My post criticizing Sachs on climate change got many negative responses yesterday. The main problem was that I was much too terse about an issue that people care a lot about (you should probably apply a “weekend discount” to things I post on weekends!). So some understandably jumped to conclusions about what I was saying, which were inaccurate.
Honestly, I know very little about climate change. But I do know a little bit about political economy, which offers cross-disciplinary insights to the climate change discussion. So let me try again.
What I was NOT saying:
Here’s how to solve global warming. How and whether we know man-made global warming is scientific fact (I think it is from what I have read). That I am qualified to provide any detailed guidance on climate change.
What I was saying:
There is no such thing as a neutral technocratic solution. All solutions are political. The aura of the neutral technocracy just winds up giving cover to some political interests who have their own agenda.
The poor have very, very little political power. Because of this, other things equal, they were more likely to be victims of environmental destruction in the first place. And because of this, they could still lose out in attempts to reverse environmental destruction. I am talking here about poor individuals, not about poor country governments.
Current policy discussions on global warming show little sensitivity to these political realities.