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Obama’s Utopian Hypocrisy: The Developing World Needs Coal – But In The U.S., It’s Evil

July 10, 2013 by  

President Barack Obama knows that the African energy initiatives he announced in a June 30 speech in Cape Town, South Africa, will rely heavily on developing nations named in the ambitious program using coal as a primary supplier for any expansion of the sub-Saharan region’s energy infrastructure.

In fact, with rich coal resources and plans to construct new coal-fired power plants, coal is certain to be the centerpiece of any energy-reliant effort at modernizing Africa. More than 1 billion people live in the region, but they’re presently using about as much energy as Canada’s sparse population of 34 million.

Early morning smog hangs over Cape Town, South Africa. Credit: Open Knowledge

But Obama’s vilification of coal in his Georgetown University speech last month is wholly absent from the $7 billion U.S.-backed plan he’s crafted for Africa. He knows Africa will develop with Evil, Polluting, Regressive Coal. There is no economic incentive for Africa to buy “green” energy from the Solyndras of the world. Come to think of it, there’s no incentive in the U.S., either.

No matter how idealistic the President may be about curbing greenhouse gases; no matter how condescending toward those who wonder whether mankind understands the Earth’s age-old atmospheric mysteries as well as he, Obama knows that no amount of coal-killing regulation in the U.S. is going to make one whit of difference in altering the net effect of burning coal to generate electricity worldwide.

Writing for National Review, Charles Krauthammer devastates Obama’s duplicitous take on climate change:

The U.S. has already radically cut CO2 emissions — more than any country on earth since 2006, according to the International Energy Agency…

And yet, at the same time, global emissions have gone up. That’s because — surprise! — we don’t control the energy use of the other 96 percent of humankind.

…This massive self-sacrifice might be worthwhile if it did actually stop global warming and save the planet. What makes the whole idea nuts is that it won’t. This massive self-inflicted economic wound will have no effect on climate change.

… We can kill U.S. coal and devastate coal country all we want, but the industrializing third world will more than make up for it. The net effect of the Obama plan will simply be dismantling the U.S. coal industry for shipping abroad.

To think we will get these countries to cooperate is sheer fantasy. We’ve been negotiating climate treaties for 20 years and gotten exactly nowhere. China, India, and the other rising and modernizing countries point out that the West had a 150-year industrial head start that made it rich. They are still poor. And now, just as they are beginning to get rich, we’re telling them to stop dead in their tracks?

Fat chance.

Indeed, in the 10 years between 2002 and 2012, the U.S. could have reduced its carbon emissions to nothing, and it wouldn’t have made a difference globally — the net output of carbon generated by the rest of the world over the same period would still have amounted to a net increase. Asia is the world’s emerging polluter, and our President’s answer is to punish Americans through onerous regulations that aim, in practice, to destroy the coal industry (and several State economies along with it), while driving up energy costs for everyone living and doing business in the U.S. — while the rest of the world develops apace.

Krauthammer explains this sort of starry-eyed liberalism represents the very mode of thinking Obama thinks he’s transcending when he refers to global warming’s skeptics as members of the “flat earth society” peanut gallery:

It’s flat-earthers like Obama who cite perennial phenomena such as droughts as cosmic retribution for environmental sinfulness…For a president to propose this with such aggressive certainty is incomprehensible. It is the starkest of examples of belief that is impervious to evidence. And the word for that is faith, not science.

Ben Bullard

Reconciling the concept of individual sovereignty with conscientious participation in the modern American political process is a continuing preoccupation for staff writer Ben Bullard. A former community newspaper writer, Bullard has closely observed the manner in which well-meaning small-town politicians and policy makers often accept, unthinkingly, their increasingly marginal role in shaping the quality of their own lives, as well as those of the people whom they serve. He argues that American public policy is plagued by inscrutable and corrupt motives on a national scale, a fundamental problem which individuals, families and communities must strive to solve. This, he argues, can be achieved only as Americans rediscover the principal role each citizen plays in enriching the welfare of our Republic.

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