Monday, July 14, 2008

Poverty Stricken Don't 'Give a Damn' About Warming

Whilst the rich and poor countries fight over the solution to the climate change problem this article hits the nail on the head.

This has always been the elephant in the room and is why a negotiated settlement could be years away.

The source may be a right wing US pro-market think tank talking about a left wing conference but in a round-about-way they are on the right track.

The expert at the "left-wing" conference is simply stating the obvious which is what the BMI and I am subsequently doing but this point is still not being made clearly enough. The West cannot dictate terms to developing countries with massive levels of poverty. Even if these very same poor are likely to the worst hit from the effects of climate change they still want cheap electricity and as soon as possible.

H/T to Benny Peiser.

Energy Expert: Poverty Stricken Don't 'Give a Damn' About Warming [Business and Media Institute]

According to one energy security expert, unless prosperity exists people simply will not care about climate change. Gal Luft, executive director of the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security, said on July 11 that the poor have other priorities than global warming.

“They [poor people] could not give a damn about climate change because they want 24 hours a day light,” said Luft who cited the example of people living in slums outside Bangalore, India.

“In India alone, 600 million people are not connected even to the [power] grid,” said Luft, “When you talk to these people all you have to do is drive 10 minutes from the center of Bangalore to the slums there and ask them about climate change. And they’ll tell you: ‘We want electricity, we want it today, we want it cheap, we don’t care how you make it.’”

Luft warned people gathered for a Washington, D.C. conference hosted by the left-wing Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) that the movement risks losing a huge constituency if the oil problem isn’t solved. CSPI is a pro-regulation group that often attacks businesses over food issues. The organization was putting on its fourth national Integrity in Science Conference co-sponsored by a number of liberal organizations and publications including Mother Jones, the Union of Concerned Scientists, Earthjustice and the Center for Progressive Reform.

Janet Daley continues the debate in the Daily Telegraph:

Poor people can't worry about global warming [Daily Telegraph]

1 comment:

Sonia Schmanski said...

It is true that climate change is not a high priority for those living in extreme poverty and struggling to maintain their livelihoods. Any serious efforts to address climate change must concurrently address economic and health issues. Ethiopia hosts a number of organizations working on these types of cross-sector programs; see this New Security Beat blog posting for more.