In Australia the federal government is trying to implement an Emissions Trading Scheme to combat global warming. Opponents of this scheme argue that it will cost jobs.
Surely the whole point of trying to slow and stop global warming is that if such warming continues unchecked, it will cost millions of jobs, and lives, worldwide, because of the destructive effects of changing climates and rising sea levels.
It is clear that opponents of any plan to stop global warming have not understood the point. They think it is just a vote-catching scheme to attract the votes of a minority of ‘chattering classes’ in ‘leafy suburbs’ in the cities. They believe that the world can just grind along its present course with no change and no ill effects.
This is actually a failure, on the part of environmentalists, and of people proposing action to slow and stop global warming. They have simply failed to communicate clearly. It is a vital economic issue, in that a healthy world economy needs a healthy world environment and a healthy human population. A sick and worsening world environment means a worsening global economy and widespread health problems and shortening of life.
In the book ‘Economics for a Round Earth’ which occupies the bulk of this blog, I have tried to make the point that environmental protection is a central and vital economic necessity, not just a marginal, disposable way of catching a few votes.
In an earlier post I have argued that it might be too late to stop global warming and that resources need to be put into coping with it as it occurs. But opponents of action to stop global warming aren’t doing anything about that, either. This is not because they are bad people, but because they have not been persuaded that global warming is happening, or that it is anything to do with human activity if it is happening, or that it matters much whether it happens or not.
There is a big communication task to be done.
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