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

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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.

Personal Liberty

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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  • Karolyn

    Big Coal is already “devastating coal country.”

    “The Last Mountain’

    http://www.linktv.org/programs/the-last-mountain

    • Nadzieja Batki

      Did you consider that that mountain may not be good for anything to grow except coal? What would like to have grown there, Karolyn?

      • Karolyn

        Did you even watch the video, Nadzieja? have you ever been to West Virginia and seen the beautiful tree-filled mountains and green valleys? Have you ever been to PA and seen what strip mining did to the hillsides? I doubt it. One point in the video is the fact that people installed wind turbines on some mountain ridges for power, and they provide a lot. What the big coal mining industry is doing is destroying the mountaintops/ridges, and when they are done, all the workers who are campaigning for this type of mining will be out of jobs anyway. There is also mention in it about the high rate of cancer and the runoff from the mines poisoning the people. Of course, the governor is in the company’s pocket! I would suggest you watch the video, or are you afraid you might have to eat your words?

  • Vigilant

    “President Barack Obama unveiled his “Power Africa” program…that will spent [sic] $7 billion in U.S. taxpayer money to fund a sub-Saharan Africa electricity program that will also develop geothermal, hydro, wind, and solar power.” (Breitbart)

    $7 billion of OUR money, of which only $20 million goes for renewable energy projects.

    What a socialist hypocrite indeed.

  • Warrior

    Since “plugs” biteme performed such a bang up accounting job on the “stimulus” spending spree, maybe “plugs” could provide us with the accounting of where the $7 bil is going to be spent. Being this is only 1/100th of that spending, old “plugsy” could do it on a cocktail napkin. I wonder if “Africans” even understand the concept of “shovel ready”?

    • momo

      The only thing “shovel ready” is Obama’s BS!

  • Rocco

    Not evil, just bad for the environment and destructive to the land it is mined from. As one of the most advanced nations on the planet, shouldn’t we lead by example?

    • Nadzieja Batki

      No, coal is not bad for the environment and destructive to the land. Land will repair itself. Coal is needed and it is there in the ground, we didn’t put it there, but it is there for a reason and it is there to be used.There is a point where this kind of deliberate stupidity in any adult, especially the one who is supposedly a President, is pure evil. Rocco you are not too far behind in the same kind of stupidity.

      • Toy Pupanbai

        Land will repair itself?
        I doubt Appalachia will be fixed in time for any human to see it1

        • Nadzieja Batki

          You are rather on the stupid side. So according to you and your O it is fine for Africa, or China, Russia or any other nations that have coal and mine the same coal but somehow it is a no no for America that also has coal to mine it.

          • Karolyn

            Personally, I don’t care what Obama says, and those countries can do what they want. It’s up to those that live there to decide. If they want to have their land ruined, that’ their problem. The people who have lived in Appalachia for generations hate having the land raped for the greed of Big Coal and being poisoned to boot

          • Dr Moon

            I bet those poor families who for decades have depended on coal to feed their kids and pay for their homes aren’t too worried about the Appalachia. I’d bet no one on this board has ever been to the Appalachia Mountains.

          • Karolyn

            Watch “The Last Mountain” Doc.

    • Dr Moon

      No its ridiculous for Obama to cause Americans hardship while at the same time give Africa a green light to pollute all they want. This is Obama’s goal, to kill more jobs and destroy America. When will people wake up and stop believing his constant lies.

  • chrisnj

    Don’t listen to what the man says, watch what he does. Contradiction of his own claims doesn’t bother Obama a whit. The common consistent thread to it all is to “level the playing field” at the expense of the US.
    It won’t work out that way of course. As in the Mideast, he only empowers the despotic and inhibits anything that might lead to freedom and real economic prosperity. Africa is more of the same.
    “But we meant well,” he will say. “It’s those evil Republicans and imperialistic American businessmen who kept it from succeeding.”
    Or perhaps this is simply his way of moving billions into offshore accounts prior to leaving (or being removed from) office, so that he can return to the land of his father as one of the wealthy “big men” who will lord it over the ignorant slave fodder the ancestors of which his ancestors sold into bondage abroad.