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“climate change – which he says presents the strongest critique of the capitalist system.

“It reminds one of Jared Diamond’s story of collapse on Easter Island where they cut down the last tree and there they were, unable to paddle to any other island and they’d destroyed their future,” he says.

“We’re doing the same. The magnitude of the dysfunction is unbelievable. And what’s remarkable about it is, some of the work I’ve done has shown the cost to our society of dealing with this is minuscule, at most 2% of GDP, whereas the cost of not dealing with it could be horrendous.”

Joseph Stiglitz: ‘America should be a warning to other countries’

In the lead-up to his Australian visit, the renowned economist warns of the triple threat of rising inequality, the undermining of democracy and climate change