H/T to VL Baker for posting the World Bank's compelling video about the effects of a 4 degree C average global temperature increase from the 1700's to 2100, compared to only 2 degree C increase during the preceding 40,000 years. As the World Bank's video put it, small number, big problem.
BTW, I get it that I'm supposed to hate and suspect the motives of the World Bank. I do. I really do. That said, two things in the video really struck a chord with me.
The video first describes the kind of havoc mankind should expect from the aforesaid 4 degree temperature increase, from super storms, drought, forest fires, famines, floods, disease and other widespread, creeping disasters. By 2100 the video predicts stagnant economic growth and says that the warming will be bad for everybody, but "the poor will suffer the most". That got me to wondering if it really will be bad for everybody. What about billionaires like the Koch brothers?
According to a recent piece in Forbes, businessmen like the Kochs inhabit a culture accepting of psychopathic personalities. What would such personalities, barren of "empathy, remorse, loving kindness", think of the prospect of 4 degrees of warming, even with the prediction of a stagnant World economy? Another recent study shows that the very rich lack ethics and are more prone than you or me to cheat and lie to get what they want. As noted by one of the study's authors:
people that have the most money, the most income, the best education and the most prestigious job — have a tendency to engage in less ethical behaviour," said Stephane Cote, associate professor of organisational behaviour and psychology at the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management.As billionaires, psychopaths like the Kochs assume that they and the handful of other humans about whom they may have a personal care, like family, etc., will be just fine behind their walls and servants and exclusive clubs and private planes, etc. After all, it is not as if the recent Great Recession inconvenienced them one iota. So, even the worst outcomes predicted in the World Bank's presentation don't effect them personally. Worse than that, they probably figure, correctly I fear, that they will be among those who thrive off of the growing chaos. If that is the case, they will regard it as a business necessity to promote global warming, especially as long as it remains legal to do it, and maybe even if it isn't. Is it time yet for civilized Americans to recognize that at some level, crimes against the environment are crimes against humanity and deserve to be treated as such?
The second take away from the World Bank video, somewhat surprisingly, was the World Bank's support for initiatives to "price carbon to drive green growth". That linkage sounds like a carbon tax, to me. Good idea. But when businesses in the green sector become sufficiently profitable, the psychopathic CEO billionaires will just buy them up, they probably figure.
If you are a psychopathic billionaire without an ethical clue or scruple, what's not to love about Global Warming?