Carbon, inequality and science fiction |  For your information

Carbon, inequality and science fiction | For your information

The topic of inequality comes into play in discussions about the environment. In the wake of the recent IPCC report, many publications show that the climate and inequality crises are “intertwined, integrated and feed into each other”, as we read for example in the recent Oxfam report, Climate equality, planet 99%. On the sidelines of the recent World Economic Forum in Davos, the association also condemned “outrageous levels of inequality.”

The argument is as simple as the numbers are staggering. The most disadvantaged countries and populations are the most vulnerable to climate change, bear little responsibility for it, and yet are the least able to respond. On the other hand, favored states and populations are the most responsible, but least affected by its consequences, and most able to develop solutions when they do not benefit from them.

there World Inequality DatabaseIt is a database supported by a network of economists and curated by Thomas Piketty, Lucas Chancel, Gabriel Zucman, etc., which translates this observation into numbers. The poorest half of the world's population owns 2% of the total wealth and receives only 8.5% of global income, while 40% of the middle class owns 22% of the wealth and receives 39.5% of the income, while the bottom 10% has 76% of the wealth and 52% of the world's population. %. Of income. The relationship with greenhouse gas emissions is stark: the poorest half is responsible for 12% of emissions (an average of 1.6 tons per person) compared to 40% for the middle 4% and 48% for the richest 10%. Of these, the top 1% of the population emit 17%, or 110 tons on average per person. And we are far from equitably distributing this new and increasingly scarce wealth: the remaining carbon budget to maintain a habitable Earth.

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And even more shocking: “Over the past 40 years, countries have become significantly richer, but states have become significantly poorer. The share of wealth held by public entities is close to zero or negative in rich countries, which means that all the wealth is in the hands of public entities.” Private. » Oxfam estimated that the world could have its first trillionaire ($1,000 billion) within a decade! France’s GDP in 2023 reached about 3,000 billion…

This work by economists confirms that inequality is not inevitable, but rather a political choice. They agree with the thesis Bruno Latour On the separation of the elites who have realized since the 1980s that the planet will not support the continuation of globalization, and that there will be no future life on Earth for everyone. According to the historian of science, this explains “what in the 1980s was called ‘deregulation’ and ‘dismantling the welfare state’; and from the 2000s, “climate denial”; Above all, over forty years, inequality has widened astonishingly; All of this contributes to the same phenomenon.

We better understand Elon Musk's comet plans to send rich people to Mars, and we'll remind him of the final scene of Don't look up, in which a barely awake Meryl Streep is eaten by Bronteroc on the fertile planet B. The most “realistic” are those who prefer the Hawaiian Islands where, for example, Mark Zuckerberg built a bunker. Other Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, according to Bloomberg, consider New Zealand safer. Fort makers are rubbing their hands. One of them determines Californians are even willing to jump on their private planes at the first sign of the end of the world, such as a “French Revolution-style uprising targeting the one percent.” We would be wise to consider global taxes on the super-rich, some of whom are also ardent supporters, before 99% of people think about attacking this new-tech bastille.

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References

Climate of Inequality – The unequal impacts of climate change in FranceOur work, 2020.

Climate equality, planet 99%November 2023, Oxfam.

World Inequality Report 2022supported by the United Nations Development Programme, Global Inequality Lab.

the. Chancel wee. Show them, The carbon footprint of capital: Evidence from France, Germany, and the United States based on distributional environmental calculations, Inequality Word, December 7, 2023.

B. Latour, “Refugees in Europe,”Era of declineThe First Parallel, 2017.

By Latour, Where do you land?Discovery, 2017.

B. Carville, Silicon Valley's wealthy people have a plan to escape doomsdayBloomberg, September 5, 2018.

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