GEORGE MONBIOT. For the sake of life on Earth, we must put a limit on wealth (Guardian 19-9-19)

It is not quite true that behind every great fortune lies a great crime. Musicians and novelists, for example, can become extremely rich by giving other people pleasure. But it does appear to be universally true that in front of every great fortune lies a great crime. Immense wealth translates automatically into immense environmental impacts, regardless of the intentions of those who possess it. The very wealthy, almost as a matter of definition, are committing ecocide.

Perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised to learn that when Google convened a meeting of the rich and famous at the Verdura resort in Sicily in July to discuss climate breakdown, its delegates arrived in 114 private jets and a fleet of megayachts, and drove around the island in supercars…

A series of research papers shows that income is by far the most important determinant of environmental impact. It doesn’t matter how green you think you are; if you have surplus money, you spend it.

The full article can be found here.

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Ramesh Thakur is a professor emeritus at the Crawford School of Public Policy, the Australian National University.

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