So George tells us all about Oxfam\’s pencil sketch of where we are and where we should be in balancing social justice and matters environmental.
We have environmental limits to what we can do but we also have social justice limitations to what we must do. The two can conflict.
I\’ve no real problem with the basic outline of that argument. I may well disagree with the limits that they insist are there on hte environmental side but leave that aside. Where I really disagree is here:
Bringing everyone above the global absolute poverty line ($1.25 a day) would need just 0.2% of global income.
Who in buggery has that as the limit to their aspirations?
I certainly don\’t think that managing to drag the last remnants of humanity up to the living standards of a medieval peasant is the end of the story. I would much rather we drag that last remnant of humanity up to the sort of living standards that we pinkish people enjoy. You know, that $100 a day sort of lifestyle, not the $1.25 one.
Tehre are those who say this cannot be done: at which point I say try reading your own reports matey. The SRES, the economic models upon which the entire IPCC, climate change is going to boil Flipper, model is built upon.
In there you will see that if we continue down this globalised market path, the A1 family, and we largely decarbonise our energy production system (and note, this particular scenario in the family excludes specific measures like carbon taxes and bloody windmills, relying only upon simple technological advance) as A1T supposes, then we both beat climate change and we also have the current poor of this world (OK, their grandchildren, given that we\’re talking about 2100) living at the same position high on the hog as USians in 1990.
Now that\’s an ambition that beats that $1.25 a day, isn\’t it?
And the only limit to getting there, the only environmental limit, is that carbon in the atmosphere thing. Solve that problem and we can do it: we don\’t face systematic limits from water availability, metals, energy, fertilisers, land, food or anything else.