Says the latest Oxfam missive through our door. And their website has similar, sourced to the Stern report: ..the unfair way climate change affects people living in poverty. They are least responsible for the problem, have benefited less from levels of carbon use, but are paying the biggest price. The level of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is historically a result of rich world activity. Therefore to be fair, the rich world should bear the full costs of adapting to climate change, at least in the early years.
People who give to Oxfam may well be supposed to be sympathetic to this (I am; though poor people have many other problems too). But (using this as an excuse to repeat one of my first points about Stern) I’m really not sure how well it works in the world at large. Do people who would do nothing, for their own sake, really think “I must cut back to help the poor”? It seems unlikely. It may even have the opposite effect. How altruistic are people, when it comes down to difficult choices? Maybe we all feel obliged to so at least something… so Oxfam may benefit from our guilt?