In the United States, there is a collective disagreement about whether the planet’s climate is changing, which makes sense. After all, there are a great many consumptive habits and practices that would no longer be rational in light of certain information. Unfortunately, whether the citizens of the United States believe that the earth’s climate patterns are changing or not, other countries are being forced to reckon with the decisions of elite decision makers. Without changing anything about the United States, the citizens are dooming the quality of life of people across the globe.
For example, every hurricane season is the “worst hurricane season ever.” While it may seem like journalistic hyperbole, what the journalists are actually saying is that hurricanes are intensifying every single year. They are increasing in ways that wipe out states and countries, and reconstruction has overwhelmingly benefited those who can afford to have their homes destroyed multiple times, meaning the wealthy. Marginalized communities that are forced to endure intense storms lack infrastructure and emergency planning supplies to chronically brace themselves for annual upheaval. If people continue to hold to the destructive economic philosophies, entire cultures could be up for extinction as the citizens of Kiribati, Fiji, and the Marshall Islands can attest.
Speaking of infrastructure, changing weather means further stretching the capacity of existing infrastructure which has already been deemed inadequate. The reason why New Orleans was utterly destroyed is that the levies were unable to withstand the force of the excessive amounts of water; no one who built the levies could have imagined the apocalyptic storm that occurred. Even though developers are still clamoring to build in hurricane prone areas, insurance companies are disinterested in losing so much money when the companies know hurricanes will come the next year. In New Zealand, not only has a monument dropped on the shore from erosion, the roads are under a constant threat, and everyone is at a loss as to how to fix them. Other people are depending on shifts in ideology to avoid blistering costs for repair.
Finally, society is able to exist because of how people are distributed across the planet. If more cities, states, and countries across the planet become inhabitable, humans who are eager to survive will have to move. Of course, this will reconcentrate consumption if current corporate practices do not change, but with the accelerated pattern changes, the issues would need to be addressed even sooner than before. Regardless of technology, there is a finite amount of fresh water on the planet, and only so much soil is arable. Shifting entire populations will instigate violence, and when there is no escape, the violence only increases. Therefore, if countries are adamant about keeping out other citizens to protect their resources, they would do well to persuade wasteful corporate entities to change their ways.
Luxury marketing has entranced the globe to such an extent that there are inequity movements everywhere. Sadly, none of those movements have stirred the wealthy to reduce their consumption. Multiple houses, cars, and lavish lifestyles are assuaging those with resources, and socioeconomic segregation means that the privileged classes are unaware of the consequences of their actions. How the planet survives will depend on the whims of those who can only see as far as their checkbooks. The United States will have much to answer for if its negligence continues.