In the years approaching 2010, global health outcomes; maternal/child mortality rates/life expectancy, were all improving. Global poverty too was falling – so much that even there was ‘serious conversation’ within the UN as to if they’d even need humanitarian appeals in the future. 1 Wealth, advances in technology and education were transforming everything. Even if there were still huge inequalities, their reduction, or at least the lifting of the worst-off to a platform of some reasonable security, seemed an inevitable process. This was the narrative within which I’d seen reporting of everything from Ethiopia’s 1980s famine, to conflict in Darfur. Despite atrocities occurring in Britain’s colonial past, Britain and Europe, on the whole, had learned to become a place of peace, democracy and wealth. Even if the ‘war on terror’ was a disaster, it seemed, however long it took, the future of the world was to be more like the peace of Europe and the US, and that would be good. There was a story of the lifestyles led in the UK were as normal, and the natural result of knowledge, work, and respectfulness. One part of this picture was the green revolution of agriculture that saw crop yields far higher than was historically anticipated. Norman Borlaug warned that this had not solved the problem of hunger, but bought us time. 2 He was focusing here on population, and while our population did grow from 1 to 8 billion over the past 200 years, it has been noted that our consumption has increased 100-fold. 3 Whatever the emphasis, we failed to heed his warning that limits were still limits. In 2009 Johan Rockström published and an assessment of 9 planetary boundaries, noting that ‘Crossing certain biophysical thresholds could have disastrous consequences for humanity.’ and that ‘Three of nine interlinked planetary boundaries have already been overstepped.’ 4 In 2021 he reported that ‘we no longer have a range that goes from a manageable 1.5C to disastrous over 4C. Now the range is from very dangerous (above 2C, which can lead to a hothouse Earth) to catastrophic (over 4C). If we continue as we are, we are very unlikely to remain under 2C in 30 or 40 years.’ 5 Now in 2023 he argues that any global mean temperature rise [henceforward referred to as ‘temperature rise’] over 1°C should not be considered ‘safe’ and that 7 of 8 reconfigured boundaries have now been crossed). 6 While we’ve passed 1°C of warming, even in 2018 the IPCC was quite frank about how difficult it would be to limit warming even to1.5°C, noting it ‘is possible within the laws of chemistry and physics but would require unprecedented transitions in all aspects of society.’ 7 enough checks and balances to maintain a tolerable inequality. At one end of the democratic system billionaires control the majority of the world’s news and social media platforms, at the other end, whether through direct donations or the importance of their business to nations’ economies, corporations have increasing influence over governments. The global financial system is fundamental to how we live – and implicate in that is assumed at least some element of meritocracy, – at least that is how we behave. However now some international corporations have grown so much that many CEOs have more personal wealth then some nation’s governments. In a world with so many variables and values in flux, it is hard to imagine that the contributions of some people are really worth so many tens, thousands – even more, times that of others, or even that rewarding one’s so ‘gifted’ is really to everyone’s benefit. While the majority of the world was struggling with Covid the wealth of the world’s 10 richest doubled. 14 The world’s top 1% have had more power to influence how the world develops than they have had for decades – and they have directed us to 2-4°C temperature rise and a not-insignificant risk of the collapse of civilisation; this has happened despite their own exemplary efforts to curtail their personal emissions – leading to nothing less than 30 times what would be consistent with 1.5°C temperature rise (compared to the poorest 50%, whose per-capita emissions are only 0.43%). 15 Yet we are imbedded in a culture that continually rewards them for this. This is quite conclusively not what proportionate reward looks like. Rather, in a world that cannot decide if Covid is real or if vaccines work, it has been largely accepted that, regarding broader issues, information can no longer be trusted and as assuredly information given will not be trusted enough to enable any meaningful change. We have met an acceptance that the system cannot be controlled, so people to extract wealth from the system, by whatever means, are ‘meritorious’. This encourages morality to be limited to a close circle, and labels as bad only immediately threats to that stability. The UK itself bears an especial role in exacerbating inequalities, with a London-base, using US currency the financial centre successfully evaded regulations of both countries. 16 Making the finance services centre a ‘major driver of the UK economy’, (10% of UK economic output) and globally the second largest asset management sector (£11 trillion of assets in 2020). 