GGG) say they are delighted to hear a professor from the University of Surrey in a radio interview make comments about the impact of economic growth on the environment

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Speaking on Shared Planet on BBC Radio 4 last week, Professor Tim Jackson said:

“To give a perspective on what we’re doing as an economy, the driving model is to expand consumption as fast as we can, so we can have economic growth.

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It’s like sitting on a high branch with a saw. Nature has a huge economic value. The value of nature is of the same order of magnitude as the total global world output. But we are sitting there, digging it up, cutting down trees, and destroying species, giving rise to the decimation of biodiversity. We are sawing away, not realising this is the branch we are sitting on.”


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Jules Cranwell, a committee member of GGG, which is opposed to the destruction of the green belt, said: “This is a very helpful intervention from Professor Tim Jackson (Professorial Fellowship on Prosperity and Sustainability in the Green Economy).

“These comments fully support the objectives of GGG, in striving to save the green belt. We welcome these incisive observations from such an eminent source.

“However, his views would appear to be at odds with those of the university’s property developers, who currently plan to build 3,000 (and growing) new homes on the green belt at Blackwell Farm on the Hog’s Back.

“His views are also at odds with those of Guildford Borough Council’s Tory executive, which is pursuing unwanted economic growth, at the cost of the green belt, and the countryside.”

A spokesperson from the University of Surrey said: “Universities are a place for debate and open discussion on a whole host of topics, informed by the research and work of our academics. Professor Tim Jackson has been at the forefront of the debate around sustainable development for over twenty years.

“His work takes a macro view of world economics, rather than providing a commentary specifically on Guildford and the university’s plans.”

The full programme can be found with Professor Jackson’s contribution starting at eitht minutes at: