Sunday, May 28, 2006


Reworking the the Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers catch-phrase about dope: Wealth will get you through times of climate change better than climate change will get you through times of no wealth.

Climate change, predicted by the UN to change the way most people live over the next 100 years, is the least important of the world's immediate problems, says a group of economists, including three Nobel prize winners, who were asked to priorities how money should be spent on helping the world's poor.

The team of six American and two other economists, brought together by controversial environmentalist Bjorn Lomborg, said it was not worth spending money on climate change because the effects were expected to be far in the future. They recommended that people became rich first and that money should be spent on HIV/Aids, water and free trade.

Which all sounds so reasonable that it should not need explanation. If you're wealthy you can .. you know .. do things like build levies, irrigation projects, force industry to utilize expensive measures to clean up their manufacturing process. A poor society can only suffer floods and gasp for air as sooty factories pollute the environment making cheap krep for the proles.

I must be wrong - clearly I don't understand the real world.

But they were immediately castigated by international development and environment groups, who accused them of "understanding nothing about the real world".

Do .. what?

"This simplistic and rather banal ranking of these problems should not be taken too seriously," said Stephen Tindale, the director of Greenpeace. "It is an example of intellectual illiteracy. All these problems are linked."

"They have come up with bizarre conclusions," said Andrew Simms, the policy director of the New Economics Foundation. "The simple point is that unless you act to prevent runaway climate change, all the other things which they prioritize - which are generally no-brainer good things - will be wrecked by global warming."

Or it could be that in a world of wealth Greenpeace won't be relevant and people won't need NGO experts to tell them how to generate wealth. That would be .. horrid, not to need their well meaning advice and smug self-righteousness.
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