Anonymous asked in EnvironmentGlobal Warming · 1 decade ago

Will AGW lead to the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer?

A denier recently claimed "the AGW theory will lead to the richest getting even richer and the poor, poorer."

I've seen no evidence to support this claim. The most relevant economic study I've seen is that of the Congressional Budget Office of the cap and trade legislation being considered by the US Congress. The CBO concluded the exact opposite.

"households in the lowest income quintile would see an average net benefit of about $40 in 2020, while households in the highest income quintile would see a net cost of $245...Overall net costs would average 0.2 percent of households’ after-tax income."

Is there any evidence to support the claim that addressing global warming will result in the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer?


snowbound - it's a concentrated solar thermal power plant.

Update 2:

Meadow - he's in favor because Exxon would prefer a tax to a cap and trade system.

Update 3:

bella - your links don't seem to have anything to do with AGW. I'm not arguing the rich aren't becoming richer and the poor aren't becoming poorer, I'm saying AGW won't cause it.

17 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Will AGW lead to the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer?

    it depends how we tackle it. if we dont do anything, the rich will get poorer and the the poor will get extinguished.

    if we go for cap'n'trade, a lot of venture capitalists will make a killing, and the poor will continue to get poorer.

    if we go for a worldwide carbon tax, re-distributed equally to all citizens, many more poor people will make it through.

    richard is right, inequality is growing anyway, most particularly in the more 'free trade' countries in particular the u.s. and the u.k.

  • 1 decade ago

    How the anti global warming lobby can influence the wealth of nations I really can't see, because wishing to save the environment that we live in, can only be regarded a rational line of thought.

    However, If this should have some economic implication, then so be it.Its a question of looking beyond the limitations, dependence and the drawbacks of burning fossil fuel and look at the alternatives that we have, And this is were the chain come off in many peoples minds, they can't imagine or see that a non-polluting energy source, is better that a polluting one,Its been said that Deniers have no concentrated argument when it come bring the causes of to global warming in doubt, this is not quite correct, they have one Mekka and that's money,they talk at great lengths about the costs,taxes, levies, duties etc, that will impact them, leaving them impoverished, but never about the negative cost benefit of fossil fuel burning, why? Well I suppose it's a bit like asking the oil producers what their views are on, alternative energy.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    'A denier recently claimed "the AGW theory will lead to the richest getting even richer and the poor, poorer." ... I've seen no evidence to support this claim.'

    Then you are not seeing it because you don't want to see it - Have you got investments that are blinding you to reality? Or perhaps just not wanting to look?

    Grab a cup of tea, settle down on the sofa and happy viewing.

    The Fast Disappearing U.S. Middle Class

    Youtube thumbnail

    Distinguished law scholar Elizabeth Warren teaches contract law, bankruptcy, and commercial law at Harvard Law School. She is an outspoken critic of America's credit economy, which she has linked to the continuing rise in bankruptcy among the middle-class. Series: "UC Berkeley Graduate Council Lectures"

    Kevin McCloud: Slumming It / Kevin McCloud: Slumming It

    Youtube thumbnail

    "households in the lowest income quintile would see an average net benefit of about $40 in 2020'

    Great, we may see some slum millionaires in 2020 if of course they are not already multi-millionaires from their recycling empires.

    Money poverty is not the only form of poverty. Affluent countries can externalize costs, they can hide the true costs and even make others and the environment pay the real costs. We can steal from the future, from our grandchildren's future, from other species. However even the affluent countries will have to pay A price eventually.

    Source(s): Additional easy to understand sources for those who are interested.
  • 1 decade ago

    Dana, as usual you do not care to understand the facts or actually understand what is really going on: quote from economist Michael Bosken

    "Rabid environmentalists have descended into a separate reality where only green counts. It's gotten so bad that the head of the California Air Resources Board, Mary Nichols, announced this past fall that costly new carbon regulations would boost the economy shortly after she was told by eight of the state's most respected economists that they were certain these new rules would damage the economy. The next day, her own economic consultant, Harvard's Robert Stavis, denounced her statement as a blatant distortion."

    This also can be seen here:

    Dana, I know these to be true because I testified in front of the state legislature just last week in California on these exact same issues. Dana, you have no idea about anything about Exxon so please refrain on putting words into their mouths. I work with the former chief climatologist with Exxon/Mobil a PhD who has working as a climatologist and physicist long before you were borne.

    Dana, the legislation surround your religion will in fact cause a mass decline in the American economy possibly throwing it into another deep long term depression and complete breakdown of the system. Industry will just locate overseas as jobs leave California and the US. Remember the battlecall of the liberals about industry outsourcing jobs; well here is why.

    Due to climategate, more and more scientists are now coming forward, they have had enough of this liberal experierment in science and 250 some members are signed up to help educate people in California as as the Wall Street Journal has said when we defeat AB32 in California, that in itself will stop the federal Cap and Trade frenzy on the national level.

    In any case the election of 2010 will change the landscape of the Washington and as in '94 republicans will gain control of congress again or at least one house to stop this nonsense that is killing our country.

