Forbes Journalist Mis-interprets IFG Oligarchy Report

By: Kourosh Behnam
February 25, 2012

Fails to understand who is blocking climate change.

Fails to understand who is blocking climate change.

On December 8, 2011, Tim Worstall took a chance at understanding the meaning of IFG’s new report “Outing The Oligarchy: Billionaires Who Benefit from Today’s Climate Crisis”.  I’m responding to his post because he completely and utterly failed.  He says, “For the people who most profit from and are most responsible for the deepening climate crisis are not the people who supply fossil fuels. It’s the people who use fossil fuels: that’s you and me by the way.”  This is a horrible interpretation of the report.

What he missed in his review are the following:
1. We all benefit from and participate in the serious degradation of the environment by the lifestyle we engage in. Majority of Americans (65%) are concerned that climate change is affecting US weather.
2. However, there are few individuals who benefit considerably more than the rest of us; by accumulation of wealth and political power.
3. A large majority of Americans (66%) believe that the US should sign an international treaty requiring emissions cuts of 90% by 2050;  most of us are willing to make changes in our own lives but we require our government to facilitate change.
4. Oligarchs have the power and wealth to prevent governments from deciding on crucial climate policies; they use their power to influence democratic decision making to maintain their own postions of power and authority.
5. Oligarchs understand the destruction they are causing to the planet and its people or perhaps they fully do not understand the consequences of their actions and should take a honest look at the evidence.  They would rather retain their wealth and power than use their significant influence with governments to support what most of us want (climate change).
6. Many of us have woken to the fact that these oligarchs are preventing these urgent changes because of their greed and drive for power.  People are uniting to force these oligarchs to make the right decisions that are important for human survival.
7. IFG’s report is an appeal to the oligarchs to make sustainable decisions.  It’s also for the rest of us to note who is blocking progress on the changes we need.

We cannot be cynical about climate change.  I’m afraid that Mr. Worstall should do his research and take a look at the evidence thoroughly before writing any other response.

Read More: The Billionaires Who Benefit From Today’s Climate Crisis  , Outing The Oligarchy: 50 Billionaires Who Profit From Todays Climate Crisis , What’s Next Now That the Durban Climate Negotiations are Behind Us?

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