17 It has been estimated that by 2024 there will be over 5000 families ‘living’ in London with liquid assets exceeding $30 million each; ‘the attraction is not just in London’s history, nightlife or convenient time-zone – it is chiefly the country’s lax tax regime.’ 18 In 2019 73% of Europe’s bankers (more than 3500) earning more than €1 million were in the UK, 9 times more than any other country in Europe. 19 Meanwhile UK overseas territories top the list of the world’s leading tax havens, with Britain itself ‘singled out for providing the widest scope for international corporations to cut their tax bills.’ 20 In 2018 lost revenues were estimated at over half a billion dollars a year. 21 ‘Assets of the world’s wealthiest individuals are set to double by 2030,’ – the latest development with this new advantage? – ‘Yachts with helicopters were very rare 15 years ago… Now any new yacht over 230 feet will have a helipad. And any vessel over 328 feet is likely to have a helicopter hanger.’ 22 – further efforts to get the ‘edge’ over other rich people. The net movement of wealth from global south-to-north was estimated at $2.2 trillion a year (latest year of data 2017), and still increasing. 23 This was 2.7% global GNI, 13.5 times overseas development aid (consistently around 0.2% GNI over the past decade). 24 The failure of progress in poorer nations is often put down to corruption and some of the south-north transfer is indeed from the wealthy in poorer nations moving/concealing their finances. However, as noted it is countries, of which the UK is exemplary, that maintain their position, not only by extraction, but by pandering to the wealthy, however that wealth was obtained, with secrecy and acceptance of loopholes to ensure tax avoidance/evasion. 25 Despite the energy crisis in Europe, luxury spending had ‘never seen a year of surging performance to match 2021’ – a total of €1.14 trillion, with nearly half of this spend on luxury cars and €22 billion on luxury yachts. 26 Europe and the US are the leading markets and 2022 sales revenue is expected to come to €1.4 trillion. 27 While most of the world have never flown, pre-Covid forecasts saw demand for air-travel doubling over the next two decades. 28 Regarding Private Jets ‘Business is booming in deliveries, private rentals by individuals and business travel,’ the private jet industry peaked at $27.54 billion in 2019 but is expected to reach $36.94 billion by 2028. 29 In competition with Gibraltar as to who could stoop the lowest in enabling bookies, we reached a situation in 2017 where they were spending £1.5 billion a year on advertising, and in 2019 over £120 billion was spent by online gambling in the UK. 30 If one does an internet search of ‘how much does it cost to save a life?’ you are likely to end up at GiveWell, and their estimates of the most effective charities (in terms of data and lives saved per dollar). 2020 data found $5000 spent getting malaria nets to high-risk areas resulted in 1 less death. When high-risk areas were fully funded the efficiency would reduce to $8000 a life. 31 These benefits seem consistent with broader funding against malaria with an estimate of 11.7 million deaths prevented 2000-2021. Annual funding in the early 2000s was just under a billion, increasing to $3.5 in 2021. 32 From the average of 550 thousand averted deaths a year one can draw a crude estimate of $1818/life in the early 2000s to $6364/life in 2021, still in the several-thousand-dollar ball-park. Given over 600 thousand people live in extreme poverty I think it’s reasonable to assume that lives can be saved with much less than this, but one would have to dig around a bit and would struggle to find repeatable results that could give a consistent data set like this. The reason malaria prevention has been so consistently efficient is that it is consistently underfunded. The $3.5 billion 2021 funding did not meet half the estimate of what was needed to be on-track with targets (49% in 2020, 54% in 2019). 33 The Lancet noted in 2022 “Funding for malaria control has levelled off. Malaria mortality and incidence rates have not changed appreciably since 2015.” 34 The comparison of billionaire’s wealth with the purchases of ‘ordinary’ civilians is something of a cliché, an amusing fact-of-life, but this itself is an attitude of an time where inequalities were accepted, when broadly humanity, was doing alright, or at least getting better. We are now in an era where a safe future demands ‘unprecedented transitions in all aspects of society,’ and the people that keep us on a path to greater climate impacts are getting yet more empowered. In 2021 the collective wealth of the UK’s 10 richest men was £154 billion, 35 this is enough to pay $6720 36 every second for a year. One needed to do little more than a google-search to find reasonable assurance of opportunities for this amount to save lives in 2021 – opportunities sitting in that $3.8 billion malaria funding gap. To put this another way, if the UK’s ten richest men spent 1 second assessing each potentially-life-saving $6720 portion they owned, it would take them the entire year – every second finding a better use for that money than saving a life: a year of ‘no’s.
