The International Energy Agency defines “access to electricity” as the ability to switch on the equivalent of a single 60-Watt light-bulb for about four hours. Even on this hardly generous definition, the IEA finds that some 1.3 billion people worldwide – a sixth of the global population – have no access to electricity.
Without power, life is poor, nasty, brutish and, above all, short. Life expectancy in regions without electricity – sub-Saharan Africa, for instance – is little better than 60 years. In the European countries, it is more like 80 years.
Yet since 2010 the World Bank, one of the plethora of unelected supranational institutions to which democratic nations are unwisely transferring great power and wealth, has refused to lend to developing countries for coal-fired electricity generation – because global warming.
From this year onward, that hideous, stony-faced, flint-hearted entity will not led to poorer countries for extraction of coal, oil or gas either – because global warming.
In Western countries, too, the crippling cost of global-warming policies is causing real harm. Britain’s last aluminum smelter was forced to close some years ago, killed by savage real increases in the cost of electrical power for the furnace. The British Steel Corporation, the country’s last major steelworks, has just gone into bankruptcy. Again, the major reason for the collapse is the cost of electrical power, absurdly inflated not by market forces but by governmental fiat – because global warming.
Jobs in the West and lives in the South – millions of them every year – are being destroyed because affordable electricity is unavailable. More than 4 million people a year die of particulate pollution from open [indoor] cooking fires because they have no electricity. Half a million women [annually] die in childbirth chiefly because there is no electrical power. These are just some of the tens of millions who die annually because they cannot so much as switch on a light.
A growing fraction of these job losses and deaths arise not because the rate of global warming is dangerous – it isn’t – but because official policies intended (whether piously or not) to mitigate global warming are, in their effect, genocidal.
The global welfare loss arising from policies to mitigate global warming very greatly outweighs even the vastly-exaggerated benefit imagined by true-believers in the cult of Thermageddon. That is why it is essential to get global-warming science right. Not merely the jobs of vulnerable working people but the very lives of tens of millions in developing countries are at stake.
Is global warming a problem? Yes! Does it require mitigation and adaptation measures? Yes! But, it is a mild problem and not an existential crisis that requires sacrificing millions of human beings. The morality of global warming, as described by the MSM and much of Big Climate, is upside, down.