Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Environmentalists hate poor people

Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth file suit to prohibit US development aid for low cost electricity to 3rd World countries:
Imagine the United States sending low-calorie food aid to Ethiopia in response to the global obesity epidemic. Absurd, right? Even if global waistline trends are worrisome, Ethiopians didn't create the problem. Such a policy would be futile since it would have no noticeable impact on the global aggregate.

Worse, while obesity may be a very real concern, Ethiopians are understandably more focused on undernourishment. The United States should aim instead to increase caloric intake in that part of the world. To punish those we should be helping when we can't even tackle the obesity problem at home makes the policy not only misguided, but also morally dubious.
Sadly, that is pretty much what the United States does on energy. In response to rising global carbon dioxide emissions, the U.S. government put restrictions on the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, a federal agency that is a principal tool for promoting investment in poor countries. A recent rule, added in response to a lawsuit brought by Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace, imposes blind caps on the total CO2 emissions in OPIC's portfolio, which ends up barring the agency from nearly all non-renewable electricity projects.
Keep 'em poor and in the dark.  This brings to mind C. S. Lewis' quote:
Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.
Environmentalists sleep soundly at night, untroubled by their conscience.  Quite undeservedly, I might add.



Wolfman said...

In the process, stifling an opportunity to develope and test new infrastructure systems. Energy companies have an opportunity to build whole new grids from scratch, creating an environment that could lead to breakthroughs in efficiency of distribution. A 20% improvement in distro could easily lead to an equal reduction in pollution output; contrast with the alternative, where companies simply add pretend generation plants to the current system, resulting in a net zero decrease in pollution. They object with their hearts, not their heads, and lose a dollar to keep a penny.

Mark Alger said...

Your headline is broked:

Environmentalists Hate People

There. I fixed it for you.


Jake (formerly Riposte3) said...

"those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience."

C. S. Lewis understated the issue. It's not that "they do so with the approval of their own conscience," it's that their conscience pains them if they do not.

It's not that they don't feel guilty for tormenting us "for our own good", it's that they feel guilty if they leave us alone. That's much worse.