When Alice went through the looking glass, she found a world where things were completely the reverse of what they are in the real world. Of course, Lewis Carroll’s masterpiece was intended as a parody of the mendacious politicians of the day.
Today we have something beyond parody, and that is the U.N. climate bureaucracy and its acolytes. Because the U.N. agencies are bureaucracies, it is perhaps understandable that they should seek at all times to increase their own power and control over the world’s people. But what is not understandable is when that quest turns into a campaign to keep the poor people of the world in poverty. Yet that is exactly where the U.N. now finds itself with the campaign for what it calls “climate justice.” That campaign is based on completely false premises, and could not have been better designed to keep the poor poor than if that had been the principal and only purpose. The advocates of so-called “climate justice” seem to be totally unaware of the reprehensible morality of their campaign. Instead, they flaunt their own high levels of consumption, and look to as leaders those at the very most extreme levels of high consumption.
Poverty, in the sense of deprivation of basic goods and services, in very large part is a result of insufficient access to energy. Access to energy means electricity for our homes, businesses and computers; it means transportation, in the form of automobiles, trains and planes; it means heating in cold weather and cooling in hot weather; it means functioning hospitals and health care facilities; it means mechanized agricultural methods that ameliorate the effects of bad weather and pests; it means access to information; and many other things equally important. Without access to energy, people are trapped in local areas to lead a life of basic subsistence if not periodic hunger and starvation.
Current data from the World Bank with respect to access to energy show that even today over 1.2 billion people, 20% of the world’s population, lack access to electricity. This includes about 550 million people in Africa and over 400 million in India. Here is the World Bank’s description of what it means to lack access to electricity:
Without access to energy service, the poor will be deprived of the most basic of human rights and of economic opportunities to improve their standard of living. People cannot access modern hospital services without electricity, or feel relief from sweltering heat. Food cannot be refrigerated and businesses cannot function. Children cannot go to school in rainforests where lighting is required during the day. The list of deprivation goes on.
The World Bank actually projects that the number of people in Africa without access to electricity will increase, not decrease, between now and 2030!
And electricity is just one piece of the energy access puzzle. The 1.2 billion figure who lack electricity is far exceeded by the numbers who lack access to modern transportation (automobiles, trains, airplanes), to air conditioning, to heat, to hospitals, to mechanized agricultural equipment, and to the internet. For example, according to 2013 data from the International Telecommunications Union in Geneva, only about 2.4 billion people out of the 7.0 billion in the world (34.3%) had internet access; that leaves some 5.6 billion without access. In Africa, only 16.3% of people had access to the internet, and only 6.7% had access to the internet at home.
Given the serious hardship faced by the world’s poor in the absence of energy access, one would think that a top priority of the U.N. would be finding ways to achieve that access as quickly, as cheaply, and as reliably as possible. But in fact, under the banner of so-called “climate justice,” the U.N. is doing exactly the opposite. It is doing its best to hobble, hinder and obstruct development of the cheapest and most reliable sources of energy in the third world, while instead advocating for massive transfers of wealth from rich countries, not to the poor people themselves, but instead to the governing cliques and wealthy elites in the poor countries. . . . .