Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The economic divide

At Daniel Pargmans lecture concerning rebound effects, he talked about how convinience makes us travel more by car, train and airplane. He also said that as price goes down, consumption goes up, a rebound effect from better production efficiency in the industry. Well, this got me thinking about the economic divide, and its effects.

Some would argue that the economic divide is not sustainable from a social perspective. I fully agree and do not much care for a pure market economy where the rich will always get richer and the poor, poorer. (I need to state this clearly: I am a socialist, don't hang me for the following)

But on the other hand: Isn't it better to have this divide from an ecological perspective? As people get richer, their CO2 emissions rise. They can more easily afford to buy a car, a cellphone, a computer, etc., as the cost is lower relative to their income (similar to lower prices). More would have the option to go abroad during holidays and eat better food and more meat.

"But won't the rich do less than today, and even things out?", you might think.
Well, for that I want you to have a look at this video (6:24).
It explains how people in America think about how wealth is distributed, and what the real numbers in fact are.

 If you know the numbers, you will probably say something like:
"Well they (the rich) can only do so much, while the rest could do much more. Distributing that wealth would probably augment CO2 levels and the use of scarce materials immensely. We should probably continue as we were!"

Comments? Thoughts?

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