Climate Change – So Let’s Just Be Poor Instead, Eh?

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It’s rare to see this so baldly stated. The alternative to climate change is that we all remain poor:

Can we fully absorb the scale of the climate crisis without becoming paralysed by fear? This is a big question, with more than one answer. But it helps, I think, to recognise the extent of the challenge to our imaginations. The Indian writers Arundhati Roy and Amitav Ghosh have expressed this best. Roy used the image of a mountain filled with valuable bauxite to ask whether we could ever care enough about our environment to leave resources in the ground. Last year she spelled out her belief that the answer goes beyond politics, since what is needed is an “imagination that neither the left or the right has. To decide how you’re going to manage without” the wealth derived from mineral resources.

The problem with this “managing without the wealth” from emissions is that humans just tend not to want to do that. Thus any system containing human beings which relies upon such won’t work. Because, you see, humans.

What we humans actually want, this being derived from the centuries and millennia in which people have observed what humans do, is to be as rich as possible within the physical constraints imposed by resource availability and the technology available to transform those resources.

A system of remaining poor just won’t work. We peeps aren’t like that.

Creativity is not the exclusive preserve of artists and writers. But if one of the difficulties that humans face – as we confront the prospect of choosing between climate chaos and drastic reductions in emissions – is working out how to live in this parallel universe of radically reduced consumption, then surely they can help.

There isn’t actually any need for the radically reduced consumption, which is good, because humans won’t do that anyway.

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Tristram FullerMichael van der RietAndrew CareySpikejgh Recent comment authors
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Boganboy
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Boganboy

This is the main reason why I oppose the Greens.

Instead of making themselves poor to deal with their apocalyptic fantasies, they want to make me poor instead.

Phoenix44
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Phoenix44

Talk about special pleading! It’s the artists who have the right opinions, you see, say the artists. Because, you know, they are artists.

Quentin Vole
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Quentin Vole

A system of remaining poor just won’t work. We peeps aren’t like that.

It worked in the USSR for 70 years. Of course, you need the gulags and lots of secret police, but I’m sure there are plenty of Greens who wouldn’t see that as an obstacle and might, indeed, even welcome it.

TD
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TD

I was thinking something like that myself. There is a group (largely on the left) who think that “other” people should remain poor for the good of the planet. Consider the widespread admiration for Cuba by some, not to mention the growing regard for Venezuela. Then there is the horror expressed over China’s and India’s growing prosperity. You can indeed keep people poor a long, long time (Russia is still doing it), and so long as it isn’t inflicted on them, there are plenty of supporters for it.

Tristram Fuller
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Tristram Fuller

Hence the melon moniker.

jgh
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jgh

If you advocate radically reduced consumption, go ahead, be my guest, starve yourself to death, it’s your body, you have absolute sovereignty over it.

Spike
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Spike

Joaquin Phoenix at the Oscars described farming as slavery. He could go first.

Andrew Carey
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Andrew Carey

I wonder if Susanna Rustin owns any pets, or would like to.

Michael van der Riet
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Michael van der Riet

Tim, as an occasional commenter on Craig Newman’s blog you must surely have seen this. “Trendy but awful” definitely fits the carbon tax mania. https://www.econlib.org/if-the-only-way-you-can-get-your-great-idea-implemented/