I was thinking about this a bit more today and the list of things that arguably need to be done by most people in developed countries to reduce global warming and help protect the environment, all the things I said, and it is pretty much an attack of the lifestyles of the rich.
By "rich" in a global context I mean if you can afford a car and to live in your own house rather than share and take a holiday abroad, then you are rich, so most people in developing countries.
In order to be environmentally responsible, if you are rich, you need to stop being rich. Just leave your money in the bank for the time being until we have figured out how to get renewable powered electricity grids, cars etc - (that may mean saving it for your kids rather than yourself!). Or give it to charity. Either that or think very, very carefully and do serious research about how you spend your money for any purchase of any moderate size, although we may be kidding ourselves if we think that is the get out.
I mean all the obvious that we get rich for: such as better cars, foreign travel, good steaks, top end smart phones are damaging the world in various ways. Even having a bigger house is worse for the environment because of higher energy use and the fact that it takes more construction materials to build it. Did you know that cement has a lot of carbon emissions associated with it?
If you live on this plant and earn more than about $60,000 a year, how are you supposed to spend your money to enjoy your life more without damaging the planet?
I suppose in theory you could put solar panels on your roof, but what if you are renting? I suppose in theory you could buy an electric car, but are there enough charging stations near you? And if it's only a hybrid, and it's a new car, it's probably not any better for the environment. (Factoring in the carbon emissions of building a car, a 2015 hybrid may be worse than buying a 2005 second hand petrol car.) And as for flying, green planes that can get you across continents efficiently and safely? Don't exist.
So IF we accept that each person should not emit substantially more than the average per person needed to keep climate control within reasonable sensible limits (and by reasonably sensible limits I mean that say for example we should try to avoid the west antarctica ice shelf falling into the sea and drowning the Bangladeshis) then rich people should probably just sit on their cash.
For some things this is debatable. It should be possible to build a fabulous huge house that's eco friendly, I think. For instance. But flights? No.
Unless you think success in life ought to entitle one to pollute more? I'm not quite sure I'm capitalist enough to agree with that, that does not seem fair, and in any case, such an argument doesn't work on a practical level, since if the rich are allowed to pollute more, it's hard to keep emissions within reccomended levels.
Which is a bit worrying really. Where is the incentive for entrepreneurs in society and for people to get rich if that is the world we now live in? It's almost environmentalism mandating socialism, which is convenient for environmentalists since many of them seem to be leaning in that direction anyway.
Perhaps the solution is, if you are rich, to only spend half of your money, bank the other half, and retire earlier, maybe at age of 45/50. Another might be to work part time and reduce your standard of living. Instead of chasing the best car, the best phone, then the benefit of earning more $ per hour becomes more free time. That's the best solution I can think of. Trade consumption for time.
Anyway, rather a hypothetical question at the moment, since most people aren't seriously considering reducing their environmental impact any more than token efforts like a few light bulbs or something.
It seems to me from not just this but previous posts that there is about a 50/50 split between people who appreciate my comments on moral topics (on a range of issues from veganism to environment to white privilege and so on) and those who...don't. So my conclusion is to continue doing it, but not too frequently.