More fun with Monbiot

So, the suggestion is:

So let’s begin by imagining something that’s easier to comprehend: the end of concentrated wealth. Our survival depends on it.

I’ve come to believe that the most important of all environmental measures are wealth taxes. Preventing systemic environmental collapse means driving extreme wealth to extinction. It is not humanity as a whole that the planet cannot afford. It’s the ultra-rich.

Logically this doesn’t work. OK, sure, so richer people emit more CO2. So, we equalise incomes – then everyone who gains income gets to emit a little more, as the billionaires emit much less. Net change in emissions is going to be?

But there’s that usual fun bit in there. “The rich” who will get gralloched are those folk over there, behind the curtain. Never the you and me that are being talked to.

The richest 1% of the world’s people (those earning more than $172,000 a year) produce 15% of the world’s carbon emissions: twice the combined impact of the poorest 50%.

No, the top 1% by global income are more like $50k and up.

Even if 90% of the population produced no carbon at all, the anticipated emissions of the richest 10% (those earning over $55,000)

No, that’s more like $20k, the top 10%.

He’s referring to this Oxfam paper. Which has the unfortunate habit of veering back and forth between the global 1% – roughly, anyone above middle class in the rich world, the global 10% being pretty much anyone at all in the rich world – and the top 1% and 10% in each nation.

He think’s he’s detailing those plutocrats behind the curtain who get gralloched. When in fact it’s near all of his readership who do under his plan. That’s a harder sell.

21 thoughts on “More fun with Monbiot”

  1. “He think’s [sic] he’s detailing those plutocrats behind the curtain who get gralloched. When in fact it’s near all of his readership who do under his plan. That’s a harder sell.”

    Maybe the fact that it’s a harder sell is why he switches between one and the other.

  2. Yeah!! I always knew he was after ME!!!!!

    The simple solution, if you think there’s a problem, is to ignore all the green rubbish and bring everyones living standards up to those of the global 1%. But I must have said this a million times before.

  3. I find it odd to support Moonbat, but I seem to have spent most of this year being lectured by vastly wealthy cunts about what ‘we’ must do in order to avert the ‘climate catastrophe’. It’s always ‘we’ never ‘me’ and it is always ‘must’ meaning ‘do as you’re told peasant’. And it seems, every single time, they’ve actually fucking flown in a private jet to arrive at their soapbox.

    I have been mostly stuck at a desk trying to do business via Zoom for 18 months. Meanwhile none of these fuckers have changed their habits in the slightest. Bill Gates had his 66th party on a gin palace the size of the QE2 off the Côte d’Azur and flew all his chums in on helicopters.

    George has my full support for anything that taxes this megalomaniac shitbags into the ground, or at least silence. And, I do not care if global growth is reduced because the billionaire tax regime discourages a few entrepreneurs.

    I used to be liberal on these matters. After all, Bezos etc didn’t robbed me to get rich nor has their wealth previously interfered with my comfort. Live and let live. But these fuckers are not content to let me live, so let’s have at ’em.

  4. Although it’s worth exploring why they do what they do. I’m minded that the PTB who have their hands on the levers of power are siding with the Monbiot tendency because they see this as being in their interests in keeping their hands on those levers. So the megarich’s reaction is self preservation. The more they try & look like Monbiots, the less incentive there is to pillage their wealth. They are temporarily useful. It may not work in the long term, but the way things are going is there a long time workable strategy for them?

  5. According to wikipedo there are 2755 billionaires worldwide this year (I think it’s only a small minority telling us regulars to go back to the 1800s). Mobniot mentions an average of 8000 tonnes of CO2 per billionaire. So all of them produce about 22,000,000. Total 2021 anthropogenic CO2 output is estimated to be 47,000,000,000.

    47,000,000,000
    – 22,000,000
    ————————–
    46,978,000,000

    So if you buried all the billionaires along with all of their direct carbon creating capers, you’d basically make fuck all difference.

  6. @philip

    That one came as a surprise to me today. Something broken there, someone _earning_ 50k is in need of benefits because… ? Surely govt is confiscating too much of that 50k in tax then. You know perhaps we might let that parent keep more of their own income ?

  7. The GCSE statistics fail here is that it suggests there is a causal relationship between wealth (or income if you like) and carbon emissions. Since it will likely be the “richest” who reduce their emissions per $; possibly even going negative in coming years, equality of richness could actually result in much higher net emissions per $ richness.

    This is the danger of linking ones personal goals to whatever correlation suits one’s fancy… correlations break over time, and when they do they make one look stupid and so undermine everything else said too.

  8. Guy who hates rich people thinks getting rid of rich people is the solution to climate change. Imagine my surprise.

  9. I’ve noticed that people who want to limit others “excessive” lifestyle be it driving cars with high fuel consumption, the amount of meat they eat or the number of miles they fly, tend to set that limit just above what they themselves comfortably enjoy.

    On a related note activists always like to talk about going after the richest 1%. This makes great sense if your policy is to “rob Peter to pay Paul”. It’s important that the people you are talking at think that they are Peter and not Paul.

  10. >> The richest 1% of the world’s people (those earning more than $172,000 a year)…

    > No, the top 1% by global income are more like $50k and up.

    The text in the report that produces 172k is from the caption to figure 1 and says “Source: IEEP and SEI analysis. Annual income in 2030 ($2011PPP) of richest 1%: >$172k; richest 10%: >$55k; middle 40%: $9.8k; poorest 50%: <$9.8k. Total population in 2030: c.7.9 billion."

    So, it is even more confused…

  11. ($2011PPP)
    That’s going to be bollocks before you start, Connolley.
    The richer you become the more of your income goes on stuff where the market is global. So you pay what the rest of the world pays. (Actually, in the poorer parts of the world you pay more because there isn’t the rich world logistics chain to reduce producer>consumer costs) That feeds through into domestic production costs because producers also want the benefits of being “richer”

  12. It’s not clear if that article is advocating redistributing the wealth of the very rich or merely destroying it.

    However, the figures quoted are not consistent. “they emit over 70 tonnes of carbon dioxide per person every year, 30 times more than we can each afford to release”, so we can afford a quota of 2.3 tonnes per person. Then “analysis of the lifestyles of 20 billionaires found that each produced an average of over 8,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide”. So each billionaire emits the quota for 3429 people. But if we assume these billionaires are barely billionaires, and divide a billion dollars by 3429 this means they emit one quota per $292,000. Which means that if we re-distributed their wealth, the emissions would greatly increase. What we need is to heavily tax people who can barely afford a car or one foreign holiday a year, until they are too poor to afford those things and give that money to billionaires as they’ll use it to emit far less (or, of course, destroy it). The figures quoted very much suggest that greater equality would mean greater emissions.

    I suggest that any solution put forward for climate change be analysed to see if it’s goals are consistent with killing everyone, since we’re pretty certain that would stop all anthropogenic global warming in the long term.

  13. To paraphrase,

    Because I’m not wealthy although as a superior all-round human being I greatly deserve to be, I’ve come to believe that the most important of all environmental measures are wealth taxes.

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