Dealing with climate change


A new report out telling us all that we've been very naughty boys and that as it is we that stunk the planet up then it's us that has to pay to deal with it.

A fair point of course, that those responsible for damage should pay to repair or alleviate that damage. Further:

Second, 99% of the casualties linked to climate change occur in developing countries. Worst hit are the world's poorest groups. While climate change will increasingly affect wealthy countries, the brunt of the impact is being borne by the poor, whose plight simply receives less attention.

Entirely true of course, but this is hardly specific to climate change. It is always the world's poorest groups who are worst hit, the poor who bear the brunt of the impact. Because, well, does it really need to be said?, they are poor.

For that is the very meaning of the word poor, that people do not have excess resources, they don't have any margin between what they need to stay alive today and what they've got available to them today. So if disaster does strike then they are indeed going to carry  heavy cost: unlike us rich people who have spare resources in reserve.

Where I part company with this statement of the obvious is in what the distinguished panel of writers suggest we do next. We need to stop climate change so as to protect the poor. Me, I'm not so sure about that. I am rather convinced that it would be easier to stop people being poor so that they could, like us, deal with the necessary adaptations. However, allow me in my magnaminity to concede that I might be wrong on this. Perhaps reducing poverty will only help, not solve, this problem.

Very well, but it is, as we are told, a problem of such massiveness that every little bit helps, correct? And what do we know would reduce such poverty? A reduction in our own trade barriers would help would it not?

Excellent, so how about a small agreement here. I'll agree that this impact of climate change upon the poor really is a serious problem, one we should do anything to alleviate, when those telling me this start proposing that we abolish our trade barriers against those products made by poor people in poor countries.