Cartoon of the evaluation
2015/2016 Paris Agreement
on climate change at the Eiffel Tower, Paris
(The Brussels Times,
posted 4 April 2019, accessed 10 October 2020; fair use, educational)
Investigation of Climate Change Hysteria at the US
Capitol Building (Cagle Cartoons;
fair use, educational)
The Wrath of the Ents
(Ted Nasmith, from The Two Towers by JRR Tolkien; fair use, educational)
| Save the World with Money?
In Money, we briefly looked at whether we can save the world with money.
For decades we have known that this is possible.
We saw that only a tiny fraction of annual global military spending would suffice:-
We saw that corporate tax avoidance is robbing the health and well-being of all:-
- "The money required to
provide adequate food, water, education, health, and housing for everyone in
the world has been estimated to be around $20 billion a year. It is a huge sum
of money... about as much as the world spends on arms every two weeks."
- 30% of world military
spending (30% of $810 billion) is all that is needed to solve major global
problems. (Share International 2007? document citing www.wagingpeace.org)
- In 2012, global military spending was $1.75
trillion. In 2020, it was nearly $2 trillion.
We can add nature exploitation and fossil fuel favouritism, despite this destroying Life:-
- In 2017 Apple had $252 billion untaxed cash offshore.
- Corporations do not pay their fair share of tax, avoiding $600 billion annually. (Britain's Offshore Secrets Exposed, Panorama, 6 November 2017)
- All corporations have $2 trillion untaxed cash offshore. (BBC1 News 10pm, 6 November 2017)
- ...the sums lost to exchequers around the world from profit-shifting have risen as high as $427bn (£311bn) annually. (The Guardian, posted 8, accessed 9 April 2021)
So we have more than enough money to save the world.
- Worldwide subsidies to fossil fuels (annually): in 2013 = $1.9 trillion; in
2017 = $5.2 trillion.
- Worldwide subsidies to activities that damage nature = at least $4-6tn [£2.9-4.4tn] annually (The Guardian, posted/accessed 2 February 2021).
We are just spending all this money on the wrong things.
We are hoarding it and not redistributing it for the well-being of all life.
Why is this?
In my view, it is the refusal of the superrich to allow a Culture of Love. They would rather create a Culture of Power. As a result, there is no political will to save the world:
beings have all the elements necessary for the kingdom of God to come to earth.
The only obstacle to this happening is their own unwillingness: they do not
want to participate in this work for the good of humanity. They are too
preoccupied with their own interests. How can the kingdom of God be realized in
such circumstances? If we were all willing to make the few necessary efforts,
progress would be very quick. But the crux of the matter is consent. Take
someone like Hitler, for example: do you think he had such exceptional
qualities? Not at all, but due to the prevailing circumstances, he was able to
unite and gain the consent of millions of Germans, and this is why he became so
powerful. And if we now gave our consent to the ideas of universal brotherhood,
instead of to racism and discrimination, the kingdom of God, the Golden Age,
would come.” (O.M. Aïvanhov)
'Greta Thunberg has blasted
politicians as hypocrites and international climate summits as empty words and
greenwash. Until humanity admits it has failed to tackle the climate crisis and
begins treating it as an emergency like the coronavirus pandemic, society will
be unable to stop global heating, she said. In an interview with the Guardian,
Thunberg said leaders were happy to set targets for decades into the future,
but flinched when immediate action to cut emissions was needed.'
(The Guardian, posted/accessed 9 November 2020)
Let us now look at the same question in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic of 2020.
Here is the monetary cost of this pandemic at various dates, and other statistics:-
- 27 April 2020 = $3 trillion in the USA.
- 22 October 2020 = $485 billion (£372 billion) in the UK.
These figures even dwarf those of military spending and corporate tax avoidance, etc.
- 7 April 2020 = $4.5 trillion in the World.
- 15 October 2020 = more than $12 trillion in the World.
This is even more proof that we save the world with money!!
Here are some related quotes/stats:-
Yet we still have no political will to enact the needed changes.
- "If the [UK] government can
suddenly decide to spend another £100bn on containing Covid-19, it shows that
state failures to address our climate and ecological emergencies have nothing
to do with a lack of money and everything to do with a lack of will." (George
Monbiot, 10 September 2020 tweet)
- "The worldwide response to Covid-19 has
demonstrated that there can be collective global action if the threat is big
enough, and that humans are capable of changing our lives and lifestyles
quickly, when the moment demands it." (Katharine Viner, The
Guardian, posted/accessed 5 October 2020)
- "This [Climate & Ecological Emergency] is a crisis completely based on scientific
consensus, but they try to focus on something else. It’s as if there was a fire
and the alarm starts and they try to argue about the fire alarm instead of the
actual fire... We are stuck in a loop where everyone just blames each other,
and as long as we keep on doing that we won’t be able to achieve anything." (Greta Thunberg, The
Guardian, posted/accessed 11 October 2020)
- We only need about $1.4 trillion per year of
green investment from 2020 to 2024 to keep global warming to only 1.5 °C (see Marina Andrijevic and Dr Joeri Rogelj,
posted 15 October 2020, accessed 16 October 2020)
- "If a government needs to act, and Covid has
shown this, my God can a government act. All of a sudden, no regulation, no
amount of money is a problem. When we need to act, we can." (John Sauven, executive
director of Greenpeace UK, cited at The
Guardian, posted/accessed 12 October 2020)
like the UK can never “max out” their
credit card because they can always create new money to help fund
spending. This is not the time for austerity. Interest rates are so
low, so borrow and really support public services and a green
recovery. Remember that the UK public actually owns this money! (Adapted
from Positive Money, 27 November 2020 tweet)
- The global economy is
already big enough to meet the basic needs of the entire planet. We
don't need growth – we need fair distribution. (XR Money Rebellion, 22 December 2021 tweet)
you can mobilise $26tn [in response to Covid-19], it beggars belief
that you can’t mobilise $100bn [for climate finance].
