It’s simple really. Cheap and affordable energy lifts billions out of poverty and massively prolongs our lifespans. I don’t know about you, but I consider this a desirable outcome. From No Frakking Consensus:
This world, lest we forget, is a perilous place. Click here to jump to a listing on Amazon.com for Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s Emile, which appeared in 1762. Type “die before their eighth year” into the search box, including the quotes, and you’ll be taken to a passage that reads:
One half of the children who are born die before their eighth year…This is nature’s law; why contradict it?
The reason this so-called natural law no longer applies is because affordable energy now rocks our world. Children born today have a better chance than ever of living a rewarding, fulfilling life – of becoming surgeons or scientists or musicians.
Bjorn Lomborg discusses the ramifications of energy poverty for the third world.
Global warming is by no means our main environmental threat. Even if we assumed unreasonably that it caused all deaths from floods, droughts, heatwaves, and storms, this total would amount to just 0.06 per cent of all deaths in developing countries. In comparison, 13 per cent of all Third World deaths result from water and air pollution.
So, for each person who might die from global warming, about 210 people die from health problems that result from a lack of clean water and sanitation, from breathing smoke generated by burning dirty fuels (such as dried animal dung) indoors, and from breathing polluted air outdoors.
By focusing on measures to prevent global warming, the advanced countries might help to prevent many people from dying. That sounds good until you realise that it means that 210 times as many people in poorer countries might die needlessly because the resources that could have saved them were spent on windmills, solar panels, biofuels, and other rich-world fixations.
[…]The problem is that green energy mostly is still much more expensive, less effective and more intermittent than the alternatives. Yet, the summit literature claims that it will boost economic growth and eradicate poverty.
But seriously, why do well-meaning First Worlders think that the Third World should have energy technologies that are more expensive, feebler and less reliable than their own?
And just like with the DDT ban, western do-gooders continue to cause misery in the third world.
Likewise, the brochure explains that some farmers in Uganda have embraced organic farming. Unfortunately, Africa is almost entirely organic now, leading to low yields, hunger and deforestation. Africa needs to boost its yields, and that means enabling farmers to use modern crops, fertilisers and pesticides. Producing less with more effort might appeal to well-fed First Worlders, but it is literally starving the poor.
Plus, renewables have a surprising knack for making wealthy countries less so.
Reading further, the leaflet gushes that France has created 90,000 jobs in the green economy. But the stark reality remains hidden: the average cost of each green job is more than $US200,000 ($198,000) a year, which French taxpayers patently cannot afford. And economic models show that France has lost as many or more jobs because of the extra costs of the subsidies.