In 2015 Dr Hadiza Bawa-Garba was sentenced to 2 years imprisonment for manslaughter after a child died under her care, care which was found to be grossly negligent. 37 There were a string of other circumstances that made this shift more difficult/ dangerous, but the doctor had ‘actively’ volunteered to work the shift. The premise of ‘ownership’ has been so culturally protected (its role being pivotal in maintaining stability) that billionaires can pass over a couple of million decisions not to save a life with scant criticism. This ‘stability’ has now been shown to be very limited as either we confront cultural instability with ‘unprecedented transitions,’ or we confront the instability of the climate. The billionaire-class has failed us, and the UK government is a global leader in rewarding them ever-more – for more short-term security.
The drastic difference in how we consider decisions leading to death (prison for manslaughter, indifference to wealth withheld despite its potential to save a life millions of times over) is important in our cultural response to climate change. Extraction from the global south has been largely squeezed into the ‘passive’ category and normalised by our financial systems.
Meanwhile, although emitting greenhouse gases has long been normalised, there is now conclusive acknowledgement and attribution studies showing the effects – pushing environments outside norms that have been stable for centuries. We know this, and we choose to continue, it is active; it is something tantamount to invasion, the effects of our emissions blundering through people’s homes, killing their livestock and leaving their soil permanently infertile. It is entirely feasible to put climate- deaths at the manslaughter end of the spectrum; for those of us who recognise the legitimacy of this framing, it is vital that we behave in a manner consistent with this; for the wealthy there is little benefit in updating normalised indifference to the new circumstances of reality. It is clearly easier to accept the emotional reassurance our environment reflects back at us than to interrogate our intuitions of innocence. Especially in a culture where well-behaved self-interested is applauded, it will be hard to imagine another way feasible. And if united action against climate and inequality is unfeasible, why not hoard as much security and wealth as possible for those you understand and love? I understand the rationality of that approach too, but, if not for lives or justice but to acknowledge the significance of human horror, we must stand by a narrative of criticism and culpability.
The relative optimism of previous decades was epitomised by Han’s Rosling’s efforts to make global data accessible, allowing people to understand how, for all the disparities the majority of people were living a much more secure existence than a decade or so before. 38 There was still a story of global-north technology working its way around, improving wealth and health outcomes. The situation is fundamentally different now. The nearly two-thirds of a billion people in absolute poverty are set to remain there. 39 The number of people living with hunger was at its lowest point in 2014; it was increasing before Covid or the invasion of Ukraine had an effect. 40 For an era that has seen unprecedented wealth created, this is an astonishing statistic. Particularly in private hospitals in low-income countries I’ve seen a lot of flaunting of more complex capabilities with long lists of the services, usually surgeries, they are able to perform. Meanwhile less obvious factors such as quality control, basic nursing care (monitoring and regular drug administration), and ‘invisible’ aspects like patient education were often very shoddy. In 2021 ‘More than 80 per cent of under-five deaths and about 70 per cent of all deaths among 5–24-year-olds occurred in sub-Saharan Africa and Southern Asia.’ 41 A lancet review of under-5 mortalities 2000-2019 found 20% were vaccine preventable. 42 ‘Globally, infectious diseases, including pneumonia, diarrhoea and malaria, along with pre-term birth complications, birth asphyxia
and trauma and congenital anomalies remain the leading causes of death in children under 5 years. Nutrition-related factors contribute to about 45% of deaths in children under 5 years of age.’ 43 There are various arguments I see when people try to dismiss this preventable global tragedy:
A) “We (speaking as a member of the global north) keep sending money and the problem never goes away.” Humanitarian funding has typically had a shortfall of about 40% 44 and climbing to about $25 billion a year pre-covid 45 this would have been 0.025% of global GDP that year. 46 Regarding improvements in development, huge progress had been made. It is only over the past half-decade that some markers of welfare, such as global
hunger, shown deterioration. Pre-covid, conflict was the predominant cause of increased hunger, however the role of climate change and resource scarcity in causing conflict and accelerating its effects is unclear; certainly climate change impacts are significant (see note on Somalia) and will play an increasing role.
