Under the pretext of combating climate change, the rich deprive the poor of cheap energy (article)

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  • • Global elites are calling for poor countries in the global south to give up fossil fuels.
  • • Rich countries have called on India and Pakistan for years not to burn coal.
  • • Germany paid 800 million dollars to to pledge not to burn coal.
  • • Renewable energy sources cannot lift people out of poverty.
  • • Per capita income is closely related to per capita energy consumption.

Few global celebrities seem to care about climate change. In 2019, US actor Leonardo DiCaprio told the United Nations, “Climate change is our biggest security threat.”

And late last year (2021), DiCaprio and the American actress, Jennifer Lawrence, starred in a movie about the climate disaster, in Hollywood, entitled “Don’t Look Up.”

“You’re watching these tornadoes now, and it’s hard, especially while promoting this movie, not to feel Mother Nature’s wrath or her wrath,” said actress Jennifer Lawrence.

In a speech at the United Nations earlier this year, Prince Harry said: “Climate change is wreaking havoc on our planet as vulnerable people suffer.”

Prince Harry has urged everyone, individuals and countries, to radically reduce carbon emissions.

Hypocrisy about climate change

However; International celebrities, along with global political leaders, are the biggest climate hypocrites on the planet.

Image showing the emissions from a commercial aircraft. Photo courtesy of the Qatar Civil Aviation Authority

Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Lawrence, Prince Harry, and his wife, the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle, have been flying private jets, partying on gas-guzzling yachts, and riding jet skis for years.

400 private jets, which is 5 to 14 times more polluting than commercial flights, have arrived in Egypt for the COP27 climate summit.

Last year, 40,000 people traveled to Scotland, many on private jets; for climate talks; to generate an estimated 102,000 tons of carbon dioxide, equivalent to burning 237,000 barrels of oil.

After their arrival, they were treated to a “computer-generated” video of a dinosaur speaking, in the voice of American actor Jack Black, urging African countries not to use fossil fuels.

Celebrities’ words contradict their actions

It’s true that celebrities have promised to do better, but Leonardo DiCaprio flew on a commercial plane to the climate summit talks last year.

Prince Harry and his wife, Megan Markle, flew on a commercial plane to London last year; While the American actress, Jennifer Lawrence, traveled on a commercial flight after her private plane almost crashed.

Most of the 30,000 participants in climate summit talks this year will arrive on commercial planes.

But actor DiCaprio still travels around the country on a plane that makes short stops; This gives him a much larger carbon footprint than the people he is asking for.

Jennifer Lawrence expresses guilt over this, saying, “I know I’m on a private jet, and I deserve to die,” but she still does.

Harry and Meghan returned from London to their home in Santa Barbara, California, in their private luxury 12-seater jet.

Simply put, flying across the Atlantic on a commercial airliner emits more carbon than the average human being produces in an entire year.

Asking poor countries to abandon fossil fuels

Worse, global elites are demanding that poor countries in the Global South give up fossil fuels; Including natural gas, the cleanest fossil fuel, at a time when the world is experiencing the worst energy crisis in modern history.

None of these elites prevented European countries from searching for natural gas to import from Africa for their own use.

Moreover, rich countries have for years demanded that India and Pakistan not burn coal.

Now, Europe is raising the global price of LNG, leaving Pakistan forced to ration limited supplies of natural gas this winter; Because the Europeans themselves, who demand that Pakistan not burn coal, have raised the price of natural gas; What makes it expensive.

In climate change talks last year, 20 countries promised to stop all financing for fossil fuel projects abroad.

Germany paid South Africa $800 million to promise not to burn coal, and since then Germany’s coal imports have increased eightfold.

As for India; It would need to build 10 to 20 full-size (28 GW) coal-fired power plants over the next 8 years to meet the growing demand for electricity.

This is climate imperialism. Rich countries only agree to help poor countries as long as they use energy sources that cannot lift themselves out of poverty.

Take the case of Norway, Europe’s second largest gas supplier after Russia, which last year agreed to increase natural gas exports by 2 billion cubic meters in order to alleviate energy shortages.

On the other hand, Norway is working to prevent the world’s poorest country from producing its own natural gas by pressuring the World Bank to end its financing of natural gas projects in Africa.

In turn, the International Monetary Fund wants to hold $50 billion hostage as part of the “Adaptation and Sustainability Fund” that will require countries to abandon fossil fuels and thus lose their opportunity to develop. These efforts are paying off.

On Thursday 10 November, South Africa received $600m in “climate loans” from French and German development banks, which can only be used for renewables.

The Europeans hope to divert the $7.6 billion that South Africa is currently investing in electricity infrastructure to wean off coal and switch to renewable energy sources.

How much celebrities care about the poor

Celebrities and world leaders say they care about the poor.

(Centre) A Pakistani boy using firewood for cooking, surrounded by pictures of some world famous people – Photo courtesy of Michael Schellenberger’s blog

In 2019, the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle, wife of Prince Harry, told a group of African women, “I’m here with you, and I’m here for you… being a woman of colour.”

So why are they demanding climate action at their own expense?

In August 2019, Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg sailed from Europe to New York to set an example of how to live carbon-neutral.

But Greta’s voyage in a renewable-powered sailboat across the Atlantic produced four times more emissions than flying. The reason is that sailing required the sailboat crew to return home afterwards.

The reason that even the most sincere environmental activists consume large amounts of energy is simple. Living in rich countries and doing things that people in rich countries do, from driving and flying to eating and living at home, requires large amounts of energy.

World leaders and climate change celebs say renewables can lead to economic growth in Africa and South Asia, but they know their private jets don’t run on solar panels.

Air travel is known to lead to significant carbon emissions.

For his part, British singer Elton John bought carbon offsets to supposedly eliminate Harry and Meghan’s emissions.

A spokesperson for Greta Thunberg admitted, “It would have been less greenhouse gas emissions had we not made this departure.”

Former US Vice President Al Gore knows that his 20-room house uses 12 times more energy than the average home in Nashville, Tennessee.

He knows that renewables cannot lift people out of poverty, and will only make people in rich countries poorer, otherwise why does he insist on “changing the way we live our lives” in order to solve climate change?

There are no “energy leaps”; It’s just the global rich propaganda of green imperialism, and per capita income is still closely related to per capita energy consumption.

No rich, low-energy country is quite the same as there is no high-energy, poor country.

While Europeans consume less energy than Americans, on average; This is because they depend more on trains and less on cars, due to the high population density.

* Michael Schellenberger – American journalist and author interested in environmental issues and climate change.

Note: This article was first published on the author’s personal blog, and “Energy” republished it in agreement with him.

*This article represents the opinion of the author, and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the energy platform.

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The article is in Arabic

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