Guest essay by Eric Worrall
The British government owned BBC has hosted a talk from privileged Oxford Professor Danny Dorling, demanding that rich people (which includes everyone from the USA) be “controlled” for the good of the planet.
i’m Danny Dorling, I’m professor of Geography at University of Oxford, and in my very humble opinion one of the worst things about high economic inequality is it damages the environment.
High economic inequality is extremely damaging to the environment, because the greedy do not know how to control themselves.
Thomas Piketty, who is a brilliant economist from Paris, has done incredible detailed work recently, looking at the consumption and pollution patterns of the richest one percent, and he has shown that the richest one percent disproportionately contribute to greenhouse gasses and to carbon pollution which are damaging our planet.
This is because they buy so many things they do not need, because money is not an issue for them.
It’s because they have so many homes that they travel between, is because when they travel they don’t travel in a sustainable way. At the extreme they’re flying in private jets; there isn’t a better way to heat up the planet and damage our environment than to fly in a private jet and they need to learn the importance of this.
Because climate change is the biggest threat that we’re facing, and we’re partly facing it because we’re allowing the greedy people to carry on being greedy, and we’re not controlling them for the good of everyone.
If you listen further the professor extends his definition of “rich” people to include poor people in America, who are rich by global standards – so pretty much everyone in the USA is part of the target group the professor believes needs to be “controlled”. Professor Dorling blames the celebrity culture for driving poor people in rich countries to spend more on extravagances, to try to keep up with the rich people.
Professor Dorling’s solution is for everywhere to somehow become more like Germany and Europe, with government enforced redistribution of income and assets. This enforced equality would create fewer aspirational super rich cultural icons to excite poor people into trying to buy expensive stuff they don’t really need.