Q: Isn’t capitalism destroying the planet and causing massively unfair inequality of wealth?

A: For most of the history of the world, almost everyone was poor beyond imagining. Only over the last 250 years, the period over which capitalism has flourished, have a large number of people—in the billions— overcome poverty. Remarkably, just in the last year, researchers determined that half the population of the world already is middle class or wealthier.

Historically, the environment has become dirtier as people begin to move up from poverty world-wide. But as they continue to become wealthier, people start to be willing and able to sacrifice some of those gains to get a cleaner environment. As the world gets richer it will continue to get greener. Switzerland is probably the most environmentally clean country in the world, and it is one of the very richest. As time passes, Greece will act more like Switzerland, Colombia more like Greece, Ethiopia more like Colombia and so on until the whole world is much greener than it is now.