B) “These problems occur because their population growth is unsustainable.” We might consider first the UK’s sustainability – a country that needs to import nearly half its food, and maintains much of its wealth by stooping lower than other nations to pander to the worlds rich. And globally reproductive rates have dropped dramatically. It is true that there are places, particularly in the Sahel, where high birth-rates and low resources are still
predicted to lead to awful conditions. It is hard to appreciate the cultural forces and dependencies in a different context. Familial security is an issue where the risks of child- death are so much higher. However simple solutions are still lacking funding. More than 200 million women have an unmet need for contraception. 47 The entire 2019 UNFPA funding was just over $1.4 billion. 48 This is 6.4% of the world spends on private jets and 1% what the UK spent on gambling that same year. All the same, after Covid hit, the UK reduced its funding
85%, the UNFPA’s director states that this amount ‘would have helped prevent around 250,000 maternal and child deaths, 14.6 million unintended pregnancies and 4.3 million unsafe abortions.’ 49 This leaves UK’s contribution at £23 million (by contrast Axiom are selling 10d trips to space for near double this amount). 50
C) “Charities are corrupt and wasteful.” It is difficult balancing waste and avoiding corruption/poor quality in remote areas and in confrontation with governments with their own agendas; often this is much more resource intensive than people would think. The difficulty and expense in determining climate damages, and even more getting those resources to the people concerned, is a huge argument to accept efforts in limiting climate change in the first place.
D) “It is due to governmental corruption/economic inability.” As noted, our own government endorses a system which allows corporations to drain huge amounts of resources, and a large part of the UK maintaining its position is through financial services which enable such corruption. The ‘developed’ global north has emitted 92% of global greenhouse gasses, 51 it has also held all the power to control where the world progresses to – and we are now moving towards 2.7°C warming with risks of much more including the potential to end civilisation as we know it. ‘We’ have accepted buying-time, ‘we’ had a small population with an attitude so convinced of their benevolence that self-maintenance was always held above immutable global changes, and we let them accrue so much wealth we have little power to challenge them.
The Alliance of Small Island States has been asking for compensation for climate damages since 1991. In 2009 ‘developed’ countries agreed to annual contributions for poorer countries’ climate mitigation/adaptation increasing to meet $100 billion a year by 2020. CARE found that ‘most of the public climate finance reported by rich countries is taken directly from development aid budgets.’ Between 2011 and 2018 only 6% of climate finance provided was in addition to nations already existing Official Developmental Assistance, and over $50bn of this was in the form of loans. 52 When Oxfam recalculated, including only the benefits of below market-rate loans, rather than the money loaned as well, annual contributions in 2017-2018 were still less than $23 billion. 53 Even using OECD’s vastly more generous interpretation of ‘funding’, in 2020 only $83.3bn was provided, 54 and
2022 looks set to fall short of the target as well – a target that is 1.67% the IMF’s assessment of fossil fuel subsidies, and less than 5% of the $2+ trillion of wealth moved from global south to north each year. 55
In 2005, along with the rest of the EU, the UK agreed to contribute 0.7% of GNI for overseas development aid by 2015. The UK had held to this target but in 2021 lowered their contributions to 0.5%, setting a poor precedent for how to treat countries with far less capacity to cope with the effects of covid/energy crisis – and the climate change impacts caused by the industrialised world. The UK government did announced, 23/09/2019, that it would increase funds for International Climate Finance to a total of £11.6billion from 2021-22 to 2025-26, 56 however this is £2.32 billion a year which, if one adds to the UK’s 0.5% Gross National Income, £11.1 billion in 2021, still falls short of the 0.7%GNI target. In essence the funds have been relabelled, allowing tour Government to flaunt its commitment to Climate Finance while hosting COP26. Last year this pledge was already
missing deadlines. 57 But the reality now is much worse than this – the government now plans to scrap the £11.6 billion pledge, because it was using its development assistance budget to fund it. Despite the Paris Agreement and attempts at COP to establish a politically feasible climate loss and damages fund, there is no agreed format for determining a country’s responsibilities in terms of climate damages. There is no clear way to define such a calculation, it ought to take in to account historical emissions, wealth, security, and the practicalities of who might use such funds most effectively; in a world that rewards the richest 1% vastly more than the bottom 50% even attempting this sensibly is a pipe dream.
