The Rich and Poor Versions of Climate Change
By Steve Levy
Check out these two opposite takes on the issue of climate change.
One is by former Secretary of State John Kerry, who speaks in messianic tones as to how he and other super-wealthy elites who gather each year at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland will battle climate change. Kerry is virtue signaling to his fellow privileged ideologues how they alone have been called upon to save the planet. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ubgmrEyGj6s)
He calls upon the poor and middle class to change their behavior to avoid Armageddon. At the same time, he and the billionaires attending this conference will go on flying in their private jets and having cooks prepare their meals on gas stoves.
Compare this pie-in-the-sky attitude to the brutal reality spoken brilliantly by Konstantin Kisin to Oxford students. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JKIOSnKX96E) Kisin echoes many of the writings in this column that have noted how a billion people have been lifted out of poverty worldwide in the last three decades due to industrialization. Poor people in the Third World worrying if their children will die of starvation or disease are not concerned about a 0.5% change in temperature over the next 100 years. Their only concern is getting an energy source they can afford to prevent immediate malnutrition, illness, or even death.
As Kisin noted, England contributes 2% of the world’s carbon footprint. If England sank to the bottom of the sea, it would not make a dent in the climate due to China, India, Indonesia, and other growing economies that go on unabated.
That is why the answer to climate change will be new technological innovations, not shutting down the world economy.