Tackling inequality is key to tackling global warming, study finds.

An update of the classic 50-year-old computer simulation of environmental stress indicated that tackling inequality is key to garnering the public support needed to transform the global economy and halt climate change.

The 1972 “Limits To Growth” simulation, based on MIT scientists’ modeling of a society destabilized by expanding consumption, was criticized as inaccurate by some, while hailed by others as far-sighted to accelerate planetary stress. See more

The Earth4All model, which builds on its predecessor, was created by a multidisciplinary team of academics to examine what it would take to improve human well-being for the rest of this century using data from the 1980s to 2020.

Its main conclusion was that, if rising inequality were to continue unchecked, people would lose trust in governments and other institutions over the next 50 years, making it more difficult to cooperate in tackling issues such as poverty. climate change and others.

“The speed at which public policy is implemented is limited when social trust declines. In terms of greening the economy and the energy system, this translates into the amount of regulations and subsidies you can implement,” Per Espen Stoknes, co-author of the report, said in an interview.

Teresa H. Sadler