Climate change is a belief system for the smug and oblivious. It is neither believed nor practised in any part of the world in which its population remains at the $10 a day level, which accounts for a major proportion of the world’s population. This is an interview of Indur Goklany, an Indian climate analyst, conducted by Ralf Bodelier and translated from Dutch. The article is titled: Our Biggest Problem is Poverty. I share Goklany’s disgust with the mean-spirited and hard-hearted representatives of the first world who are doing all they can to raise production costs across the world, which in their ignorance means doing all they can to lower living standards across the world by adding to the cost of energy. This is from the interview, which is long but needs reading. It is especially useful because he raises the immorality of the global warming brigade.
Many think climate change is the main problem we face today. Apparently you see that differently.
‘I do. Despite the dramatic reduction in poverty because of economic development, the biggest problems we face today are still extreme poverty and its consequences – hunger, premature death, disease and an impaired environment. Extreme poverty is the fundamental problem of the moment. If we reduce poverty first, we will reduce these other problems. It is therefore good news that the elimination of poverty is still number one in the list of new development goals of the United Nations. ‘
What is the connection between alleviating poverty and your plea for fossil energy?
‘Between 1981 and 2012, the number of people in absolute poverty declined by over a billion people worldwide as the rate of absolute poverty declined by almost three-quarters, from 54 percent to 15 percent. The vast majority of these reductions occurred in South and East Asia – think of India and China. What happened? They got wealthier, because of economic growth fueled literally by fossil fuels. This is why they are also major contributors today to CO2 today. It is not rocket science – you are poor, you need to get richer, but for that you need access to cheap and reliable energy. And today energy is, for practical purposes, synonymous with fossil fuels. However, there are still almost a billion people living in absolute poverty today. Ensuring that they have the means for economic development, which means ensuring they have access to cheap and reliable energy, should be our first concern. We have no idea how pathetic it is to not have energy, although I can still remember from my childhood in India. People with no access to electricity or any of the conveniences we take for granted, cooking their meals using dung, all the while inhaling the noxious fumes from the burning dung; women and children walking miles to fetch water; when the sun set so did all productive activity including studying and working because lighting was rare and expensive; streets without light; the fact that any action took physical effort and was time consuming, because gasoline, diesel and electric powered machines and appliances weren’t available.
Anyone who can turn on a light by the flick of a switch who then seek to deny our technologies to others are anti-social scum. They are vicious, cruel and ignorant; the virtue they believe they have in denying our technologies to the rest of the world makes them some of the most despicable people who have ever lived.