Today I heard both Michael Bloomberg and Jerry Brown speak on Meet the Press. Bloomberg said that the Yellow Vests are protesting the high gas tax because they do not understand how the tax will help them. He says it is a problem of education and preparing people for the steps that must be taken to slow man made climate change.
Bloomberg is wrong. Gerry Brown got it right. The Yellow Vests are protesting economic inequality.
Many wealthy families and corporations got rich by exploiting our environment. We cannot now put the financial burden of change on the average people. In the USA and Europe, the so called economic boom of the past 10 years did not benefit everyone. The wealthy enjoyed enormous increases in their wealth while the average person fell farther and farther behind. The number of homeless grows daily. Too many families go hungry. So any plan to halt climate change that imposes additional tax or financial hardship on all people is going to result in rebellion.
It is not enough to say that we all benefit from change if it has to come on the backs of those who have been languishing in stagnant growth.
Of course every human in a developed country needs to change some aspects of their lifestyle. But the major financial burden of the necessary changes needs to be borne by those who have profited most from the activities that have created the crisis.