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Two new scientific papers break down how the rich are destroying Earth

Salon: “As the climate crisis becomes more acute — exemplified in interminable wildfire “seasons”, intense drought and extreme weather — it’s becoming clear that saving the planet will involve more than politely asking consumers to recycle their yogurt cups. Indeed, many of climate change’s effects are largely spurred by resource hoarding and inequality via the super-rich. This is not the perspective of a progressive op-ed writer, but rather the conclusion scientific research that sought to quantify the relationship between resource consumption and wealth. Intriguingly, it is not merely that the wealthiest are causing global warming — they are also engaged in behaviors that are hurting the world’s poor more than climate change is. Particularly regarding access to safe drinking water, overly extractive and selfish behaviors often outpace the damage global heating is inflicting on the world’s poorest…A pair of studies demonstrates just how stark the inequality is. The first, recently published in the journal Nature Sustainability, details how “urban elites are able to overconsume water while excluding less-privileged populations from basic access.” The second, published in the journal Cleaner Production Letters, explains how the lavish lifestyles of rich people are disproportionately choking the planet, making it unlikely for us to achieve targets for keeping global temperatures from rising…”

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