That’s what’s causing a huge trust deficit." (Ngozi
Okonjo-Iweala, WTO head, cited at The Guardian, posted/accessed 24 December 2021)
preserve life on the planet, cost is irrelevant. We didn’t decide
to fight WWII because the financial cost was less than the benefits. We
fought for our freedom and survival. (Herb Simmens, adapted 25 January 2022 tweet)
We urgently need to transform or oust current political systems and
install those that serve Earth and its creatures. So-called 'democracy'
is a sham. The people are not being served. Organisations are trying so
hard to change the system like Burning Pink. The Green Party (England & Wales) and Extinction Rebellion consider Citizens Assemblies
But the global elite are heavily entrenched and many in the Rich World are still too comfy.
For me, it seems that only the wrath of Nature will be
enough to topple the current entrenched political systems.
Just as the Ents routed Saruman in the Lord of the Rings. They were slow to act, but when they did, it was decisive.
In our world, Nature's wrath has been slowly but surely - and entirely - aroused by human ignorance and arrogance and greed.
It is manifesting in the form of the current Climate & Ecological Emergency.
We must continue our activism but it seems only Nature's wrath is
enough to dislodge the superrich elite from their apparently
unassailable dark towers - and secure victory!
Finally, I'd just like to add two warnings:-
- We must beware of reducing
everything to numbers, stats and amounts of money. There is a real
danger of missing the human side to our crisis (e.g. here). We can lose empathy
and compassion, when of course the purpose of this article is to
evoke the Love that resides in all of us...
- The longer we do nothing, the less useful money becomes in saving the world. The Climate and Ecological Emergency will ensure this. As the Cree Indian prophecy makes clear, we cannot eat money. Beware!
- Redirect military expenditure to ensure a
sustainable future (Kumi Naidoo, The Guardian, 2013).
30% of planet could bolster economy, study says (The Guardian, 8 July 2020)
[only requires $140bn (£110bn) yearly till 2030].
- Cost of preventing next pandemic 'equal to just
2% of Covid-19 economic damage'
(The Guardian, 23 July 2020).
philanthropy benefits the super-rich (The Guardian, 8 September 2020) [A lot of elite philanthropy is about elite causes.
Rather than making the world a better place, it largely reinforces the world as
it is. Philanthropy very often favours the rich – and no one holds philanthropists
to account for it].
countries painting their pandemic recoveries green (Axios, 19 September
2020) [Green investments account for only 1% of the overall $12 trillion currently
pledged by major economies recovering from pandemic-induced recessions].
richest 1% cause double CO2 emissions of poorest 50%, says Oxfam (The
Guardian, 21 September 2020).
- Climate Week:
World split on urgency of tackling rising temperatures, poll suggests (BBC,
21 September 2020) [Poor World wants action, Rich World not really].
- Revealed: Covid recovery plans threaten global
climate hopes (The Guardian, 9 November 2020) [Countries pouring money into fossil fuels to fight recession].
you think Covid is bad, wait until you hear about the climate crisis (First Dog on the Moon, The
Guardian, 9 November 2020) [Insightful cartoon].
issues $100m emergency funding and calls for global effort to avert famine
(The Guardian, 18 November 2020) [They only need $20 billion this year. This is
tiny next to the sums in PWP's article. What will we do, world? And the $200bn of Bezos?...].
is ‘doubling down’ on fossil fuels despite climate crisis – UN report (The
Guardian, 2 December 2020).
- Economics' failure over destruction of nature presents ‘extreme risks’ (The Guardian, 2 February 2021) [Review by Prof Dasgupta, commissioned by the UK Treasury].
- Climate Change: How much did it cost US economy in 2020? (BBC, 19 February 2021).
- Governments failing to fulfil talk of green Covid recovery, UN warns (The Guardian, 10 March 2021) [Only 18% of rescue spending is green].
- Investing 0.1% of global GDP could avoid breakdown of ecosystems, says UN report (The Guardian, 27 May 2021) [Nature’s financial value must be considered to avoid ‘irreversible’ degradation to biodiversity and land].
- Trillions of dollars spent on Covid recovery in ways that harm environment (The Guardian, 15 July 2021) [Only 10% of $17tn global bailout directed to cutting greenhouse gas emissions and restoring nature, report finds].
- Once you understand the terrible cost of doing nothing, climate action is a bargain (Damian Carrington, The Guardian, 11 August 2021).
- World spends $1.8tn a year on subsidies that harm environment, study finds (The Guardian, 17 February 2022) [We are financing our own extinction. Also see: Harmful subsidies: why is the world still funding the destruction of nature?].