Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Read These Two Stories, Then Tell Me We Can Separate Environmental Problems From Inequality

Hillary Clinton delivered her first major campaign speech over the weekend, painting climate science denial as part of the same elite obstruction that keeps wages down and public infrastructure shoddy.

It's a powerful case that brings together seemingly unrelated issues. And it's one that's more believable the more you know about how many of the ultra-wealthy simply don't care about solving America's problems:
  • After California Gov. Jerry Brown ordered water restrictions in the face of crippling drought, Rob Kuznia reports in today's Washington Post that the ultra-wealthy community of Rancho Santa Fe has actually increased its water use 9 percent:
    People “should not be forced to live on property with brown lawns, golf on brown courses or apologize for wanting their gardens to be beautiful,” [Steve] Yuhas fumed recently on social media. “We pay significant property taxes based on where we live,” he added in an interview. “And, no, we’re not all equal when it comes to water.”
  • The Russell Sage Foundation polled the 1% (average income of $1 million or more a year) and found they're 37% more likely than the average American to say we should cut environmental protections than expand them.
As David Roberts writes at Vox, there's growing evidence that, as a group, rich people are selfish jerks.

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