June 25th, 2014
09:32 AM ET

What I'm reading: The coming climate crash

By Fareed Zakaria

“The nature of a crisis is its unpredictability. And as we all witnessed during the financial crisis, a chain reaction of cascading failures ensued from one intertwined part of the system to the next,” writes Henry Paulson for the New York Times. “It’s easy to see a single part in motion. It’s not so easy to calculate the resulting domino effect. That sort of contagion nearly took down the global financial system.”

“With that experience indelibly affecting my perspective, viewing climate change in terms of risk assessment and risk management makes clear to me that taking a cautiously conservative stance – that is, waiting for more information before acting – is actually taking a very radical risk. We’ll never know enough to resolve all of the uncertainties. But we know enough to recognize that we must act now.”


“While the gap between the wealthy and everyone else is widening in much of the industrialized world, a large chunk of Danes remain firmly middle class. Forty-two percent of the working population of 4.6 million have annual disposable incomes between 200,000 and 400,000 kroner ($36,700-$73,300). Just 2.6 percent earn more than 500,000 kroner a year ($91,383),” write Jan Olsen and Malin Rising for AP.

“According to the OECD, the top 20 percent of Danes earn on average four times as much as the bottom 20 percent. In the United States, by contrast, the top 20 percent earn about eight times as much as the bottom 20 percent. The idea of a generous government-provided cushion for ordinary people is deeply rooted in a nation with few outward signs of a pampered elite.”

soundoff (15 Responses)
  1. Joey Isotta-Fraschini@

    Are citizens of Denmark more unified in culture and ethnicity than the people of the USA?

    June 25, 2014 at 10:50 am |
  2. palintwit

    Everyone has forgotten that it was me, palintwit, who back in 2010 told BP how to plug the gulf oil spill. I suggested they stuff the leaking well with a week's worth of John McCain's soiled grampy diapers. They did and that's what did the trick.

    June 25, 2014 at 12:00 pm |
    • So true

      Thank you palintwit. And thank you McCain for soiling yourself.

      June 25, 2014 at 4:28 pm |
  3. Joseph McCarthy

    As long as right-wing fanatics continue to run our government here, this crisis will only get worse. It appears that nobody cares either!

    June 25, 2014 at 12:36 pm |
  4. Retired Military

    Interesting that our economic prowess and scale of economy are not considered in the comparison to the Danes. Of course there will be more people who earn more in the US. That is capitalism and the free market at work – more opportunity to create wealth. It is not the government's job to provide for a "generous cushion for ordinary people". If you are ordinary, it means you are an average, able-bodied person who is capable of working. As a society it makes sense for the U.S. to have a safety net for those who are legitimately unable to care for themselves. But that is where it should taper off. For those who are capable, limited assistance, if and when needed is the key. We are making a huge error by encouraging people to remain dependent on others' hard work (i.e. tax payers). The government continues to take from those who produce and redistribute to those who do not, nor want to. This has a logical end point. Soon there will be no middle class and all of these social welfare programs will collapse as there will be no tax base to support the spending problem the government has created over multiple administrations – Rep and Dem.

    June 25, 2014 at 4:17 pm |
  5. The Entire GOP Platform In A Single Paragraph

    The GOP Prayer/Mantra/Solution: Dear God...With your loving kindness, help us to turn all the Old, Sick, Poor, Non-white, Non-christian, Female, and Gay people into slaves. Then, with your guidance and compassion, we will whip them until they are Young, Healthy, Rich, White, Christian, Male, and Straight. Or until they are dead. God...Grant us the knowledge to then turn them into Soylent Green to feed the military during the next "unfunded/off-the-books" war. God...Give us the strength during our speeches to repeatedly yell........TAX CUTS FOR THE RICH!!!..........and........GET RID OF SS AND MEDICARE!!!
    In your name we prey (purposely misspelled, or is it?)........Amen

    June 25, 2014 at 4:21 pm |
    • Joey Isotta-Fraschini

      Well stated above. Thank you for your input.

      June 25, 2014 at 4:58 pm |
      • Joey Isotta-Fraschini@

        @ My Troll: you lack clarity. Whom are you thanking for his input?
        What was extremely well stated was @ Retired Military's comment two posts above. He is entirely correct.

        June 25, 2014 at 11:17 pm |
  6. chri§§y

    Lol @ Retired Military...there already is no middleclass. And the government providing a cushion? Thats only for themselves! If youre referring to social security that money isnt provided by the government...that is our tax dollars, strictly for US to provide a cushion. Although the government has treated it like it was their very own bank account for years.

    June 26, 2014 at 9:22 am |
    • Joey Isotta-Fraschini

      Thank you, chrissy. That is very true.

      June 26, 2014 at 12:50 pm |
      • Joey Isotta-Fraschini@

        My Troll,
        You know that I would not say that to @ chrissy.
        Social Security should always be viewed with one eye focused on the original retirement insurance/lottery intended, and the other eye on what that program has become as politicians spread it around to all voters.
        In original Social Security, many who paid into it would die before collecting retirement.

        June 26, 2014 at 1:38 pm |
    • Retired Military

      There certainly is a middle class – come on. The comment on the govt cushion was focused on the absurd assertion made in the posting that essentially expresses govt should provide a generous cushion for ordinary people. NOT the function of government. I am not referring Social Security. I was very clear,

      June 28, 2014 at 1:34 am |
  7. goldminor

    Good news, the climate scientists have been wrong about the future demise of civilization from catatrophic global warming. It should begin to become clearer to see that their story is wrong. Nature has been steadily disproving the premise of the climate scientists, year by year. It is because of this that the push to pass climate legislation is being fast forwarded. The solar minimum is not too many years away. The next solar cycle is likely to be a grand minimum event, where the Sun remains quiet for the 11 or so years of the cycle. What all of that means is that the globe will cool, and temperatures will remain to the cooler side for the next 18 years, approximately. The last grand minimum was the Dalton Minimum, ca 1790-1825.

    June 28, 2014 at 12:45 am |
  8. Fredrick Gudino

    11/3/2016 @ 20:01:02: Thanks for the post globalpublicsquare.blogs.cnn.com!


    November 3, 2016 at 8:01 pm |

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