Comment by Peter Breis on article “Imagine Everyone Was Equal, in Emissions”. New York Times blog Dot Earth. February 15, 2008 – The problem with the laissez fair approach is that balance is only achieved after disaster strikes.
It is the Titanic effect.
Full steam ahead until you hit the iceberg, then put the rich, who caused the problem and stifled the SOS message, into the life boats and lock the steerage passengers in the lower decks to go down with the ship.
The USA and other wasteful consumer societies figure they’ll be able to make others pay for their sins and then business can continue as usual.
A Christian Aid report (September 1999) concluded that industrialized nations will owe over 600 billion dollars to the developing nations for the associated costs of climate changes. This is three times as much as the conventional debt that developing countries owe the developed ones. Since developed nations will never “pay” such a “debt”, the best that they can do is to accept a greater obligation and burden in fighting global warming.