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The western Left has determined that people around the world must severely restrict their use of fossil fuels. Doing so would condemn billions of people to endless poverty. The “free” biomass fuels — wood, peat, and animal dung — that impoverished people in developing countries are forced to use exact terrible costs: the destruction of whole forests and jungles, loss of habitat and the attendant loss of flora and fauna, and respiratory problems and shortened lives from breathing smoke and fumes. As economist Deepak Lal stated in Poverty and Progress:
The greatest threat to the alleviation of the structural poverty of the Third World is the continuing campaign by western governments, egged on by some climate scientists and green activists, to curb greenhouse emissions… To put a limit on the use of fossil fuels without adequate economically viable alternatives is to condemn the Third World to perpetual structural poverty.
These “Green Imperialists” as Lal has called them, would deny billions of people the energy that has pulled the West out of poverty and that is essential to providing clean air and water, adequate lighting, communications, computer services, and life-saving medical care.
As Rob Bradley and I once wrote, the so-called “energy sustainability problem is not the result of fossil-fuel depletion or combustion. It is a child of statism and all the philosophies behind it – philosophies that justify coercive government control of economies, of people’s lives, and of the energy resources that make life possible.”Published in