Your Personal Consumption Choices Can't Save the Planet: We Have to Confront Capitalism

Aronoff, Kate
Date Written:  2017-07-18
Publisher:  In These Times
Year Published:  2017
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX21205

Failing to do our part for climate change is a convenient narrative to the small minority of people who are actually responsible for fueling the crisis, and the answer to tackling the crisis is actually changing the economic system driving climate change.


Excerpt: Consumption choices do matter. They just happen to matter a lot more if you’re in the one percent, and especially the top 0.01 percent. "If some earnest Gen X climate activist cancels the family vacation to see the grandparents over carbon guilt, the Earth is not going to give a damn," Roberts writes, "What will matter is if a business executive decides to fly back and forth from New York to London once a week instead of twice, or once a month instead of weekly. And it will only matter if all the wealthy travelers make the same decision, consistently, over time."

"The obvious and most direct approach to addressing the role of individual choices in climate change is to tax the consumptive choices of the wealthy," he adds. "For now, and for the foreseeable future, carbon emissions rise with wealth. Redistributing wealth down the income scale…reduces lifestyle emissions."
Insert T_CxShareButtonsHorizontal.html here