Soon after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in New York City, then-President George W. Bush offered the view that “we fight against poverty because hope is the answer to terror.” Bush himself never followed through in advancing a serious global anti-poverty agenda. But, in the in the aftermath of last Friday’s terrorist slaughter in Paris, it is imperative that the rest of us do so now.
Given that the long-anticipated U.N. Climate Change Conference will begin in Paris in less than two weeks, it is especially critical that we make clear how an effective global climate stabilization project will serve as a powerful tool for fighting global poverty. Here are some major connections:The poor suffer the most from climate change. The eminent MIT climate scientist Kerry Emmanuel has written that “comparatively small shifts in precipitation and temperature can exert considerable pressure on governments and social systems whose failure to respond could lead to famine, disease, mass emigrations, and political instability.” The affluent in all regions of the world will figure out how to protect themselves to a considerable degree from these developments. The poor will not ... Read more