Climate change hypocrisy day
Asian Correspondent's Edwin Espejo argues that whereas environmentally friendly energy is fantastic it's not a viable option for Mindanao. I think he's right and that wind, geo-thermal, solar and hydro-power can't come anywhere close to meeting the developing world's rising energy demand. The only realistic energy options are fossil fuels and nuclear power. But since nuclear power plants are very expensive and take years to plan and build it looks like fossil fuels will provide power for less well-off nations for the foreseeable future. Developing nations are not going to sacrifice economic development in order to cut emissions. That's just the way it is.
Today's worldwide climate change protests, kicking off in Australia, ignore that reality. Those marching will be well off, high per capita carbon emitting hypocrites. Few rural Indians will participate, neither knowing nor caring that Bianca Jagger – a "champion for social and environmental justice" – will attend the London rally. After doing their bit for the environment the protesters will drive home (the more stylish in fuel-guzzling SUVs), turn on the air-conditioner, grab a beer from the fridge and kick back in front of their big-screen TVs to watch the day's protest action. Bianca and the other high profile do-gooders will, of course, jet back to wherever they jetted in from. The developing world will be enveloped by a warm glow of smug self-satisfaction. Meanwhile, the less well off will be hoping for reliable and cheap electricity to make their lives easier. Oh yeah, and a car. Travel by jet comes later.