if you are using more than is available and deleting your capital at 1% a year, you have to use…
greg gerritt

if you are using more than is available and deleting your capital at 1% a year, you have to use less to be sustainable. Not sure what about that you do not understand.

I never questioned this logic. Instead, I question the fact that your argument presumes a one-way street. If you are using more than what’s available/being produced annually, then you can either (1) use less or (2) compensate through other means (e.g., reforestation, renewable/alternative resource extraction and production, etc.). In other words, you can also help the Earth produce more (or shift consumption instead) to equalize the current ratio of 1-to-1.6 back to a fair 1-to-1.

And if you do not think that high income people degrade resources faster than low income people I want to see your sources.

The question is not whether high-income earners consume/use more of Earth’s resources. The question is how reducing their incomes would solve this problem. Societal demand for resources (which consistently increases with global development) is not going to disappear or lessen because of income changes. Moreover, assume most of this demand comes from the rich and that everyone’s wealth is reduced per your recommendation. What suggests that their consumption preferences would change as a result? What assurance does being poorer have on their being more eco-friendly? If the former rich can’t afford their eco-unfriendly habits, then what stops them from pooling resources or going through other mediums like corporations to maintain their lifestyles?

Sure they may be poorer, but their corporate and wealthy connections remain the same. And besides, we’re obviously not talking about moving their incomes down to abject poverty. So while they may not be able to afford private jets as often, they can afford to pollute and consume in other, more consistent ways. This doesn’t even get to the fact that the pollution and resource use behind expenditures like private jets is minuscule compared to the pollution and purchases made by the much larger public on a daily basis.

My simple point is that arbitrary income adjustments are no guarantee for greater eco-friendliness. Without tackling the demand question, we’re unlikely to find an effective solution.

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