A year of UK consumption emissions plus aviation and shipping (using 2019 data) 58 amounts to 1.3% of greenhouse gas emissions (note this is not the ‘1%’ often quoted which relates only to the UK’s territorial emissions). In March 2022 the UN were calling for assistance for Somalia, the country most hard-hit by drought in the horn of Africa. 1.3% of the people needing humanitarian assistance in Somalia would be over 71,000, and those with severe malnutrition over 18,000. 59 This is just one country – can the UK afford to adequately meet the needs/compensate – and rehouse many – of 71,000 people a year? If a wealthy country, knowing the risks, caused 1-in-a-1000 UK citizens to be displaced what would we expect? 60
This Drought has been found to be ‘at least 100 times more likely due to climate change.’ 61 1.3% of the estimate excess deaths 62 would be 559, with at least 280 were under 5 years. If one included the responsibility for international fossil fuel financing that went through UK banks and asset managers, this figure would more than double; 63 meaning there’s a reasonable argument that the UK is responsible for more child-mortalities in Somalia than died in the Ukraine conflict over a similar period). 64 It is complicated to deliver aid, especially where organisations such as Al-Shabab threaten to manipulate supplies, meanwhile climate change pulled the life-line from under the feet of subsistence-farmers and pastoralists who rely on local conditions for their independence from such groups.
Faced with the stressors of Covid/Ukraine/unaffordable-fuel the government response to increased need for overseas aid was to slash it 29%. The response to fossil fuel companies abuse of a captured market was markedly different: “currently the UK’s tax regime makes it the most profitable country in the world to develop
big offshore oil and gas projects.”
“The UK government (has) had to concede that oil and gas companies may make more money from subsidies than they pay in tax.”
“…of the 13 members of the OGA’s board and senior management team, 8 previously worked in the oil and gas industry and 3 still hold shares in oil companies.” (04/02/2022). 65 “Rishi Sunak announced the 91% tax break alongside a (£5bn) windfall tax on the huge profits of oil and gas companies… The E3G thinktank calculated that the tax break would hand between £2.5bn and £5.7bn back to the oil companies over three years, while an energy efficiency programme of £3bn over the same period would upgrade 2.1m homes making them less reliant on gas.” 66
Since 2015 the UK has supported fossil fuels with £80bn, compared to £60bn for renewables. 67 From 2020-2021 fossil fuel support was increased 10.7%, (£1bn vs £1m for renewables) with a fifth of the new money going towards new extraction/mining, increasing the total support for new extraction by 2023 to £2bn. On top of this, globally ‘implicit’ subsidies (covering the cost of harms from fossil fuels) accounts for 92%, so this broader definition of a ‘subsidy’ would bring these totals far higher (as they do globally; including these costs the IMF
estimate total fossil fuel subsidies in 2022 to be $5.9 trillion). 68
In 2022 BP saw April-June profits of $8.45 billion, its biggest for 14 years, 69 at the same time Shell made profits of $11.5, double what they made in the same quartile in 2021. 70 Tax reliefs, largely with decommissioning costs/ further North Sea investments being allowed to offset tax, meant that neither company has paid UK tax since 2017/18. 71 They went on to make £23bn and £32bn respectively, with 25% windfall tax on profits from the North Sea later increased to 35% – but still with the same loopholes that allow much of this to be claimed back if they make UK reinvestments. 72 Both companies have subsequently lowered their ambitions for green investments. 73 In the UK we have built more and more complex systems dependant on dated-norms, locking them even deeper. It has been normalised to see ‘starving Africans’ on the TV since I was a child in the 80s. The context behind this though has entirely changed. It is a smaller world now – and we’re not now the ones are bringing the ‘securities of science and industry’ to the world. Our financial centre is a great enabler of the corrupt, undermining unstable governments throughout the world, our corporations extract resources from poorer countries and seem to see morality as something non-viable in market-forces, and so irrelevant. ‘About two-thirds of the developing
