Environmental Imperialism

 

shutterstock_146843426The 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 Foreign Policy, General, Science & Technology
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  1. Tom Meyer Contributor
    Tom Meyer
    @tommeyer

    Richard Fulmer: The left in western democracies 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.

    Precisely. Related to the bolded point, Matt Ridley’s pointed out that one of the biggest advantages of fossil fuels is that we don’t directly compete with any other organism for their use. Now, indirect costs may still be high, but they’re inherently easier to ameliorate than direct ones.

    • #1
  2. Austin Murrey Inactive
    Austin Murrey
    @AustinMurrey

    This is hardly new. Deaths from starvation in Africa since the 1970’s is largely the result of the Western world turning its back on the green revolution and curtailing the push towards high-yield industrialized agriculture as a predicate for governmental aid. To any reasonable person Norman Borlaug should be considered a hero – to these people he’s a colonialist.

    These are also the same people who demanded we stop using DDT – in 2013 the WHO estimated there were 584,000 deaths from malaria worldwide; most, again, in Africa.

    It is the supreme irony of the same people who decry micro-aggressions at home demand that foreigners, disproportionately sub-Saharan Africans, live with hunger and disease as a part of everyday life and do everything in their power from benefiting from the technological progress of civilization.

    • #2
  3. Look Away Inactive
    Look Away
    @LookAway

    Austin Murrey:This is hardly new. Deaths from starvation in Africa since the 1970′s is largely the result of the Western world turning its back on the green revolution and curtailing the push towards high-yield industrialized agriculture as a predicate for governmental aid. To any reasonable person Norman Borlaug should be considered a hero – to these people he’s a colonialist.

    These are also the same people who demanded we stop using DDT – in 2013 the WHO estimated there were 584,000 deaths from malaria worldwide; most, again, in Africa.

    It is the supreme irony of the same people who decry micro-aggressions at home demand that foreigners, disproportionately sub-Saharan Africans, live with hunger and disease as a part of everyday life and do everything in their power from benefiting from the technological progress of civilization.

    Excellent point Austin. This begs the question of whether the green imperialists are a microcosm of the eugenics movement, pride of the intellectual class, in the 1920s and 1930s.  Robert Zurbin’s book, “Merchants of Despair” does a great job of laying out the faulty scientific logic of banning DDT and that possible reasons for its lack of rehabilitation is linked to a desire to limit population growth of black/brown people.

    • #3
  4. TG Thatcher
    TG
    @TG

    Richard, Richard, Richard …

    Don’t you understand that the continued “poverty” of those people over there is much less important than the moral superiority of “me and my tribe?”  Besides, “we” are saving them from the perils of modernity and supporting them in continuing their authentic and pure cultures! </sarcasm off>

    • #4
  5. Ricochet Member
    Ricochet
    @Manny

    I agree.  Oil is a blessing, not a curse.  I’d also advocate more nuclear power plants.

    • #5
  6. iWc Coolidge
    iWc
    @iWe

    Willis Eschenbach has written some amazing posts on how expensive energy kills poor people. One here.

    • #6
  7. TG Thatcher
    TG
    @TG

    Manny, I recently had the opportunity to hear some discussions among some representatives of various states’ environmental regulatory departments – and when these people spoke about their states’ future attempts to comply with EPA’s Clean Power Plan, *nuclear* was discussed *a lot.*

    • #7
  8. Austin Murrey Inactive
    Austin Murrey
    @AustinMurrey

    Look Away:

    Austin Murrey:This is hardly new. Deaths from starvation in Africa since the 1970′s is largely the result of the Western world turning its back on the green revolution and curtailing the push towards high-yield industrialized agriculture as a predicate for governmental aid. To any reasonable person Norman Borlaug should be considered a hero – to these people he’s a colonialist.

    These are also the same people who demanded we stop using DDT – in 2013 the WHO estimated there were 584,000 deaths from malaria worldwide; most, again, in Africa.

    It is the supreme irony of the same people who decry micro-aggressions at home demand that foreigners, disproportionately sub-Saharan Africans, live with hunger and disease as a part of everyday life and do everything in their power from benefiting from the technological progress of civilization.

    Excellent point Austin. This begs the question of whether the green imperialists are a microcosm of the eugenics movement, pride of the intellectual class, in the 1920s and 1930s. Robert Zurbin’s book, “Merchants of Despair” does a great job of laying out the faulty scientific logic of banning DDT and that possible reasons for its lack of rehabilitation is linked to a desire to limit population growth of black/brown people.

    Oh absolutely. There’s a weird strain of paternalistic racism that regards primitivism, particularly non-European primitivism, as more authentic than modernity so it seeks to keep the “contamination” of western civilization away from everyone outside of Europe, Canada and the US – and would love to get it out of everyone else’s life too if they could get away with it.

    Frankly every time I hear some of these people talk I get the uncomfortable feeling they’d love to have all the “right” people living in a futuristic New York while the rest of us lived as subsistence farmers on vast plantations managed from lofty towers by enlightened master planners.

    • #8
  9. Ontheleftcoast Inactive
    Ontheleftcoast
    @Ontheleftcoast

    http://www.breitbart.com/london/2015/06/28/vatican-invites-socialist-green-activist-naomi-klein-to-chair-debate-on-climate-change-mitigation/
    The Pope has invited the socialist green activist Naomi Klein to the Vatican to co-chair a conference on climate change, alongside Cardinal Peter Turkson. Left wing activists are joining religious leaders today to march through the Vatican on their way to the conference in celebration of the Pope’s recent encyclical on climate change. Klein has accused the Pope’s detractors of racism for not backing his economic stance.

    • #9
  10. Ricochet Member
    Ricochet
    @Manny

    TG

    Manny, I recently had the opportunity to hear some discussions among some representatives of various states’ environmental regulatory departments – and when these people spoke about their states’ future attempts to comply with EPA’s Clean Power Plan, *nuclear* was discussed *a lot.*

    Thanks TG.  I have seen varied reactions from the environmentalists on nuclear.  I hope those that support it can make their case to the whackos.  These solar and wind – especially wind – alternatives are nonsense.

    • #10
  11. TG Thatcher
    TG
    @TG

    TG said:  “Manny, I recently had the opportunity to hear some discussions among some representatives of various states’ environmental regulatory departments – and when these people spoke about their states’ future attempts to comply with EPA’s Clean Power Plan, *nuclear* was discussed *a lot.*”

    Manny replied:  “Thanks TG.  I have seen varied reactions from the environmentalists on nuclear.  I hope those that support it can make their case to the whackos.  These solar and wind – especially wind – alternatives are nonsense.”

    My further response:  Of course, Manny, I should make clear that the state-level environmental regulatory departments have a tendency, on this issue, to align with their respective states’ utility regulatory commissions rather than with “environmentalists.”  (And, whatever the weaknesses to which utility regulatory commissions are prey, they *do* tend to want to keep the electrons flowing.)

    • #11
  12. user_358258 Member
    user_358258
    @RandyWebster

    I find it hard to fathom environmentalists of this ilk.  Are they in favor of 45 year life expectancies?  Do they think everyone but themselves will have that kind of life expectancy?

    • #12
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