Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Danny Dorling writes about the connection between high inequality and disregard for the environment:
In a 2016 report, Oxfam found that the greatest polluters of all were the most affluent 10% of US households: each emitted, on average, 50 tonnes of CO2 per household member per year. Canada’s top 10% were the next most polluting, followed by the British, Russian and South African elites.

In more equitable affluent countries such as South Korea, Japan, France, Italy and Germany, the rich don’t just pollute less; the average pollution is lower too, because the bottom half of these populations pollute less than the bottom half in the US, Canada or Britain, despite being better off.

In short, people in more equal rich countries consume less, produce less waste and emit less carbon, on average. Indeed, almost everything associated with the environment improves when economic equality is greater.
It is only since the late 1970s that the 25 rich countries focused on in this article have begun to diverge widely in their levels of economic inequality. Because they have done so, a set of natural experiments has been set up which today allows research into the effects of these differences.

The preliminary conclusion, based on these natural experiments, is that the more economically equitable countries tend to perform better across a wide range of environmental measures. Once we know what the driving forces are, and become fully aware of the damage that is done by inequality in environmental as well as social terms, we will know how necessary it is to embrace change.
- Jordan Brennan makes the case as to why a fair minimum wage should be achievable by consensus in order to rein in longstanding economic unfairness.

- Anjum Sultana writes about the link between citizenship and the social determinants of health, highlighting how full inclusion leads to better results for everybody. And Seth Klein calls out the Fraser Institute for an especially dishonest and alarmist attack on Indigenous people just in time for National Aboriginal Day.

- Steven Chase reports on the Libs' refusal to be honest with Canadians about the use of Canadian troops in combat in Iraq.

- And finally, Stephanie Carvin, Aaron Wherry and the Globe and Mail each offer worthwhile reads on how the compensation being paid to Omar Khadr is the price for neglecting human rights - and how the way to avoid paying it is to respect rights in the first place.

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