The Future Of Consumption

David Zetland considers how damage to the environment will affect our happiness:

The readers of this blog -- most of them in the developed world -- are going to have to pay more for sushi, lose the reefs for diving tours and spend more on disaster insurance. For us, adopting to damage to the environment and climate change is going to be annoying, but ultimately cost us less than 10 percent of our income.

The people who are going to suffer are the people who live in the developing world. They are going to lose their food supply, their homes and perhaps their loved ones, as floods, mudslides, crop failures and disease take a massive toll on their already fragile lives. ... The iPhone will not save them. Money probably will not save them. What they will need is a massive improvement in their institutions for public works and disaster response. From what we've seen in Haiti, it's more likely that we are going to see millions (maybe close to a billion) people in wretched condition.