    One such issues that just got shot down in California is the Tire Nazis regulations where if your tires are not perfectly matched to the air pressure indicated, one could receive a 1000 dollar fine and six months in jail. Yes this is true and is a rule of the California Air Resources Board which begins in June of 2010. Not sure if they are going after bicycle tires Dana, if fact they probably won't.

    It appears however, Susan Kennedy, Arnold's chief of staff may have just stopped this crazy liberal law as it was way over the top. At least one liberal knows when it is getting too crazy in California.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Cap and trade will certainly lead to massive profiteering which is why even Jim Hansen and others who believe passionately in AGW no longer support it. As Littlerobbergirl has impartially pointed out, ""if we go for cap'n'trade, a lot of venture capitalists will make a killing, and the poor will continue to get poorer.""

    A carbon tax sounds like potentially a fairer deal, but isn't and would still hurt the poor without penalising the big polluters. And French court recently ruled against it on those grounds: ""French court judges [carbon] tax would punish households while letting off big industrial polluters""

    As Rajaa Alsane, writing in the UN Chronicle put it:

    ""I envision that the African woman who struggles in the middle of a poor country in Africa will not understand how a higher tax on oil prices could help her cook food for her starving children. Or how do we explain to a poor woman in the northern part of India how more expensive means to produce energy are better for her while she struggles to pay the bill to warm the cottage for her children during the freezing winter"" (1)

    There is one person, though, whom you can count on to support a carbon tax: Rex Tillerson, the chief executive of Exxon, who is all in favour (I wonder why? (2)). I'm sure you'll be glad of his support.


  • 1 decade ago

    The rich tend to get richer because you have to have money to make money, they are just smarter about money then poor people in general and they are just more greedy in some cases. It seems that as the CBO stated much of the cost would be borne by the wealthy who will of course pass it down to the poor, which sounds like it would make everyone poorer. It doesn't seem like the claim is much of an argument against fighting AGW. It seems more like a person just using a favorite tactic of the left and turning it against them.

  • 1 decade ago

    What a good topic! I've not considered this before and just have a few initial reactions, none of which may be valid.

    1. The Congressional Budget Office does a yoeman's job of manipulating the available data in any manner requested by a member of Congress. It cannot use datasets which are not available, and generally does a poor job of adjusting for supply and demand as costs and prices change.

    2. Cap and trade policies resulting in a huge Wall Street market for trading carbon credits appear, on the surface, to be a rich man's game, for a rich man's gain.

    3. "Al Gore" has become a euphemism for people who make substantial financial gains from anthropogenic global warming. To the extent that they are others like him or standing by in the wings, and given that Gore was born with a silver spoon in his mouth, doesn't it appear that the rich will benefit? How about people like T. Boone Pickens, who have already made their fortunes but who have invested substantially to win in the future market for alternative energy?

    4. Haven't major corporations such as G.E. and Siemens invested large sums in wind turbines? How about investments that oil companies, in their P.R. commercials, claim to have made in alternative energy? I am sure they are positioning themselves to become winners.

    5. Most venture capitalists are people of substantial wealth. Their investments in new technologies are not being made just because they love the environment, I can assure you.

    6. My energy company is asking for its first rate hike in years. According to local economic development contacts, this is because of investments in alternative technologies such as solar cell farms with higher energy production costs. Say what?

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Depends on your approach. If you're to take into account that the production/manufacturing business owners will all have access to carbon credits supplied by the Gubment and access to a trillion dollar carbon derivatives markets, I can't see why they wouldn't profit.

    Meanwhile, the cost of production and manufacturing will likely push costs up (had that effect in California)-- that cost shuffled down the line to the consumer in the form of reduced job opportunities (reduction in variable costs) or actual increases in price at the register. Money doesn't grow on trees -- that extra leverage will have to be addressed within the business.

    Since price is determined by the market, it'll likely be the former or an increase in the rate of outsourcing to maintain a competitive advantage (or Gov't subsidies?).

    These are causal effects that should be measured...we shouldn't focus merely on the program's budgetary subsidies and offsets provided by taxpayers that provide for a rosy outcome on paper.

    It will be the lower/middle class who takes the hit -- history paints this picture clearly.

    Source(s): Sold credits in California at a cotton ginning facility for unused PM-10 certificates. Each one went for $75,000 about 4 years ago. Sold today, they'd be worth approximately $130,000 each. Supply and Demand. How do businesses absorb those added costs?
  • JimZ
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    Like AGW, the left is quick to believe myths like the rich getting richer and the poor get poorer. That is a myth and not surprisingly, Richard and Littlerobbergirl are on the wrong side of the facts. In fact, if you exclude the Obama year where everyone got poorer, both the rich get richer and the poor get richer. Today's poor have two color TVs and own cars. What is the point. Alarmists will believe their myths because it is part of they mythology and religion.

    To address your question, only someone with low grades in 3rd grade school wouldn't understand that taxing people on their energy, food, and everything else will make them poorer. I apologize to any below average third grader that I may have offended.

  • 1 decade ago

    The frenzy over global warming will only create more opportunities for certain individuals and entities to capitalize off of the public's reaction.

    A marginal example is the little note card in hotel bathrooms now asking you to reuse towells to "save the planet" when in reality the hotel stands to save sums of money from not having to wash them.

    Much like they sold fall out shelters during the cold war there will always be someone around to capitalize off of fear.

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