[…] This effectively means telling the world’s worst-off people, suffering from tuberculosis, malaria or malnutrition, that what they really need isn’t medicine, mosquito nets or micronutrients, but a solar panel.
This Child Doesn’t Need a Solar Panel
By Bjorn Lomborg
In the run-up to the 2015 U.N. Climate Change Conference in Paris from Nov. 30 to Dec. 11, rich countries and development organizations are scrambling to join the fashionable ranks of “climate aid” donors. This effectively means telling the world’s worst-off people, suffering from tuberculosis, malaria or malnutrition, that what they really need isn’t medicine, mosquito nets or micronutrients, but a solar panel. It is terrible news.
On Oct. 9, World Bank President Jim Yong Kim pledged a one-third increase in the bank’s direct climate-related financing, bringing the bank’s annual total to an estimated $29 billion by 2020. In September, Chinese President Xi Jinping pledged to match President Obama’s promised $3 billion in aid to the U.N.’s Green Climate Fund. Meanwhile, the U.K is diverting $8.9 billion from its overseas aid budget to climate-related aid over the next five years, and France is promising $5.6 billion annually by 2020, up from $3.4 billion today. The African Development Bank is planning to triple its climate-related investments to more than $5 billion a year by 2020, representing 40% of its total portfolio.
All these pledges had their genesis in the chaos of the Copenhagen climate summit six years ago, when developed nations made a rash promise to spend $100 billion a year on “climate finance” for the world’s poor by 2020. Rachel Kyte, World Bank vice president and special envoy for climate change, recently told the Guardian (U.K.) newspaper that the $100 billion figure “was picked out of the air at Copenhagen” in an attempt to rescue a last-minute deal. Yet achieving that arbitrary goal is now seen as fundamental to the success of the Paris summit.
This is deeply troubling because aid is being diverted to climate-related matters at the expense of improved public health, education and economic development. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development has analyzed about 70% of total global development aid and found that about one in four of those dollars goes to climate-related aid.
In a world in which malnourishment continues to claim at least 1.4 million children’s lives each year, 1.2 billion people live in extreme poverty, and 2.6 billion lack clean drinking water and sanitation, this growing emphasis on climate aid is immoral.
Not surprisingly, in an online U.N. survey of more than eight million people from around the globe, respondents from the world’s poorest countries rank “action taken on climate change” dead last out of 16 categories when asked “What matters most to you?” Top priorities are “a good education,” “better health care, “better job opportunities,” “an honest and responsive government,” and “affordable, nutritious food.”
According to a recent paper by Neha Raykar and Ramanan Laxminarayan of the Public Health Foundation of India, just $570 million a year—or 0.57% of the $100 billion climate-finance goal—spent on direct malaria-prevention policies like mosquito nets would reduce malaria deaths by 50% by 2025, saving an estimated 300,000 lives a year.
Providing the world’s most deprived countries with solar panels instead of better health care or education is inexcusable self-indulgence. Green energy sources may be good to keep on a single light or to charge a cellphone. But they are largely useless for tackling the main power challenges for the world’s poor.
According to the World Health Organization, three billion people suffer from the effects of indoor air pollution because they burn wood, coal or dung to cook. These people need access to affordable, reliable electricity today. Yet too often clean alternatives, because they aren’t considered “renewable,” aren’t receiving the funding they deserve.
A 2014 study by the Center for Global Development found that “more than 60 million additional people in poor nations could gain access to electricity if the Overseas Private Investment Corporation”—the U.S. government’s development finance institution—“were allowed to invest in natural gas projects, not just renewables.”
Addressing global warming effectively will require long-term innovation that will make green energy affordable for everyone. Rich countries are in a rush to appear green and generous, and recipient countries are jostling to make sure they receive the funds. But the truth is that climate aid isn’t where rich countries can help the most, and it isn’t what the world’s poorest want or need.
The shameful behaviour of our educational institutions in denying Dr Lomborg’s free speech is astonishing. Their totalitarianism is showing. There’s more totalitarianism in Europe too:
Below is an excerpt from a very thorough report recently released by a French mathematical society
All public policies, in France, Europe and throughout the world, find their origin and inspiration in the battle against global warming. The initial credo is simple: temperatures at the surface of the planet have been rising constantly for the past thirty years, and human beings are to blame.
