Does Income Inequality Cause Climate Change—Or vice Versa?

We all know that climate change is responsible for the rise of ISIS and Islamic terrorism generally. So says Prince Charles, and he’s a prince after all. Also Bernie Sanders, who merely wants to be princely with your money.

But wait—every lefty’s favorite economist, Thomas Piketty, has a different theory: Middle Eastern terrorism is caused by . . . wait for it now . . . income inequality!

The new argument, which Piketty spelled out recently in the French newspaper Le Monde, is this: Inequality is a major driver of Middle Eastern terrorism, including the Islamic State attacks on Paris earlier this month — and Western nations have themselves largely to blame for that inequality. . .

Terrorism that is rooted in inequality, Piketty continues, is best combated economically.

To gain credibility with those who do not share in the region’s wealth, Western countries should demonstrate that they are more concerned with the social development of the region than they are with their own financial interests and relationships with ruling families. The way to do this, he says, is to ensure that Middle eastern oil money funds “regional development,” including far more education.

So, it’s our fault for buying their oil. Better, I suppose, if the entire Middle East was dirt poor. I wonder what Piketty would make of the fact that many jihadists come not from the ranks of the poor, but from well-educated middle class families, or, in Osama bin Laden’s case, a very wealthy Saudi family.

And didn’t Piketty get the memo from the Center for American Progress? Attacking income inequality is fine, but terrorism is caused by climate change! Unless climate change is caused by income inequality, or climate change causes income inequality. No matter. As you can see above, the solution is still the same: Piketty wants government to seize control of the money, because it can spend it so much more wisely on “regional development.”

Maybe we’re getting close to a Leftist Field Theory of Everything, though this is likely to give most leftists a headache. Time for breakfast: