There’s been way too much talk and too little action and commitment, especially in the United States. The citizens of the US need to step up and take responsibility for the problems our standard of living and over consumption have caused.

I often see well meaning lefties proclaiming that it is largely the fault of the 1% and corporate capitalism. Sure, there are those that can be pointed to as doing the most damage, far beyond the average. Elon Musk taking private flights across the country or globe as casually as Americans drive to the big box store. But the middle class of the US does not get a pass on this. We’ve all gone along with hyper-consumerism for decades and readily push back against any notion of taking responsibility, of restraint. It’s bullshit to point the fingers at the emissions of corporations given that those emissions are coming as a result of our demand for goods. If we’re buying the products that drive production then we are also responsible.

More and bigger cars, bigger homes filled with more stuff and requiring more energy to heat and cool, are our responsibility. Millions of people in the US, allowing themselves to be defined as “consumers” continue to go along with the “American Dream” that is in fact a leading factor in the nightmare of existence for those suffering the brunt of the early years of climate collapse.

“I’ve been chronicling the increased frustration and anger of island states and vulnerable countries and small African nations and others around the world that feel victimised by the fact that they are a minuscule component of emissions,” he said. “And yet [they are] paying a very high price. Seventeen of the 20 most affected countries in the world, by the climate crisis, are in Africa, and yet 48 sub-Saharan countries total 0.55% of all emissions.”

John Kerry: rich countries must respond to developing world anger over climate | The Guardian