Poor Countries Don’t Need Climate Change Welfare, |
They Need Capitalism
January 21, 2008
Irvine, CA--A major theme of the recent climate change conference in Bali, Indonesia, is that wealthy, industrialized nations have an obligation to help poor countries adapt to climate change. Delegates agreed to activate an "adaptation fund" to help undeveloped nations cope with projected threats such as disruptions to agriculture and decreased water availability.
But according to Dr. Keith Lockitch, resident fellow of the Ayn Rand Institute: “If environmentalists were really concerned about people in undeveloped countries, they would be helping them to bring about what they really need: industrial development.
“The world’s poorest can barely cope with day-to-day survival, let alone with unproven threats projected to occur over decades. Imagine having no electricity or access to clean drinking water. Imagine having to cook your meals over an open fire, breathing smoke and ash every day. Billions around the world survive at a subsistence level because they lack the elements of industrial capitalism that we in the developed world take for granted: power plants, factories, modern roads and hospitals, cars, refrigerators, and countless time- and labor-saving devices.
"What poor countries need is not climate adaptation welfare doled out by environmentalists who oppose industrial development; what poor countries need is to become rich countries. They need to embrace free markets and private property rights and attract the investment of profit-seeking entrepreneurs to create wealth and drive economic growth.
"Despite the media's constant assertion that global warming science is ‘settled,’" Lockitch said, "it is far from certain that any countries will face catastrophic dangers from climate change. But even if certain dangers do emerge, they pose little threat to wealthy nations with a strongly developed industrial infrastructure. What poor countries need is not global warming guilt money but the rapid adoption of capitalism and industrialization.
"Yet, it is precisely the adoption of industrial capitalism by undeveloped countries that environmentalists reject. Not only do they not want poor countries to become rich, they are trying hard to force rich countries to become poor by capping carbon emissions and abandoning industrialization. Despite their feigned concern for the world’s poor, the measures proposed by environmentalists pose a far greater threat than any possible changes to the earth’s climate."
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