COP26 Eco-Imperialism Threatens the World’s Poor
Keeping with the “spirits” of the occasion, the 26th Conference of the Parties begins on Halloween in Glasgow, Scotland. Thousands of politicians, bureaucrats, journalists and activists are again trying to frighten countries into taking immediate, drastic steps to control “human-caused climate change.” But, the climate policies they demand will exacerbate human poverty and misery in developing nations, rather than help.
Pope Francis and President Biden are planning to meet prior to COP-26 to discuss “efforts grounded in respect for fundamental human dignity,” including “tackling the climate crisis and caring for the poor.”
This choice of words and priorities fails to recognize that energy and food shortages are worsening, prices are skyrocketing, and people worldwide are increasingly worried about surviving cold winters, making climate change (once again) almost dead last among their concerns.
Moreover, “caring for the poor” is not the same as lifting people out of poverty – using abundant, reliable, affordable, mostly fossil-fuel energy to expand economies, create jobs, and improve health, living standards and life spans. Indeed, most of the “solutions” that will be put forward in Glasgow are the antithesis of respecting human dignity.
Even the International Energy Agency recognizes that any “transition” from fossil fuels to “clean, sustainable, renewable” energy will require massive amounts of metals, minerals and other materials. Electric cars need three times more copper than gasoline-powered vehicles. Onshore wind turbines require nine times more materials per megawatt than gas-fired co-generating plants; offshore turbines need fourteen times more materials.
Any global renewable energy revolution would require unprecedented amounts of materials – and thus far more mining, processing, manufacturing, waste disposal and habitat destruction than ever in history.
But climate fanatics who gather in Glasgow to block roadways, storm federal buildings or plan to sabotage pipelines have no intention of allowing more mining, processing or manufacturing in the United States, Europe or most other developed countries. Even major copper-cobalt-nickel deposits (essential for “Green” energy) in Alaska and Minnesota are off limits.
They demand that these activities take place somewhere else – mostly in China or via Chinese-owned operations in Africa, Asia and Latin America – nations which have minimal to nonexistent protections against pollution, workplace hazards, low wages, child and other laws that provide human dignity guidelines.
Concerns about “responsibly sourced” materials and products apply to coffee and sneakers – not to wind turbines, solar panels, backup batteries and electric vehicles for “saving the world.”
Boston Celtics center Enes Kanter can rightly protest Uighur forced labor, torture, and indoctrination on his shoes and in his Twitter videos. But, Nike, the NBA and climate-obsessed COP-26 participants will remain silent and happily do business with Xi Jinping.
That this mining and manufacturing somewhere else will also involve prodigious amounts of gasoline, diesel, natural gas and coal – all greenhouse gases – is likewise irrelevant to COP-26ers.
Even worse, under COP-26 agendas and edicts, poor developing countries may improve their peoples’ living standards only to degrees that can be supported by sprawling wind and solar installations. Western banks increasingly will no longer finance fossil fuel, nuclear or even hydroelectric power.
Poor nations may improve their crop yields only through agro-ecology; except financing for tractors or modern large-scale farming is at risk, too.
You won’t hear a peep about any of these eco-imperialist policies from COP-26 officials. The UN climate conference will ignore the energy deprivation, joblessness, poor living standards, rampant disease, primitive stoop-labor agriculture, and premature death that these climate will perpetuate. Big Media and Big Tech will likewise suppress and cancel any such discussion.
Climate bureaucrats and extremists care little about death tolls outside their ranks. The world already has too many people, they fervently believe. That’s why many of them are intent on driving First World living standards downward – and ensuring that the Third World becomes little better off than it is now.
It’s no wonder the Group of 77 poor developing countries have issued an ultimatum. They will agree to Paris-Glasgow climate/energy pledges only if rich countries give them $750 billion per year in reparations, compensation, mitigation and adaptation assistance.
African nations intend to present an even bigger figure at Glasgow: $1.3 trillion annually by 2030. As Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni recently emphasized, “Africa can’t sacrifice its future prosperity for Western climate goals.”
Moreover, they want the money as grants, not loans.
That these incredible sums must come from now-rich nations that are also expected to hamstring their energy, economies, jobs, living standards and revenues – and still come up with trillions of dollars in new aid – is irrelevant.
Craig Rucker is president of the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (www.CFACT.org).