Sledgehammer's Cycles

Sledgehammer's Cycles
Sledgehammer's Performance and Custom Cycles

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Choices

Here's something that you don't hear much of amid the current well-organized ZOMG Thermageddon press blitz: the developing world cannot afford the pie-in-the-sky "renewable" energy sources so loved by Progressives.  How do we know this?  The developing world can't even afford cheap coal electricity:
We do not label those who live on $1 per day as having "economic access" -- rather they are desperately poor, living just above the poverty line. Everyone understands that $1 a day is not much. Very few people get that 100 kWh per year is a pitifully small amount of energy. Therefore, I suggest that we start talking in terms of  "energy poverty" measured as a percentage of the average American (or European or Japanese or Australian or whatever energy rich context you'd prefer as a baseline, the results will be qualitatively the same). To use the IEA numbers, one would be in "energy poverty" with access to less than 2% of the energy access enjoyed by those in the rich world.

It is bad enough that the energy poor are largely ignored in our rich world debates over issues like climate change. It is perhaps even worse that our "success stories" often mean creating scenarios where the energy poor attain just 2% of the access to energy that we enjoy on a daily basis. The frustrating irony of course is that the issues that rich world environmentalists most seem to care about might be best addressed by putting energy poverty first, but that is a subject for another time.
There are 1.3 billion people who have no electricity at all, and to Progressives they are invisible.  Give these people a quarter as much electricity as we have - a pathetically low goal, to be sure - and you've just added the equivalent of the United States' greenhouse gas emissions to the environment.  That shocked gasp you just heard is from Progressives everywhere.  Can't have poor people aspiring to things like electric lighting, air conditioning, and computers with Internet access.

Choose, progs.  You can have your SWPL environmentalism or you can help a billion people get out of grinding poverty.  Pick one.

7 comments:

Alan said...

A progressive would solve the problem by killing them. It's what they do.

Jason said...

Real progressives would kill all the Americans, a win - win solution in their eyes. Fewer green house gas emitters and less inequality between the rich and the poor.

Old NFO said...

Agree with both of the above comments...

George said...

Not ALL the Americans...just the ones outside of NY-DC.

Angus McThag said...

Why can't we have neither?

I'm sick of helping.

Jeremy Brock said...

I'm already reasonably aware of progressives' (highly debatable) reasons for being against nuclear power. What are conservatives' reasons for also opposing it?

Sure, I can see why you wouldn't want a bunch of Third World kleptocracies running reactors, but the Western pornocracies are (so far) technologically capable of shifting major parts of our energy production to nuclear fission. That would leave plenty of oil, coal, and whatever for the Third World to burn without increasing greenhouse gas emissions too significantly.

Which reminds me: I thought the conservative position was that greenhouse gas emissions were nothing to worry about anyway. Have I grossly misread something?

Borepatch said...

Jeremy, arguably there are no conservatives any more. You sure won't find them in the Republican party.

And yes, the whole CO2 thing is a scam. I'm just pointing out the hypocrisy on the left.