Friday, November 7, 2014

Matt Ridley exposes how environmentalists take the moral low ground and defend the rich against the poor

Matt Ridley exposes how environmentalists take the moral low ground and defend the rich against the poor:

In Matt Ridley’s latest column, he explains how even though environmentalists claim the moral high ground, their policies actually defend the wealthy at the expense of the world’s poorest people,  here’s an excerpt:

The OECD’s economic models project that the average person alive in 2100 will be earning an astonishing four to seven times as much money – corrected for inflation – as she does today. That’s a 300-600% increase in real pay. This should enable posterity to buy quite a bit of protection for itself and the planet against any climate change that does show up. So we are being asked to make sacrifices today to prevent the possibility of what may turn out to be pretty small harms to very wealthy people in the future.

By contrast, the cost of climate policies is already falling most heavily on today’s poor. Subsidies for renewable energy have raised costs of heating and transport disproportionately for the poor. Subsidies for biofuels have raised food prices by diverting food into fuel, tipping millions into malnutrition and killing about 190,000 people a year. The refusal of many rich countries to fund aid for coal-fired electricity in Africa and Asia rather than renewable projects (and in passing I declare a financial interest in coal mining) leaves more than a billion people without access to electricity and contributes to 3.5 million deaths a year from indoor air pollution caused by cooking over open fires of wood and dung.

Greens think these harms are a price worth paying to stop the warming. They want (other) people to bear such sacrifices today so that the people of 2100, who will be up to seven times as rich, do not have to face the prospect of living in a world that is perhaps 0.8 – 1.2 degrees warmer. And this is the moral high ground?
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