If rich countries pay poor countries for climate change victimization, must poor countries pay rich countries for science and engineering?

Poor countries are the victims of rich countries, according to the Newspaper of the Righteous, and should get paid for their victimization. “Calls for Climate Reparations Reach Boiling Point in Glasgow Talks” (NYT, November 11):

For decades, vulnerable countries and activist groups have demanded that rich polluter countries pay for irreparable damage from climate change. This year, there may be a breakthrough.

What is owed to countries least responsible for the problem of global warming but most harmed by its effects — and by whom?

Year after year, calls have steadily grown louder for industrialized nations responsible for the greenhouse gas emissions already heating up the planet to own up to the problem — and pay for the damage.

This year, demands for redress have sharpened as climate justice has become a rallying cry, not just from countries in the global south, like Mr. Huq’s, but from a broad range of activists, especially young people, in the United States and Europe.

How much are we talking?

Estimates of the amount of money required to address loss and damage varies widely, from roughly $300 to $600 billion a year by 2030.

Less than the elites steal from the American working class every year via low-skill immigration! (Harvard study: $500 billion/year from the working class to the elites in pre-Biden money)

There’s additional scrutiny on the United States, in part because of its outsized role as history’s biggest polluter, but also because of the stated commitments of the Biden administration to climate justice.

The journalist and editors at the New York Times do not quote anyone who has an argument against paying. Is that because no argument can be made?

It’s Thanksgiving week. What about the fact that non-Western countries have gotten Western science (not Science in the form of cloth masks and vaccines that don’t prevent infection or transmission, but science as taught prior to 2020) for free? Shouldn’t these non-Western countries give thanks for Western science and engineering and maybe even give money (as an offset) for Western science and engineering?

How much are Michelle Faraday‘s descriptions of electrical phenomena worth? For a poor country that wishes to set up a power grid, what are Katherine Clerk Maxwell’s Equations worth? For people in poor countries who don’t want to die from infection, how much value did they receive from being handed the work of Louise Pasteur? If they want to get from place to place without having to build roads, aren’t they getting a lot of value from Katharine Wright‘s invention of the first practical flying machine? (assembled and piloted by her brothers) If they enjoy communicating and being entertained, they’re getting value from Wilma Shockley‘s invention of the transistor, no? If they don’t want to starve to death, they need the fertilizers that are made via the process that chemists Frida Haber and Carla Bosch developed.

It doesn’t make sense to start money flowing until both credits and debits have been tallied, does it? If we did that accounting, wouldn’t we likely find that poor countries were getting a lot more than $600 billion in value from Western science and engineering? World GDP is roughly $100 trillion.

Here are some October 2022 photos from Westminster Abbey. Important English and Scottish scientists, including Isabelle Newton, either get a tomb or a memorial or both.

Let’s not forget the monuments to British colonialism and an author whose low opinion of Jews is amply confirmed by Sam Bankman-Fried:

10 thoughts on “If rich countries pay poor countries for climate change victimization, must poor countries pay rich countries for science and engineering?

  1. > whose low opinion of Jews…

    I didn’t know Kipling had been assigned that taint? The usually reliable weather vane doesn’t seem to confirm it.

    Kipling did however write possibly the most vituperative poem ever, about the then Sir Rufus Isaacs. Sir Rufus, a Jew, had engaged in what we now call “insider trading” of Marconi shares while serving as attorney general (his brother Godfrey was a Marconi director). An inquiry applied whitewash and the affair did Sir R no great harm. Kipling wrote his poem in response.

    • LP: Maybe you’re right! I guess Kipling had a low opinion of one particular Jew (did Sir Rufus even redeem himself with massive donations to Democrats, as SBF did?). https://www.kiplingsociety.co.uk/readers-guide/rg_fifthriver1.htm talks about a poem in which Jews hang out on the banks of a secret River of Gold and says “Daniel Hadas suggests that this poem, like the accompanying story, is a remarkable reaction to anti-Semitism. Rather than rejecting the trope of Jews who manipulate the world through their control of the money supply, Kipling celebrates this putative Jewish role, as a special one assigned to them by God.”

  2. Yup. That reminds me of a point I’d always wondered about whenever the idea of reparations for slavery comes up. The countries slaves were imported from are today very poor. The descendants of anyone brought to the US from Africa as a slave are better off economically than they would have been had their ancestors remained in Africa. Arguably modern descendants of those slaves benefited from their ancestors suffering being brought to the US from poor countries.

    Of course regardless: the idea of reparations in for slavery is odd also due to being unclear where they think the money would come from. Should it be from the descendants of the African slavers who captured people and enslaved them? Or from those who took them to the US where their status didn’t change: but where their descendants would be better off? Regardless why should people today be held responsible for the sins of their ancestors? Or in the case of those of us whose ancestors came to the US after that: why should we pay for the sins of those who merely happen to have similar skin color?

  3. Why? So we can throw another $300 to $600 billion a year to the kleptocrats and third-world monster politicians (most of them educated in the US, UK or Europe) to steal – with even more justification!! – from their own people?

    I once knew a devout Christian woman who had managed to bribe, beg and borrow her way out of Nigeria and emigrate to the US (legally! we had dinner at her house to celebrate) with her young daughter, back when Nigeria was a couple clicks farther down the Road to Hell than it is today. We talked for a long time that night and I remember asking her: “Do you miss Nigeria and do you think it will ever get any better?” She basically said that while she did miss her home town, she never thought it was improve – with any amount of investment – until the corruption could be brought under control. “Living there was like dying a little more surely every day.”

  4. I’m pretty sure “Katherine Clerk Maxwell” would have bridled at being described as English. At least, approximately 100% of Scots in my experience would fail to recognise the compliment that was obviously intended.

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