, 11 tweets, 2 min read Read on Twitter
What about the costs of climate action?
That was, in essence, one of the climate questions at the first #DemDebate.
Have you ever had that one flung at you?🙋‍♀️
It feels like a trap doesn't it? I mean all those bike lanes & solar panels are going to cost something right?
It is a trap. Don't accept that framing. Luckily the way out of the trap isn't that hard to find.
You have to bring the costs of inaction into the discussion. There are two types of costs of inaction.
1. Costs of inaction that are being experienced by someone right now. Kids with asthma. Deaths from air pollution. People paying high energy bills in leaky homes. All those costs will be cut with action on climate change.
If you don't count those costs you say those people don't matter. (And often they are older or young, or people of color, or poor people). Doing a full cost accounting is the economists way of saying everyone matters.
2. Costs of inaction that will be placed on people in the future. Also huge. We know this. The costs of floods, fires, storm surges, infrastructure failures, diseases, heat waves.
If you don't count these costs then you say that the children and young people don't matter. Doing an accounting that takes into account future harms is the other way we say everyone matters.
So, when someone says "what about the costs" what they mean, but aren't saying is that poor people, people of color, our elders, and our children don't mater. Don't let them get away with that!
BTW: I don't think any of the candidates who answered the costs question challenged the framing at all, that's how common and accepted it is in society. #DemDebate2020
PS: Who benefits when the idea 'fighting climate change" elicits the frame "costly infrastructure" and not the frame "benefits to people today and in the future"? -- just the largest most powerful industry in the history of civilization.
So it's probably not an accident that the 'costly climate problem' is such an entrenched frame. But it's really one that can't be allowed to stand.
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