To perpetuate the high returns the rich countries in particular have been achieving in recent decades, we have been taking an ever greater fraction of nonrenewable energy resources (especially hydrocarbons) and natural capital (fresh water, arable land, forests, fisheries), and, the most important nonrenewable natural capital of all — a livable climate.
In short, we have failed to designed a system capable of lasting prosperity. Quite the reverse.
Like all Ponzi schemes, the system must collapse. When it does, the only jobs left standing will be those that are “green” — which can be defined as those jobs that do not plunder nonrenewable energy resources and natural capital and/or do not to destroy a livable climate.
Discussing climate changes in terms of economics and standards of living is essential. Focusing on technology as the primary tool in combating climate change is also important. I try to do both whenever I discuss the issue on this blog.