Schadenfreude and Global Warming

With a new administration in the US White House, I think we are poised to make some real progress in combating global warming. The crazy weather I’ve seen over the last few years in the Chicago area makes me wonder if this is only a taste of what is to come if we do nothing. Still, there is a lot of resistance to doing what is needed and even dispute over whether global warming due to human activities is real or not. Even if it isn’t, I don’t see anything bad about reducing greenhouse gas emissions and generally taking better care of the Earth.

If positive arguments don’t make a dent in the psyches of many, perhaps an opposite approach would yield results. In short, the climate changes due to global warming may actually benefit some regions of the world. While this isn’t very likely, it is a possibility. If the many of the rich are devastated while some of the poor elevated by climatic changes, then maybe the rich will get off their butts and do something. No one, especially the rich, wants to be on the opposite end of someone else’s schadenfreude. Perhaps the fear that someone else will benefit from our misfortune will be enough to motivate us to do the right thing.