Obama's Cruel Advice
This story was voted the top felony this week. The Washington Times's opinion piece on Obama's African developmental policy is riddled with illogical assumptions. Sadly, these assumptions boil down to a way of thinking in developed areas that is unquestioned within the mainstream.
The article speaks of how "Mr. Obama’s power base on the left will only embrace inefficient, pre-industrial power sources", windmills, for example, while neglecting power plants. The anonymous author makes Obama out to be a sustainability saint. In fact, had the author read a recent article published by Forbes Magazine, he or she would have discovered that Obama's Power Africa Project consists largely of mining natural gas and does in fact include a power plant. Is the author's fallacious situation more of a tragedy, or could it be worse that the bulk of Obama's plan consists of setting up natural gas mining infrastructure, making these countries dependent on an energy source that we should all be moving away from?
But the anonymous author would disagree with what I have just said, because the author does not believe in climate change, calling it "a superstitious belief that byproducts of the Industrial Revolution have been warming the planet." One hundred percent of reputable, peer-reviewed scientific studies have agreed on anthropogenic (human caused) climate change*-- keep in mind global warming is an outdated concept. However, the anonymous author ignores the threat of environmental damage, as well as overpopulation. As the author speaks about in the article, his or her reasoning for this claim lies in an anecdotal story within a ten year period. The author's "proof" takes place within a span of a decade, no time at all, geologically speaking. It does not invalidate the finiteness of these metals, or any other resources. Had the parties involved taken water or gasoline as the variable, the author might be out of luck on a story to support his or her ridiculous views.
The author's argument in short is as follows: Obama is a mean bully who refuses to give Africa awesome, environmentally damaging forms of energy (wrong), thereby denying them of "the modern comforts that the developed world enjoys, cultivating innovation, entrepreneurship, investment and prosperity [which] increases prosperity for all." As I wrote about in a previous post, there is a difference between quantitative growth and qualitative development. Neither of the two is in favor of the terrible conditions of shantytowns. Instead, the difference between the two is the difference between a well-built mud hut near a safe river and a five bedroom house with a pool. Unfortunately, there is a huge culture gap between that which materialistic, developed areas espouse and and that of the cultures that think differently (be they certain rural people in developing countries, or people in Colorado Springs or LA who reuse, reduce, recycle, dumpster dive, and use a bike as their transportation). This culture gap prohibits the former from learning from people who recognize that quantitative growth and qualitative development can be mutually exclusive. And unfortunately, the ignorant assumption that people around the world cannot live happily without the comforts of developed countries is the number one reasoning behind international development initiatives. These "open-market" based development initiatives, which prohibit national protectionist policies, invite in multinational corporations, privatize the land, and consequently forcefully evict locals, are the number one reason why shantytowns even exist.
If you have any questions, feedback, concerns, anything at all, please leave a comment!
*Read the well-researched book Merchants of Doubt for more on why these facts are ignored.