I think it’s high time to return to more serious topics in the public square. Have a look at the map below, from a year-long study by The Lancet. The top map is weighted by carbon emissions. The United States is huge. China and Europe are large too. Africa is minuscule. Now look at the map below — this is the estimated deaths from global warming, if policies do not avert it. Here we see the opposite — the costs are almost uniquely borne by the poorest regions of the world, especially Africa and the Asian subcontinent. The Lancet concludes that climate change “is the biggest global health threat of the 21 century.” And in terms of the distribution, “loss of healthy life years as a result of global environmental change (including climate change) is predicted to be 500 times greater in poor African populations than in European populations”. This is astounding. It is a wake up call for solidarity, global solidarity. Can people in America and elsewhere get past their “right” to engage in whatever behavior they desire, to consume whatever they desire, to drive whatever they desire, and focus on the global common good? That is indeed the challenge.
(Hat tip: Ezra Klein)