Where are our rich influential people?

Mixed metaphors can be fun. Me, I’d love to see an image depicting our society plummetting towards the edge of a cliff like lemmings in headless chicken mode. I’m almost tempted to take up the art of, err, ‘cartooning’ — see, I don’t even what it’s called, so that road would be a long, uphill one for me!

JP from The Green Word asked a question in a comment recently that’s been playing on my mind.

There are numerous people who support the destruction of our climate (I’m sorry, I means free enterprise and “cheap abundant energy”) and spend millions on adds and politicians to get what they want. Where are our rich influential people?

I am often tempted to believe that greed is so powerful that it makes the urge to acquire override all other considerations. As in ‘the love of money is the root of all evil.’

But, surely, it can’t be the case that the ability to accumulate wealth really is inconsistent with an ethical, moral, environmental conscience.

If that is true, then the answer to the question is simply that there are no rich influential ‘green’ people; and, worse, those who appear to be are simply giving us two-faced lip service.

But if it is true, then the only way we can possibly find the means to fund realistic efforts to turn aside from the cliffs ahead is by sharing the load. Crowdsourcing. If, for whatever reason, we’re unable to take action ourselves, maybe we could be kicking a few more of our precious pennies to those organisations whose hearts are in the right place and who are actually doing something. Greenpeace. Friends of the Earth. The World Wildlife Fund.

Peter Sinclair, of Crock of the Week fame, recently announced the launch of the Dark Snow Project (which is currently less than halfway towards it funding target).

I wonder if there are any Kickstarter ‘save humanity from itself’ projects? (and if not: why not?).

The more of us who act, the less we each have to contribute. (I actually think this is the basic idea behind taxation, although that has become a dirty word because of the way in which our governments spend our money). The ‘1%’ may hold an increasingly unfair proportion of the funds, but ‘we the 99%’ have more wealth available to us in total.

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About pendantry

Phlyarologist (part-time) and pendant. Campaigner for action against anthropogenic global warming (AGW) and injustice in all its forms. Humanist, atheist, notoftenpist. Wannabe poet, writer and astronaut.
This entry was posted in Business, Capitalism, Climate, Communication, Core thought, crowdsourcing, Culture, Economics, Energy, Environment, News and politics, People, Strategy and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to Where are our rich influential people?

  1. witsendnj says:

    The 99% really don’t have much compared to the 0.01%, in terms of wealth or income – and for many, they have nothing to spare after paying for essentials. Also, if you do want to contribute, I would steer clear of “Gang Green”. Most big enviro NGO’s are compromised by corporate sponsorship, and their paid staff are more concerned about raising money to keep their organization going than challenging the growth paradigm. If I had money, I’d maybe give it to Greenpeace, or the Center for Biological Diversity, and even better, find a local group that is fighting fracking, KXL, mountaintop removal, coal or biofuel plants. Why are they called “plants”, anyway?

    • pendantry says:

      Oops: am I talking nonsense again? OK, I take it all back. So, back to the original question then: where are our rich influential people?

      (And I wouldn’t be surprised to find that biofuel factories are ‘plants’ for the same reason that we are sold ‘natural’ gas.)

      • witsendnj says:

        I have a sneaky suspicion that only sociopaths become wealthy, and the people that are born wealthy are corrupted from birth. Broadly speaking, of course. Have you seen the film “Born Rich”? It’s really funny. My neighbor made it. It’s online for free.

        • pendantry says:

          Is that Born Rich? Seems to be available on YouTube (downloading it from there now); Hulu tells me ‘Sorry, currently our video library can only be watched from within the United States’ (good to see freedom of speech is alive and well). Thanks for the heads-up, can always use more laughs 🙂

          • witsendnj says:

            Yeah, Jamie Johnson. That’s a documentary – several of the subjects later sued to block release of the film – one is Bloomberg’s daughter. His uncle wrote the book “Fierce People” also made into a film, a thinly veiled novel about the family (J&J), which is also very funny and needless to say didn’t make him very popular around here, haha!

        • jpgreenword says:

          Well, the original St. Nicholas (today known as Santa Claus) was born of a rich family. So maybe there is hope… Oh! Who am I kidding!

    • pendantry says:

      @Gail The 99% really don’t have much compared to the 0.01%, in terms of wealth or income
      I’ve been thinking about this. Is it still true even when all tax money is taken into account (this is, in theory at least, our munny!)? We’re talking about humongous amounts of dosh here, much of which is spent in support of a great many things that I know I, for one, don’t support!

      • Gail Zawacki says:

        Yes, in the US so much of “our” tax money goes to the military, which enriches the owners of weapons and equipment manufacturers, and the stupid war on drugs – prisons being privatized – then there are huge subsidies for industrial agriculture, fuels, mining and on and on. Just maintaining airports and air traffic control with tax money is unfair – most of the 99% don’t fly, certainly not often. My son-in-law has some money and has completely bought into the idea that he is one of the “1%”. Nonsense. Last summer I went out to Long Island for an Occupy protest when Rmoney was going to appear at a fundraiser at one of the Koch brother’s beachfront estate. It was $50k to get in the door for a cocktail party. When you can write a $50k check for a cocktail party (which my son-in-law can’t), THEN you are part of the 1%.

        My point is that most people have NO IDEA how filty rich the 1% really is. I’ve worked for two families that are pretty close to 1% (you quality if you own a G20). Their lifestyle is far, far beyond the imagination of most of the 99%. It’s obscene.

        • pendantry says:

          I agree it’s obscene. Totally. Bearing in mind the adage ‘if you have to ask what it costs, you can’t afford it’ — I don’t even know what a ‘G20’ is

          Your anecdote about your son-in-law makes me realise more clearly where it is you’re coming from. I suspect that many people, while appreciating that there is financial inequality even in the ‘rich’ Western world (never mind the gap between that and everyone else!), don’t grasp how insanely vast the divide is. It always astounds me when reasonably affluent people come back with the “you’re just envious” line, the use of which, to me, says that such people don’t understand that, as well off as they are, they are themselves penniless peasants by comparison with ‘the 1%’.

          But what I’m trying to articulate here is that, as I see it, we have only two choices: and since, bar a guillotine-powered revolution, redistributing the wealth simply isn’t going to happen, the only option open to ‘the 99%’ is to dig deep into our own pockets to fund the necessary changes. A problem shared, and all that.

          • Gail Zawacki says:

            G20 = private jet. Boy, do I miss going to Caribbean vacations in that! Can’t even compare to flying commercial in any way whatsoever, even first class. No security checks, no air pressure issues, fantastic food, stretch out full length, walk around, like a nice hotel suite…sigh…

  2. jpgreenword says:

    Well, we do have some “rich” people on our side. I think of certain actors (Leonardo DiCaprio) and actresses. But do we have any “disgustingly, I-burn-money-to-cook-my-diner” wealthy people? Bill and Malinda Gates maybe?

    • pendantry says:

      My view of the Gates’ philanthropy is twofold: a) it’s my belief that it was born in an effort to reduce the flak generated by the disastrous bloat of micro$loth products and b) it’s easy to lose a few million here and there when you have so many billions you’ve lost count of them.

    • pendantry says:

      Plans are currently underway for the wealthy to live comfortably in new sovereign nations built on oil-rig-type platforms in international waters, free from regulations, laws, and the moral suasion of the landlocked countries of the world. […] The Seasteading Institute has slated the year 2015 for the first manufactured floating independent city-state, which will be guided by international provisions or laws and not responsible to any established country or sovereign.

      You’re right, it does…

  3. Reading your comments on this post, is just as informative as the post itself!
    Thank you for reading my blog as well.
    D.A.

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