Here is the latest analysis:
In a just world the United States would pay back the $4 trillion dollars it owes, according to new research, for trashing the climate.There are many things wrong with this. First, carbon emissions appear to be a net economic benefit to the planet, so far. Those poor agrarian countries are getting greater productivity from their farms because, in part, of increased atmospheric carbon.
Global warming wasn’t created equal. Rich, industrialized nations have contributed the lion’s share of the carbon pollution to our currently-unfolding catastrophe — the more CO2 in the atmosphere, the hotter it gets, of course — while smaller, poorer, and more agrarian countries are little to blame. The subsequent warming from our carbon-stuffed skies will, naturally, impact everyone, often hitting the poorer countries harder. So, since the rich fueled the crisis that’s about to soak the poor, they might help chip in to soften the blow.
That, in super-basic terms, is the concept of climate debt, which guides current emissions negotiations and efforts to distribute funds for adaptation to nations most affected by climate change.
Second, even if the carbon is bad, it has been essential to the industrialization of the West, and that has been an enormous economic benefit to other countries. They are getting cheap food, phones, medicines, and everything else.
Third, the calculation makes a virtue out of overpopulation. That is, a country is to be paid for its excess population if they are not participating in modern industrialization, so India gets paid the most.
This is all backwards. Any serious calculation of the effects of industrialization would conclude that India has been freeloading off the West. 100s of millions of them would have starved, without Western industrialization. And they are a much bigger threat to the climate in the future. It would make more sense to kill everyone in India, if global warming is such a threat.
Just to be clear, I am not advocating killing people in India. But I am saying that the USA has been a huge economic benefit to the world, and India has not. India's population is a burden, not a benefit.
(A few people argue that industrialization has not be so beneficial, and that people were happier before. I am not addressing that, and just looking at economic benefit.)