I think the most important issue with climate change has to do with the [lack of] democratic power on this planet.
Powerful economic interests tend to work only toward the further consolidation of their power. Little concern is borne by them toward the ills that plague society in general so long as they can continue to afford to isolate themselves from those effects. Economists call these things "externalities." Since I can do anything and make the consequences someone else's problem, why should I as a wealthy person, care?
Even when 99% of people want action done to change things... if the money isn't there to do it, neither is the change.
So then some might propose to level the playing-field a bit when it comes to the huge differences in economic equality. These efforts are nearly always met by opposition from those who believe that no matter how wealthy a person is, no one else has the right to take anything from them and give it to someone else, because the common attitude is that they "earned" it.
I take a 3rd point of view - that since all of the layers beneath billionaire entrepreneurs are necessary to prop up the apex of the pyramid, we have all contributed to the wealth and abundance of our economy together. The farmer made the food that the janitor ate who cleaned the office of the temp worker who does the paperwork for the business which provides raw materials for the industry which manufactures the products which are sold at a profit for the entrepreneur to invest in and gather returns. And so on.
Of course, the argument ensues again, that "some people contribute more than others" and of course this is true, but as I see it we are causing suffering for all of us so long as we continue to live in fear that somebody will get something for nothing. So we calculate, estimate, and control every last cent everywhere to be sure that it all goes where we think it belongs.
Well, how is all of that working out for everyone? All I see on the streets of Phoenix now is poverty and homelessness. I know it's not as bad here as in California or other states, but I am witnessing a homeless problem growing out of control.
And yet so many keep saying that the economy is great, that there is a ton of opportunity all around us and plenty of money to be made.
I think the answer is that we need to establish a base minimum that everyone gets so that no one falls below the threshold of sustainability. Everyone needs food, clothing, and shelter before they can think about education, jobs, and income. Expecting these in the wrong order is, of course, putting the cart before the horse.
Andrew Yang talks about something called Universal Basic Income. If we could fund this through some kind of tax that softly flows money from the wealthiest to the poorest we could bring the poor back onto the field where they can begin to improve themselves. Also, there is a ton of work in this world that needs to be done, but isn't because there's no one who wants to pay for it if there isn't a profitable return on the bottom line.
Allowing human beings to horde wealth like dragons does nothing good for society. We need to lubricate the economy on the bottom end so that engine can start turning, and the power of an individual when they literally have FIFTY EIGHT THOUSAND MILLION DOLLARS (Like David Koch had when he died recently) gives individuals (who might be crazy/selfish/evil) massive amounts of undemocratic power.
Since the primary force in politics is money, then how could one argue that democracy exists in our nation so long as 1% of the people count for half?
Of course we all want to live in a clean and healthy world, but since any projects to mitigate this problem will cut into the bottom line of those who profit from its destruction, I think we have to sort the economic and political disenfranchisement of the masses first before the masses will have the power to make any change.
Edited by darci, 23 August 2019 - 09:25 PM.