Avit Bhowmik | I care for climate and environment

We live in a world of disparity (62 ≠ 400000000)

Image credit: Business today       

I, personally, don’t care for money so much and don’t believe either that a good intention can ever be halted for money. However, distribution of resources has always been a concern to me, especially because my research deals with global dynamics. It has been evident that changes are led and dominated by the powerful, while resources (in versatile forms) bring that power.

Oxfam has recently released a scientific report: An Economy for the 1%. The main finding of the report is that just 62 people own the same wealth as half the world’s population. I see two alarming facts about this finding:

Image credit: Jon Stone

  • The trend of the number of super wealthy people is decreasing, i.e. 388 in 2010 to 62 in 2016. If I may quote Oxfam GB chief executive Mark Goldring: “It is simply unacceptable that the poorest half of the world population owns no more than a small group of the global super-rich – so few, you could fit them all on a single coach”. It doesn’t only show us that the world disparity is on a sharp increasing trend but also that the possession of world resources is drastically shifting. This in turn implies that more and more people are loosing resources, i.e. Power.

  • The spatial, i.e. regional, disparity of resources is getting acute. Traditionally, and currently, resources are concentrated in the so called developed countries. Perhaps, it will eventually be concentrated within a small community. We have signed the COP#21 agreement, where we all agreed that the major drive for keeping the temperature rise below 2 degree by 2100 should come from the developing and under developed countries. Is it at all plausible with the continuous disenfranchising and extreme poverty?

Unfortunately, I don’t see an immediate solution. Probably, we need an urgent crackdown on global taxes and introduce a Pigovian Tax on a global level, yet I am afraid that it would harm the poorest even more. There is no doubt denying the fact that Environmentalism is the way to go, but who is going to tie the bell around the neck of that cat? continue reading:


Avit Bhowmik is an Assistant Professor of Risk and Environmental Studies in Karlstad University