Column: California wildfires to Florida hurricanes, how the rich game climate change
“We’re putting a gun to our head,” said Jennifer M. Lawton, a professor at the University of Colorado at Boulder, in a recent interview with Climate Central. The problem, she said, is that the more people are willing to forgo the use of energy, the more they will need it and, in turn, that could lead to more carbon emissions.
This is a pretty frightening scenario to someone who is more willing to save climate in a way, and at a time, when their ability to do so seems to be in direct conflict with the economic health of the country.
It’s already looking like that scenario might play out: At least half of the world’s population now lives in more expensive and greenhouse-intensive, and thus carbon-emitting, counties.
Just this week, the world’s richest people — the one percent — pulled in a total of $3.6 trillion between them last year, up from roughly $2.3 trillion in 2006. It’s no wonder that we, the non-wealthy majority, can’t seem to figure out how to live our lives without the help of those who are willing to use more energy, and to a significant degree, more of the resources that we’ll need to continue on our merry ways into the future.
And that trend is only going to continue, with or without the wealthy to bail out; they’re simply too willing to use their power to make the world as it is.
But as we’ve discussed before, it’s not for lack of information. People everywhere are seeing the writing on the wall. And the more information we have on climate change, the clearer it becomes that our future is not set in stone.
It’s also not set yet.
It could be that the fossil fuel industry has