Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, centre, arrives for a meeting in the French National Assembly, in Paris, France, Tuesdays, July 23, 2019. (AP Photo/Rafael Yaghobzadeh)
When trying to save the planet, you’d think not making demands that could lead to people dying, mostly in undeveloped countries, would be prudent. But here we are.
Greta Thunberg has decided she knows what’s best and is demanding that the participants at the World Economic Forum “immediately and completely divest” from fossil fuels.
This per The Daily Wire.
“We demand that at this year’s forum, participants from all companies, banks, institutions and governments immediately halt all investments in fossil fuel exploration and extraction, immediately end all fossil fuel subsidies and immediately and completely divest from fossil fuels,” Thunberg wrote in an op-ed in The Guardian. “We don’t want these things done by 2050, 2030 or even 2021, we want this done now – as in right now.”
The problem? While she’s posting on social media and living well off in Europe, millions upon millions of people rely on fossil fuels for their very survival. Whether we are talking about electricity itself, the ability to sanitize food (i.e. properly cook it), powering medical devices, or even products made directly from petroleum, the 3rd world has seen dramatic gains in dealing with poverty and disease due to the use of fossil fuels.
Why? Because they are the most efficient, cheapest form of energy we currently have. Sub-Saharan Africa doesn’t have wind farms or the resources to build solar complexes. In fact, the less fossil fuel use you see in these poorer countries, the more pollution and emissions exist because they end up burning wood. If you take what little electricity they have away, you’ll only be adding to the problem if you are one that believes in “climate change.
Ceasing all use of fossil fuels (and to be sure, asking to “divest” from fossil fuels means no longer using them) will result in people dying at a higher rate from things like extreme heat, contaminated food, and lack of modern medical care.
For a modern example, we can go back to 2003, where an estimated 35,ooo people died in Europe due to a heat wave. How many more would have died without access to air conditioning? The answer is, undoubtedly, a lot more. Elderly people are especially vulnerable in this regard.
What Thunberg is doing is the height of privilege, even as she claims to be fighting for justice. A rich kid from Europe who’s never had to want for anything shouldn’t be making demands that could get lots of people killed in places like Africa, South American, and South East Asia, never mind the deaths that would occur in even 1st world countries.
While the headline of my piece may trigger some, and I’m not suggesting Thunberg wants to see people die, it is also an indisputable fact that most of the world simply does not have the ability to “immediately and completely” divest from fossil fuels without causing chaos and large death tolls as a result. Those are the realities, whether it fits Greta Thunberg’s desires or not. Perhaps her inability to see the unintended consequences of her demands is a good reason she shouldn’t be leading any “movement” on this issue.