world’s 3 billion rural people live in about 475 million small farm households,’ 74 their impact on the climate is negligible, yet many suffer the worst of climate change risks, and many will inevitably die from them. Meanwhile in the UK a normalised apathy continues – the clichéd starving African on the media is not someone our industry will save, but increasingly more likely to be someone our industry will push from a skilled heritage of sustainable living to uprooted dependence on humanitarian aid – or not. We can no longer look at our scientific knowledge and bureaucratic sophistication as grounds for superiority, but rather such a wealth of information that we are lost in it, failing to grasp what is significant. We are knowingly, actively, causing hundreds of thousands of families in the horn of Africa to spend days travelling getting hungrier, watching their children get thinner and thinner. I’ve
seen thousands of mothers living on floorspace by malnutrition-ward beds, cleaning up diarrhoea and vomit 24/7, often in temperatures over 40°C, hoping their child won’t be one of the 10% who don’t go home. There is something astonishingly ‘adult’ and real and significant about people living through these. By comparison much of the UK, the wealthier bit, is busied talking and writing; all arguments about what goes where, seldom hit in the face by significance as is normal for the 600 thousand-or-so in absolute poverty.
There is a rational for saying more children died from UK emissions in 2022 than in the Ukraine conflict. The billionaires the UK government is subservient, the CEO’s that ‘create jobs’ and lobby, they have a tendency to splurge on success symbols – boats, jets, trips to space. Their vision seems seriously skewed by the assumption that wealth follows merit, and does so boundlessly. It is concerning that the ruthlessness of such decisions are accepted. We have one class of people so convinced of their wisdom that private jets are needed to spread their magic as efficiently as possible. Meanwhile half-starved women endure crisis after crisis, trying to keep their children alive. It seems we have empowered an attitude of juvenility. I completely understand that’s how things
have always been – but it is different now – I don’t think it’s inevitable that ‘billions will die,’ but the context has, quietly but catastrophically, shifted and we know now that the adornments of success are leading to a feasible risk of societal collapse. Few things exemplify this better than the use of private jets. ‘Go at least one level more than you think you’ll need,” explains one advocate of private jets, “you will not regret having mor space at 50-
thousand feet… I tell my pilots you red-light this plane the whole way there, you burn as much fuel as you have to. I’ve running out of time in my life, time is my most valuable commodity.’ 75 While climate scientists are highlighting the necessity for a wholesale shift in attitudes to pollution, private jet use is increasing. There has been an increase in first-time private jet users, likely due to Covid restrictions limiting other options; subsequently emissions from the sector in Europe have doubled. 76 Estimates put greenhouse gas emissions from private jets at 5-14 times more than a conventional flight 77 – a huge amount when considering this is one of the most carbon-intensive activities a person can do. For many people a flight is a treat that might happen once a year, this is much less the case for people using private jets. Meanwhile ‘normal’ people (82% of the world in 2016) 78 have never flown. While time might be the ‘most valuable commodity’ for people of great financial influence,
but I see little evidence at all that concentrating power in so few individuals is benefiting society. There is a difference between creating progress towards a safe, sustainable society, and simply taking advantage of opportunities to move money around. I can understand the use of small planes to serve critical needs to remote areas, but to use private jets because it makes financial sense to people who are overpaid, is perhaps the most irresponsible use of our carbon budgets I can think of. When it’s written in OilPrice that the ‘Move Away From Oil Begins With Demand, Not Supply’ when JPMorgan’s Head of energy strategy states ‘oil is really where we see the greatest need for incremental investment,’ it is in the same world where we ‘need’ to spend €1.4 trillion a
year on jets yacht’s and SUV’s and Somalian children need to die. If the fossil fuel industry is right in its assessed need of further investment then they are blind to the significance of horror endured by and destined for the global south, or they’d be openly chastising the frivolous wastage of fuel on toys and trinkets. Our norms, our financial system, our laws, are predicated by the assumption that stability=good. But the stability this gives us is now shown to be short term, as it leads to 2.5°C-plus of temperature rise. For temperature change to be less dangerous than this is dependent on a whole host of things:
- Carbon capture and storage must work at scale.
