Manipulating people isn’t something to be proud of. Granted, marketing campaigns and large corporations know how to leverage the emotions of people. The same goes for politicians. However, at what cost?
For Al Gore, the cost of manipulating people comes at the price that negates industrialization in some of the poorest places in the world. And that, my friends, is the reason why the former Vice President shows no regard for the poor.
As Gore prepares for the release of An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power, his highly anticipated sequel to his Academy Award winning documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, people will continue to buy into the idea that the crisis of energy poverty comes second to climate change. This is entirely unacceptable.
Many of the world’s issues of poverty can be solved with the implementation of policies that advocate for energy affordability. However, this only can be achieved through legacy methods of energy generation—not forcing the reliance on energy production on intermittent renewable energy sources like wind and solar.
You may have heard this sentiment before, but manufacturing wind turbines, specifically, is expensive and requires raw and finished materials created by petroleum products, fossil fuels, and rare earth metals. Plus, wind turbines are unreliable as a source of primary electrical generation. When they don’t spin, there is no power. When the wind picks up and the turbines spin too fast, they’re shut off. Unless there is some place in the world where the wind blows 8 to 12 mph, maybe higher, at a constant, a switch to totally renewable energy will be unsustainable on this basis.
Though a mixture of all types of energy generation can be beneficial overall, the truth of the matter is that sources like wind and solar do not generate enough power to provide adequate delivery for the world’s energy crisis as primary methods of delivery.
Billions of people are without reliable sources of electricity or heat (for warmth, cooking, etc.). And, through the narrative that this massive commitment for energy can be met by intermittent energy sources is entirely misguided, false, and ignorant. If you can get past my credentials, my affiliations, and my beliefs, this is a question of common sense. Nothing else.
Energy poverty is a greater threat to the world than a sudden climate disaster. Here’s why. According to the International Energy Agency, 1.2 billion people lack access to modern sources of electricity. 2.7 billion lack consumer access to natural gas, petrol products, propane, and kerosene. Rather, they’re dependent on biomass. Though most biomass meant for cooking, like wood and coal, aren’t invalid ways to cook; burning gas and electricity would do wonders for the impoverished populations of the world and, yes, even the environment.
This is unchallengeable in the end. However, limiting how many of these modern sources of energy are produced—like how shale derived fossil fuel is produced for example—you can’t provide the supply for the worldwide demand. Hydraulic fracturing, offshore drilling, and the general exploitation of a country’s natural resources for energy development is the way to go. Having external NGOs and intergovernmental panels dictate what a developing country can do to industrialize is immoral and a clear symbol that the rich want to keep the poor, poor. And, surprise, Al Gore, with a net worth of several hundred million dollars, falls into the category of the rich controlling the poor.
Even Fortune 500 companies and some of the biggest players in the private sector want to propagate the fear of climate change because it is profitable.
Cases of crony capitalism also come from this good ole’ boys’ club of rich, leftist politicians, big government, and big business controlling the free market, small energy producers, and individuals.
The reliable solution for solving energy poverty is, in fact, legacy energy sources. Only then can people work themselves out of poverty, grow the global economy, and bring stability to their lands.
Michael McGrady is the executive director of McGrady Policy Research.