The debate has been further complicated by misframing a second question. Assuming that climate change warrants our attention, what should we do about it? This issue is too often presented as a choice between environmental protection and economic growth: you could save the planet or you could consume endlessly, but you could not do both.
This second dilemma involved a conceit about consumption. Imagine a world in which people fly endlessly around the world, drive enormous cars and eat doughnuts all day. If each of those activities were carbon-neutral, none would make a spot of different to climate change, yet we would still have a problem with them. Gluttony is an age-old dilemma, but addressing climate change has more to do with the carbon intensity of production than it does with consumption. Technology is the invisible key.
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