- Governments of the industrialised world must hold to their commitments.
- Fossil fuel companies must invest massively more in renewables/necessary mining.
- We must rapidly reduce energy need, or have an exceptional breakthrough in our
acquisition of minerals needed for renewable energy.
- We do not cross any of the 6 tipping points likely (with a further four possible) with
- The unreported emissions from nations military forces must not be large enough to
escalate things further.
- That conflicts, such as Ukraine, do not escalate or consume resources necessary to a
transition to less energy use from renewable sources.
- The wealthy do not continue to accumulate the wealth needed for the transition. My fear is that there are plenty of people amongst the top 1% who understand just how bad things are, in terms of numbers and mortalities and ‘people out there,’ but dismiss the plight of the less wealthy as a sort of inevitable Darwinian process going on in the chaos outside (part of an almost normalised attitude to Africa in many places).
‘The main reason why space tourism could be harmful to the environment,’ notes Star Walk, ‘is its potential popularity.’ 79 Indeed, because if you can afford this sort of non-sense, it doesn’t matter how you behave, you are one of the ‘extraordinary’ people referred to in Crime and Punishment, and morality is just a structure to control the masses. ‘How to exponentially dominate and disrupt’ is a subtitle for a book, not about anarchism or revolution, but selling the idea that ‘Entrepreneurs and aspiring business leaders must turn to private jet travel to stay ahead of the competition.’ 80 Even a few tiers down it’s tempting to accept the norms and expectations of a few decades ago and look abroad to the ‘animal’ behaviours of people who have grown up in hunger and insecurity and decide that they are not part of your emotional world/responsibility. Contemporary decisions suggest the government has no will to ameliorate or compensate damages inflicted beyond what is politically expedient.
- Cliff Kendall
1 Introduction 15/40, Lowcock, M. (2022). Relief Chief. Center for Global Development
2 PBS Documentary Spotlights ‘The Man Who Tried to Feed the World’ (dtnpf.com)
3 How Pronatalism Feeds The Economy | Nandita Bajaj (planetcritical.com)
4 A safe operating space for humanity | Nature
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| Climate crisis | The Guardian
6 Safe and just Earth system boundaries | Nature
7 Foreword — Global Warming of 1.5 ºC (ipcc.ch)
8 Global income inequality: How big is gap between richest and poorest? | World Economic Forum
9 Survival of the Richest: How we must tax the super-rich now to fight inequality
10 Confronting Carbon Inequality: Putting climate justice at the heart of the COVID-19 recovery
11 UK’s top 0.1% earners have annual income of over half a million, says IFS | Business | The Guardian
12 Government climate advisers running scared of change, says leading scientist | Climate crisis | The
13 (Scheidel, W. (2018). The Great Leveler (p. 528). Princeton University Press.)
14 Wealth of world’s 10 richest men doubled in pandemic, Oxfam says – BBC News
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16 Bullough, O. (2022). Butler to the world. Profile Books Ltd.
17 State of the sector | annual review of UK financial services 2022 (theglobalcity.uk)
18 Dorling, D. (2019). Inequality and the 1% (3rd ed.). Verso.
19 More than 3,500 UK bankers paid €1m a year, says EU report | Banking | The Guardian
20 UK overseas territories top list of world’s leading tax havens | Tax avoidance | The Guardian
21 The True Cost of Global Tax Havens – IMF F&D
22 This Swanky New Private Airport Lounge at Farnborough Has A Yacht Feel – Robb Report
23 Plunder in the Post-Colonial Era: Quantifying Drain from the Global South Through Unequal
Exchange, 1960–2018: New Political Economy: Vol 26, No 6 (tandfonline.com)
24 Net ODA received (% of GNI) | Data (worldbank.org)
25 Subscribe to read | Financial Times (ft.com)
26 Luxury Report 2021: From Surging Recovery to Elegant Advance—the Evolving Future of Luxury |
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27 Global luxury goods market takes 2022 leap forward and remains poised for further growth despite
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28 Poli, F. (2023). The Quantum Economy. Austin Macauley Publishers.
