Climate Change and Economic Inequality

Welcome back to my blog! Let’s get right back into it:

Oxfam International just released a study (called Wealth: Having It All and Wanting More) that states that by next year, the richest 1% will be richer than the rest of the world combined. Whoa. That is completely unacceptable. Oxfam is calling on governments to “adopt a seven point plan to tackle inequality:”

  1. Clamp down on tax dodging by corporations and rich individuals
  2. Invest in universal, free public services such as health and education
  3. Share the tax burden fairly, shifting taxation from labour and consumption towards capital and wealth
  4. Introduce minimum wages and move towards a living wage for all workers
  5. Introduce equal pay legislation and promote economic policies to give women a fair deal
  6. Ensure adequate safety-nets for the poorest, including a minimum income guarantee
  7. Agree a global goal to tackle inequality.

Climate change and many of the other global issues we are facing today are intimately connected with this stark economic inequality. These issues are the result of the political and economic system that is keeping people down and destroying our beautiful world. And, in fact, climate change is exacerbating inequality because poor communities are the ones that are on the frontlines of extreme weather and resource conflict. By fighting climate change, we are fighting inequality.


Into the Streets

This video, called “Into the Streets,” provides a captivating summary of the People’s Climate March and Flood Wall Street in New York City. There are many other videos that capture the feeling of the weekend of September 21st, but this one does a particularly good job. It provides footage of the artwork that was created for the march, the march itself, and Flood Wall Street, which was a protest that occurred the day after the march, on September 22nd. During Flood Wall Street, 3,000 people descended into the financial capital of the world to show that Wall Street is funding the fossil fuel companies, and therefore is funding climate change. 100 people participated in a sit-in and got arrested, including someone in a polar bear suit. (Although some believe the polar bear has become an overused symbol of climate change, I think this particular use was quite clever.)

It was a powerful weekend, with more than 2,000 mobilizations across the world. This video provides a sense of the people who made this weekend possible, the people of the climate movement.