Postmodern Marie Antoinettes on the Third World Poor-“Let Them Use Solar Energy”

Luke Phillips

Note- this is a modified version of a Facebook post.


Ted Nordhaus at Breakthrough nails it again. What, exactly, are we Westerners trying to do when we tell West Africans to use solar-powered lanterns and biomass cookstoves? “Here’s ENOUGH energy for you to SUBSIST greenly!!”

Arrogant and, as Donald Trump might say, SAD! Prosperity comes from abundance, not “efficiency.” If Jeff Bezos, Bill McKibben, Naomi Klein, Bill Gates, and Mark Zuckerberg- and for that matter, President Obama- REALLY cared about the starving children in the Third World, they wouldn’t go hand-in-hand with Akon’s harebrained scheme to put a solar panel on every thatched hut’s roof.

No, they’d help the West Africans plow down the jungle (and save patches, of course!) and extract oil and coal and build river dams and nuclear plants all over the developing world, and increase the GDP per capita of every impoverished developing nation by something like 3,000%. They’d create wealth, jobs, and middle-class lifestyles the only way they’ve ever been created- through real productivity growth, rather than through some upper-middle-class white Seattleite’s theoretical musings about how you can have subsistence living coupled with occasional bits of advanced technology. (We’ve seen that before, by the way, on the set of Mad Max.)

I could care less about the rich people who own the big corporations-they ought to be taxed at levels we taxed them back in the 1970s. What I care about is the masses of the poor in other countries who want their kids to grow up the way I did, but can’t, because the technocratic-financial globalist elite is more interested in subsidizing developing countries to promote “green jobs” than in helping those developing countries develop the way the West did- dirtily, chaotically and uglily, but with the real growth and real results that come from burning fossil fuels and building real STUFF.

Is climate change and environmental degradation a problem? Yes, and we need to deal with it responsibly. Shift from coal and oil to natural gas and nuclear, and make sure you preserve land for public use and have responsible conservation laws. We need to be stewards of the plots of Earth we all inhabit.

Does that make it right to shaft the poor so that billionaire climate-tech moguls can feel good about themselves, and so a few pro-divestment college kids can notch their “social justice” belts?



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