This is leading to all sorts of discussions, conferences and regulations, which are having an enormous impact on our economy. Every area of activity is affected: transport, housing, energy – to name just a few. Why do we need to save energy? It is quite simple: we have to reduce human impact on the planet. This is the fundamental credo.
The impact on the entire field of scientific research is particularly clear and especially pernicious. No project can be launched, on any subject whatsoever, unless it makes direct reference to global warming. You want to look at the geology of the Garonne Basin? It is, after all, an entirely normal and socially useful subject in every respect. Well, your research will be funded, approved and published only if it mentions the potential for geological storage of CO2.
It is appalling. The crusade has invaded every area of activity and everyone‘s thinking: the battle against CO2 has become a national priority. How have we reached this point, in a country that claims to be rational?
At the root lie the declarations made by the IPPC, which have been repeated over the years and taken up by the European Commission and the Member States. France, which likes to see itself as the “good boy of Europe”, adds an extra layer of virtue to every crusade. When others introduce reductions, we will on principle introduce bigger reductions, without ever questioning their appropriateness: a crusade is virtuous by its very nature. And you can never be too virtuous.
But mathematicians do not believe in crusades; they look at facts, figures, observations and arguments.
Chapter 1: The crusade is absurd.
There is not a single fact, figure or observation that leads us to conclude that the world‘s climate is in any way “disturbed”. It is variable, as it has always been, but rather less so now than during certain periods or geological eras.
Modern methods are far from being able to accurately measure the planet‘s global temperature even today, so measurements made 50 or 100 years ago are even less reliable.
Concentrations of CO2 vary, as they always have done; the figures that are being released are biased and dishonest.
Rising sea levels are a normal phenomenon linked to upthrust buoyancy; they are nothing to do with so-called global warming.
As for extreme weather events – they are no more frequent now than they have been in the past. We ourselves have processed the raw data on hurricanes.
We are being told that “a temperature increase of more than 2ºC by comparison with the beginning of the industrial age would have dramatic consequences, and absolutely has to be prevented”.
When they hear this, people worry: hasn‘t there already been an increase of 1.9ºC? Actually, no: the figures for the period 1995-2015 show an upward trend of about 1ºC every hundred years! Of course, these figures, which contradict public policies, are never brought to public attention.
Chapter 2: The crusade is costly.
Direct aid for industries that are completely unviable (such as photovoltaics and wind turbines) but presented as “virtuous” runs into billions of euros, according to recent reports published by the Cour des Comptes (French Audit Office) in 2013.
But the highest cost lies in the principle of “energy saving”, which is presented as especially virtuous. Since no civilization can develop when it is saving energy, ours has stopped developing: France now has more than three million people unemployed – it is the price we have to pay for our virtue. We want to cut our CO2 emissions at any cost: it is a way of displaying our virtue for all to see. To achieve these reductions, we have significantly cut industrial activity and lost jobs. But at least we have achieved our aim of cutting CO2 emissions, haven‘t we?
The answer is laughable: apparently not. Global emissions of CO2 have continued to rise, including those generated by France in designing and manufacturing its own products, as the Cour des Comptes clearly states. Quite simply, manufacturing that is held to be environmentally damaging has been relocated. So the same products are now being manufactured in countries that are far less respectful of the environment, and we have lost all the associated jobs. As Baudelaire says, “Nature‘s irony combines with our insanity”
Chapter 3: The crusade is pointless.
Human beings cannot, in any event, change the climate. If we in France were to stop all industrial activity (let‘s not talk about our intellectual activity, which ceased long ago), if we were to eradicate all trace of animal life, the composition of the atmosphere would not alter in any measurable, perceptible way.
To explain this, let us make a comparison with the rotation of the planet: it is slowing down. To address that, we might be tempted to ask the entire population of China to run in an easterly direction. But, no matter how big China and its population are, this would have no measurable impact on the Earth‘s rotation.
French policy on CO2 emissions is particularly stupid, since we are one of the countries with the cleanest industrial sector. International agreements on the subject began with the Kyoto Protocol, but the number of countries signing up to this agreement and its descendants are becoming fewer and fewer, now representing just 15% of emissions of greenhouse gases.
This just goes to show the truth of the matter: we are fighting for a cause (reducing CO2 emissions) that serves absolutely no purpose, in which we alone believe, and which we can do nothing about. You would probably have to go quite a long way back in human history to find such a mad obsession.
Much more HERE