The Paradox of Wealth and Climate Change

♠ Posted by Emmanuel in , at 12/07/2009 05:11:00 PM
One of the things I'll grudgingly credit the landlord who's stuck me with a flat without Internet for is that I at least get the BBC. As any Anglophile should tell you, Auntie still provides the best programming out there, hands down. This is especially so for public interest programmes. I was thus watching the Politics Show yesterday when the presenter mentioned an interesting tidbit about different attitudes to climate change based on wealth according to the results of a study the Beeb commissioned. While wealthier folks are more likely to view climate change as an important issue, they are also more likely to pollute more. Here's a map from the BBC article version of the news report:

The explanation here is straightforward: Folks of more modest incomes do not necessarily see long-term problems that are not immediately visible as important alongside those of jobs, education, and crime. These folks also tend to have less opulent houses and vehicles in the American McMansion and monster SUV sense. OTOH, the wealthy have less Joe Bloggs-style concerns and can literally afford to ponder the Big Questions of our generation like...climate change. This all the while living in McMansions and driving around in monster SUVs (or their British equivalents) of course.