Shocking News: The Rich Have Bigger Carbon Footprints Than the Poor


larger scale drawing from Globe and Mail here

"The rich are different than you and me; they have more money." That is how Hemingway made fun of the first line of the Great Gatsby, stating the perfectly obvious. One could say the same about the study that just came out from a Canadian think tank, that found that "the wealthiest 10 per cent of the population have about 2.5 times the negative impact on the environment as those in the bottom 10 per cent."

Economist Hugh Mackenzie and the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives have a point: the poor have less impact, so they should have to bear less of the burden from policies such as carbon taxes. "Most of the heavy lifting in doing something about the [environmental] problem will, just looking at the numbers, have to be done by families with higher incomes," he says in the Globe and Mail. "We don't want low-income families to turn down their thermostats to the point where their kids are cold. We don't want low-income families to get to the point where they can't drive to jobs." ::Globe and Mail
From the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives:
The richest 10 percent of Canadians create a bigger ecological footprint — a whopping 66 percent higher -- than the average Canadian household, says a new study by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA). The study, Size Matters:
Canada's Ecological Footprint, By Income, is the first Canadian study to link national income and consumption patterns with global warming. "When we look at where the environmental impact of human activity comes from, we see that size really does matter," says Hugh Mackenzie, CCPA research associate. "Higher-income Canadians create a much bigger footprint than poorer Canadians." PDF of the study here

TreeHugger on Wretched Excess:

Wretched Excess : The SUV's of Appliances
Wretched Excess Dept: Car Condos
Wretched Excess Dept: Aspen Vacation Homes :
Wretched Excess Dept: A 50000 SF House

Related Content on