How even the most confused climate activist can look at the poorest people in the world, including many from Africa, and think “what we need to do here is restrict even further the possibilities for this person to access energy”, namely by denying them the right to use fossil fuels, gets no less bewildering as time goes by.
The mental gymnasts amongst such activists will always argue something like “but renewables are cheaper, you know, so like, it’s not a problem”, without giving even a second thought to the fact that all renewables across the world have been developed using fossil fuels (even if in the future they may have fully ‘green’ supply chains, including myriad ‘green’ mines for multiple minerals and massive ‘green’ land use requirements), require fossil fuels for maintenance, and fossil fuels are used to back up almost all energy supply systems around the world, regardless of their energy mix.
And that’s not even mentioning the utter gall, hypocrisy and just plain selfishness of asking the world’s poor to avoid using the very energy sources that allowed the first world activists to have the time, education and wealth to be able to undertake their pointless, immoral crusade in the first place.
In the article below, this gap in both understanding and ethics is more clearly evident than in most reports about these types of dilemmas, and that we applaud. Hopefully such issues and the cognitive dissonance of wanting to solve energy poverty at the same time as asking to restrict energy supply will begin to be understood by more and more and lead to a real, positive change in the narrative, away from fantasy Net Zero slogans and towards solving energy supply issues for the world’s poor, as an absolute priority.
“None of us is against renewables, but a transition must be inclusive and just,” South Sudan’s Oil Minister Puot Kang Chol told the conference. His counterpart from Namibia pointed out that one in three Africans still lack electricity.
Erik Prince, founder of the security firm Blackwater Worldwide, who has business interests across the continent, was less diplomatic when he spoke at the conference.
When people driving Teslas tell Africa “to turn away from hydrocarbons – it’s immoral, it’s wrong,” Prince said. “We have real energy poverty across the continent.”
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