Monday, April 21, 2008

Live Earth, Dead Africans?

from the African executive.

Summary: Greens who oppose coal and other forms of electricity ignore the deforestation from using wood to cook etc.

"...These alarmists attempt to justify their extravagant lifestyles by grandstanding at Live Earth concerts - and purchasing energy-efficient light bulbs or "carbon offsets" (eg, having trees planted somewhere). With their next breath, they say other people's energy consumption could cause catastrophic global warming that could bring record cold and heat waves, terrible floods and droughts, disease epidemics and species extinctions.

The only "evidence" they have for any of this are worst-case scenarios produced by computer models that do not accurately reflect complex atmospheric processes and cannot predict temperature or rainfall even one year in the future - much less 40 or 90 years. That's like saying the movie "Jurassic Park" proves scientists can bring dinosaurs back to life.

But if the concerts cause more people to demand that Africa and other poor countries not develop the energy they so desperately need, these false global warming "solutions" could be disastrous for the world's most impoverished citizens.

Some 95% of Sub-Saharan Africans still do not have electricity, lights or refrigeration - or have them only a few hours a week. As a result, millions ie every year from lung infections caused by pollution from wood and dung fires, and acute intestinal diseases caused by tainted water and spoiled food. Millions more die from diseases that would be largely eradicated by the improved living standards, healthcare systems and agriculture that come with prosperity, modern technology and abundant energy. The situation is likewise dire in many other areas.

But Al Gore, Live Earth rock stars and radical pressure groups like Rainforest Action and Greenpeace constantly battle energy projects in poor countries. They oppose coal and gas-fired power plants because of speculative global warming, hydroelectric projects because they dam up rivers, nuclear power because it generates radioactive wastes. They expect African and other poor nations to base their future on insufficient, expensive, unreliable wind and solar energy. That is a virtual guarantor of perpetual poverty.

Environmentalists also oppose biotechnology to improve agricultural output, insecticides to reduce malaria and other diseases, and even jetliners that bring tourists to Africa and African produce to Europe.

At bottom, environmentalists don't want the world's poor to rise up out of poverty and become middle class, because then they would become consumers, use more resources and demand more electricity. Green activists are happy to demand more aid and debt relief, but they do everything possible to prevent energy, mineral and economic development, modern agriculture and living standards, or meaningful opportunities for the world's poor to take their rightful places among the Earth's healthy and prosperous people.

Poor countries should worry not about climate change - but about whether they will have electricity for refrigerators, lights, and modern homes, hospitals, schools, shops, offices and factories. They should be concerned not about the supposed (and often far-fetched) risks of development and technology - but about the real, immediate, life-threatening dangers that development and technology would prevent....

No comments:

Free hit counters
Free hit counters