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Tackling the Twin Challenges of Climate Change and Inequality


Tackling the Twin Challenges of Climate Change and Inequality

Jennifer Morgan

As the elite descends on Davos for this year's World Economic Forum, the world faces a twin crisis of rising inequality and climate disruption.

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For far too long economic “thinking” has been grounded and quantified according to “economic” activity. Primarily in each country and for the world as a composite this is expressed in terms of the gross domestic product (GDP). If I take 12 trips to the store in my car to buy one egg each trip I burn (and therefore buy) 12 times as much fuel in comparison to my taking one trip to purchase a dozen eggs all at once. The former scheme maximizes contribution to the GDP while the latter minimizes same. Therefore, maximization of GDP has an inherent bias toward inefficiency in it. Until rational minds can begin to understand this and revamp the world’s decision making apparatuses the world will spiral toward more and more chaos. Oh, there is also that whole when the last tree has been cut down and the last fish has been caught you shall find that you can’t eat money thingy, too.

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Not sure profit should be left out. It’s like the “growth” debate. It can go back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. http://cepr.net/blogs/beat-the-press/saving-the-environment-is-degrowthing-the-answer

Right on to this!

So we need to adopt clear new rules for the global economy that ensure both workers’ rights and a global economy compatible with a safe climate.

If we keep theorizing about “green” and that’s all we do, we leave out the transition phase. If we leave out the transition phase, it’ll be exactly as things are now with 800,000 decent earners suddenly making nothing. These folks don’t wanna make nothing. They wanna make something. They’re gonna focus on making something. It’s a law of the universe.

As I’ve said on the commons here before, green-theorize all you want, but maybe talk equally about trade?

BTW, like to have milk delivered in glass bottles, but at least in Argentina it comes in bags. So…convert the carry-out-bag expense/footprint to a milk-bag expense/footprint (and take your own bag to the store)?