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Friday, October 30, 2015
"This Child Does Not Need a Solar Panel"
While environmentalist Bjorn Lomborg and I don't agree on a lot of things, his commentary in the Wall Street Journal is exactly on the money:
In a world in which malnourishment continues to claim at least 1.4 million children’s lives each year, 1.2 billion people live in extreme poverty, and 2.6 billion lack clean drinking water and sanitation, this growing emphasis on climate aid is immoral.
Not surprisingly, in an online U.N. survey of more than eight million people from around the globe, respondents from the world’s poorest countries rank “action taken on climate change” dead last out of 16 categories when asked “What matters most to you?” Top priorities are “a good education,” “better health care, “better job opportunities,” “an honest and responsive government,” and “affordable, nutritious food.”
According to a recent paper by Neha Raykar and Ramanan Laxminarayan of the Public Health Foundation of India, just $570 million a year—or 0.57% of the $100 billion climate-finance goal—spent on direct malaria-prevention policies like mosquito nets would reduce malaria deaths by 50% by 2025, saving an estimated 300,000 lives a year.
Providing the world’s most deprived countries with solar panels instead of better health care or education is inexcusable self-indulgence. Green energy sources may be good to keep on a single light or to charge a cellphone. But they are largely useless for tackling the main power challenges for the world’s poor.
The entire article is here. If it is behind a paywall, just Google the title.