Here’s why detecting climate propaganda matters.
Bloomberg Green, Bloomberg’s climate newsletter, started with this headline last week: “A deadly, overlooked consequence of climate change: disease.”
I’d like to rephrase: “A deadly, overlooked consequence of Net Zero: disease.”
While world leaders push for Net Zero, they use Malawi as a climate crisis scapegoat. We say, Malawi is at Net Zero, unable to adapt to a changing climate because its residents don’t have the infrastructure or energy to do so. Give a country energy and it will lift millions out of poverty.
Instead, the newsletter cites heat waves, contaminated water, and pandemics as all problems of climate change: “Over the past year, more than 1,000 people have died in Malawi of cholera—a disease that’s preventable and very easy to treat. The disease is endemic to the East African country, but this outbreak has taken more lives than any in the past. And climate change is, at least partly, to blame.”
Cholera is “preventable and very easy to treat” with modern medicine, modern equipment, and, ultimately, clean water. Does Bloomberg not realize that while wind and solar could power electricity in a hospital–albeit intermittently–it cannot make defibrillators, machines, and hospital equipment? Do government officials not know that the masks they required everyone to wear during the pandemic–including the N95 masks that were considered the best–require polypropylene, a petroleum-based polymer? We would not have modern medicine or medical devices without fossil fuels.
The Mayo Clinic says that “Modern sewage and water treatment have virtually eliminated cholera in industrialized countries….The risk of a cholera epidemic is highest when poverty, war or natural disasters force people to live in crowded conditions without adequate sanitation.”
Malawi does not have modern sewage or water treatment because it does not have access to affordable, reliable energy. Life:Powered cites Malawi often as a real Net Zero country. Why? Because people are living in Net Zero conditions; they don’t have running water or electricity. They don’t have access to the infrastructure and innovation we have that was brought on by the exploration and use of fossil fuels in the developed world. Without access to energy, they cannot eliminate cholera.
It is so important to be able to detect climate propaganda, because a Google study of Gen Z labels the generation as the “most empathetic generation.” They jump onto these bandwagons thinking that their protests will really stop fossil fuels. What they do not know is that their efforts to go green will keep people in poverty. Their fights against oil, gas, and coal condemn the people in Malawi to always live in poverty, and they will also condemn the rest of the world to a pre-industrialized era if they continue the false argument that climate change is the real problem. The real problem is energy poverty, and there’s a real solution, while eliminating all carbon emissions in the U.S. would only lower temperatures by less than 2/10s of a degree. Two-tenths of a degree or a level of poverty most people in the U.S. cannot even imagine?
The developed world is what it is because of fossil fuels, and the rest of the world cannot develop without them. We cannot demonize what would heal developing countries of preventable and completely curable diseases. Fighting for the climate crazies will bring nothing but poverty to the world; fighting for affordable, reliable energy will bring human flourishing to countries who have never had the luxury of air conditioning, clean water, and electricity.