For the last two years, the United Nations has been running a worldwide on-line poll asking the people of the world what their priorities are. The poll has more than 8 million answers, the vast majority from the world’s poorest countries. You can see the poll results here.
What do the world’s poor want? Overwhelmingly, they say they:
1)a good education
3)better job opportunities
4)an honest and responsive government.
What is last on the list (by far)? “Action taken on climate change.”
And when you start looking at the figures, it turns out that the poorer the country the least likely it is to want action taken on climate change. Even among the richest countries, climate change is only priority number 10 out of 16. Among women from the poorest countries, there is comparatively almost no support for taking action on climate change.
So, we must ask ourselves: why does the Pope and a group of mostly left-wing global elites want to impose policies on the world that the poor do not want? The poor are like most of us, i.e., they want a better life for themselves and their children. Why do so many out of touch know-it-alls think they can tell them what they should want?
As you may or may not know, there have been several climate change summits over the years, and they always end the same way, i.e., with the poorer countries protesting the fact that Europe and the United States want to impose policies on the world that will keep the poor countries poor.
The truth is that fossil fuels have long helped the richest countries become rich. Efficient, portable energy used in a mostly market-based economic system is the engine of the Western world. (You would not be able to read this right now without somebody using fossil fuels someplace). So, the message to Western elites is: “we grew using fossil fuels, but sorry you cannot. You must accept our arbitrary standards of how to run your economies now.”
In effect, climate change alarmism is nothing more than the latest imperialist scheme from rich northern countries that have been exploiting poor countries for centuries now.
There is simply no argument for taking “urgent action on climate change” that involves actually considering the desires of the world’s poorest people. So, all arguments have to come from the position of “we know better than you.” Apparently the northern countries have learned nothing since the 19th century, when imperialism was justified by supposed racial and cultural superiority.
One of the many arguments that alarmists use to push for “urgent action” is the threat of greater and more destructive hurricanes. Let’s leave aside the clear evidence that there have been fewer hurricanes in the last two decades. Let’s point out instead that hurricanes are most damaging to the world’s poor *precisely because they are poor.* Poor countries do not have the infrastructure to avoid devastating hurricanes, and tens of thousands are inevitably killed. When huge hurricanes hit the United States, only a handful of people usually die. So the first solution to saving lives due to hurricanes is: help the poorer countries get richer so they can build their own infrastructure to deal with hurricanes. And, for now, that includes the use of fossil fuels.
If the world’s elites want to continue to push the climate change agenda, they are going to have to begin to actually take into consideration the desires of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people. But there is no evidence that climate change alarmists actually care what other people want. Such is the tyranny of the people who Know Better Than You.