Don’t Blame The Poor

A letter by Gary Williams in the Feb. 28 Eugene Weekly contends the world’s greatest problem is that the planet has too many people. The rhetoric of individuals like Williams serves as an attempt to shift the blame for global warming and other pressing issues onto poor people and people of color.

In fact, the real culprits are those in the world’s richest countries who are consuming more than their share. Population sizes among the world’s poorest people might be increasing, while they contribute almost nothing to global warming. Some of them do not own a single electric light bulb.

People in the U.S. must accept the fact that, with a few exceptions, they and other people in the richer countries have caused the lion’s share of greenhouse gas emissions. A good place to start would be a bill currently before Congress, the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act (H.R. 763), which the Citizens’ Climate Lobby is supporting.

The bill would give people incentives to reduce the size of their carbon footprints while protecting low-income people by returning the revenue to households on an equal basis. 

Milton Takei