Monday, May 12, 2014

Kerry to Developing Nations: Drop Dead

In February, Secretary of State John Kerry gave a speech in Indonesia during which he urged that nation, and other developing—i.e., industrializing—nations, to “do more to cut greenhouse-gas emissions.”

As The Washington Post's Simon Denyer reports:

Secretary of State John F. Kerry, calling climate change perhaps the world’s most fearsome weapon of mass destruction, urged developing nations on Sunday to do more to cut greenhouse-gas emissions as he derided climate-change skeptics at home and blamed big companies for hijacking the debate.

“Cut greenhouse-gas emissions” is environmentalist code for abandon fossil fuels in favor of “renewables.” But fossil fuel energy is indispensable to industrialization, which is indispensable to human well-being, and the developing countries know it. That's why they give Western climate change crusaders the cold shoulder:

Global efforts to counter climate change have long foundered on a sharp divide between developed and developing nations. Although developing nations now account for more than half of greenhouse-gas emissions, they have been reluctant to commit to meaningful cuts as they seek a path to Western industrialization and prosperity. They argue the West caused the problem and should fix it.

But Kerry had little patience for the blame game:

"It’s not enough for one country or even a few countries to reduce emissions when other countries continue to fill the atmosphere with carbon pollution as they see fit,” he said [as quoted by Denyer]. “If even one or two major economies neglects to respond to this threat, it will counteract all of the good work that the rest of the world does. . . . [W]e need a global solution.”

The developing nations are right to reject calls to sacrifice their emerging prosperity and the good life that has long been enjoyed by the West.

While Kerry has indicated that he is not in the radical environmentalist camp on fossil fuels—“he’s realistic about the fact that America is still reliant on fossil fuels”—his hyperbolic rhetoric about climate change being “the world’s most fearsome weapon of mass destruction” coupled with his attempts to intimidate critics into silence sounds the cataclysmic tone that suggests fossil fuel use must be curtailed now, regardless of the consequences to human economic well-being. In pressuring developing countries to "reduce [co2] emissions" (which should not be confused with reducing harmful pollution), Kerry is essentially telling once-poor peoples to give up their dreams of the better, longer, healthier, safer life that fossil fuel-driven industrialization can give them; in short—to borrow an infamous 1970s headline—DROP DEAD. These developing nations should not allow Kerry and his ilk to hijack their future prosperity. Instead, they should tell them to GET LOST.

Related Reading:

Fossil Fuels Improve the Planet—Alex Epstein

The Church Of Climate Scientology—Alex Epstein

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