Who is to Blame for Climate Change?

I actually do consider man-made climate change as a form of oppression, although I feel that it belongs to an entire class of its own in terms of scale. The typical forms of oppression we see in this world are heavily based on what we determine as “groups.” One or several groups are the ones oppressing the other group(s). The sizes of these groups can vary, typically ranging from an individual to perhaps an entire nation. What I think is unique about climate change is that the ones being oppressed include the entire world. This of course includes humanity as well as every other sentient being (if we consider them to be able to be oppressed.)

One major question arises: who is to blame for this oppression? I feel like this answer is too complicated to trace back to a definite culprit. The “carbon footprint,” describes how much humanity’s actions contribute to greenhouse gases, which are one major proponent of climate change. However, I feel that this term makes an unfair accusation by grouping the entirety of humanity. While it is true that every human has some sort of carbon footprint, certain groups clearly contribute the most to climate change either directly or indirectly. An example of indirect “oppression through climate change” could be the automobile suppliers and electricity providers. Despite this, these groups are deemed necessary for current civilization to function, which makes it seem that this form of oppression would be considered a necessary evil.

As for what form of oppression climate change would be categorized as (based on Iris Young’s definition of oppression), I believe climate change is a form of powerlessness. As it currently stands, climate change is difficult to rein in due to its enormous scale. The main way to counter it would be to enact legislation in societies internationally. This, of course, means the decisions are limited to the higher officials of government, and enforcing said changes is another barrier altogether.

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