29 Private Aviation Industry Facts, Trends And Statistics (trulyexperiences.com)
30 Chap. 5, 92/122, Bullough, O. (2022). Butler to the world. Profile Books Ltd.
31 How We Produce Impact Estimates | GiveWell
32 World malaria report 2022 (who.int)
33 P xxiv World malaria report 2022 (who.int)
34 Malaria in 2022: a year of opportunity – The Lancet
35 UK Rich List 2021 revealed – who’s made billions more during the pandemic? | UK News | Sky
36 (£154bn / 0.7271) / 31,536,000 = $6716 US Dollar to British Pound Spot Exchange Rates for 2021
37 High Court ruling on GMC v Bawa-Garba | RCOG
39 Poverty and Shared Prosperity 2022: Correcting Course (worldbank.org)
40 (figure 2) 2.1 Food security indicators – latest updates and progress towards ending hunger and
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43 Child mortality (under 5 years) (who.int)
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49 ‘Devastating for women and girls’: UK cuts 85% in aid to UN family planning | Women’s rights and
gender equality | The Guardian
50 What Is Space Tourism | Cost, Companies, Future | Commercial Space Flight | Space Impacts | Star
51 Quantifying national responsibility for climate breakdown: an equality-based attribution approach
for carbon dioxide emissions in excess of the planetary boundary – The Lancet Planetary Health
52 That’s Not New Money: Assessing how much public finance has been “new and additional” to
support for development – CARE Climate Change
53 The broken $100-billion promise of climate finance — and how to fix it (nature.com)
54 Climate finance for poor countries to hit $100bn target by 2023, says report | Cop26 | The
55 Plunder in the Post-Colonial Era: Quantifying Drain from the Global South Through Unequal
Exchange, 1960–2018: New Political Economy: Vol 26, No 6 (tandfonline.com)
56 UK aid to double efforts to tackle climate change – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
57 UK claims it is still delivering £11.6B climate finance pledge | Devex
58 Greenhouse gas emissions – Our World in Data
59 Growing risk of Somalia famine, as drought impact worsens | UN News
60 Population, total – Somalia | Data (worldbank.org)
61 Human-induced climate change increased drought severity in Horn of Africa – World Weather
62 Somalia drought may have caused more than 20,000 child deaths | Imperial News | Imperial
63 UK banks and investors responsible for nearly double the UK’s annual carbon emissions, report
finds | Greenpeace UK
64 Ukraine civilian war casualties 2023 | Statista
65 Paid to pollute: fossil fuel subsidies in the UK and what you need to know | Ethical Consumer
67 Fossil fuels received £20bn more UK support than renewables since 2015 | Climate crisis | The
68 Fossil Fuel Subsidies (imf.org)
69 BP sees biggest profit in 14 years as energy bills soar – BBC News
70 Shell and Centrica post profits totalling £11bn as households struggle with bills | Shell | The
71 Shell and BP paid zero tax on North Sea gas and oil for three years | Oil and gas companies | The
72 Why is Shell’s UK windfall tax payment so low? | Shell | The Guardian
73 Shell drops target to cut oil production as CEO aims for higher profits | Shell | The Guardian BP
dials back climate pledge amid soaring oil profits – The Washington Post
74 The economic lives of smallholder farmers | FAO
75 Episode #1 Biz Jet Talk: Fabrizio Poli Meets Grant Cardone – YouTube
76 European private jet pollution doubled in one year – Greenpeace European Unit
77 Private jets: can the super-rich supercharge zero-emission aviation? (transportenvironment.org)
78 Fewer Than 18 Percent Of People Have Flown: What Happens Next? | HuffPost Impact
79 What Is Space Tourism | Cost, Companies, Future | Commercial Space Flight | Space Impacts | Star
80 The Quantum Economy | Book | Austin Macauley Publishers