Climate Change and Self Interest

Climate Change and Self Interest

 I'm reading Naomi Klein's "This Changes Everything" currently.  I'm enjoying it quite a bit, although it's quite depressing since it main theme is we, as a species, are creating an existential crisis in climate change because we have no interest in dismantling the unregulated capitalism that caused it. 

As the planet heats up the consequences are likely to be disastrous for the nearly 7 billion people living on earth. (If you want to read a particularly apocalyptic article, I suggest this long NY Magazine article from July.) So why isn't anyone doing more about it all? Why is the United States reversing the Paris Agreement?  

The answer lies in an economic principle: self-interest. This was first discussed by the father of economics, Adam Smith, 

"Self-interest refers to actions that elicit the most personal benefit. Adam Smith, the father of modern economics, explains that the best economic benefit for all can usually be accomplished when individuals act in their own self-interest. His explanation of the invisible hand reveals that when dozens or even thousands act in their own self-interest, goods and services are created that benefit consumers and producers."