In an effort to soften the unpopular impact of carbon taxes, the green political lobby have coined the terms “Climate Justice” and “a just transition”.
Without explaining how this new money generated from all the opportunities of this “just transition” gets into the hands of ordinary people, the political class hint that a transition to renewable infrastructure will see ordinary Joe and Josephine citizen become stakeholders in a greener world. Hell, they might even get a share of the profits.
Joe and Josephine citizen, who may have never invested in anything in their lives, are now told they are going to take advantage of this “just transition” and get a slice of the redistribution of wealth that the watermelon (green on the outside, red on the inside) economy will gush on them. Sometimes its hinted that Joe and Josephine citizen will invest in these new energy infrastructures. Sometimes its hinted that they will get one of these great new green jobs. Nothing is really clear here, just plenty of a #learntocode sort of dismissive attitude. We saw a taster of this in Offaly recently with the kerb-stomping of Bord na Móna employees.
The truth seems clear that “Climate Justice” is a fancy moral fable designed to make green yuppies feel good about themselves, because it sounds much better than admitting that these costly expenditures based on inefficient technologies are a penalty on the poor. The poorest people will have to pay as much as everyone else for these levies and energy price increases, and they can least afford it. For instance Kosovo, one of the poorest nations in Europe, is facing blackouts because of new green policies. This is being forced on the poor of Kosovo by wealthy bankers captured by the green lobby. Way to keep the poor in poverty guys!
Eamonn Ryan claims that these major changes that he and his elite pals at COP26 and other virtue signalling get-togethers push, would not punish the average consumer. Here he is explaining how great this yuppie virtue signalling is.
Minister @EamonRyan sat down with spunout volunteer Anjelica to answer questions submitted by young people on #COP26, Ireland’s climate goals, and the challenges we face going forward. pic.twitter.com/QHwDKtIVCh
— spunout.ie (@SpunOut) November 6, 2021
None of these ‘great visionary plans’ have been properly costed or analysed on an economic and engineering feasibility level. Or perhaps they all have, and the policy wonks are just, for some peculiar reason, concealing this information from the public.
When one such report, by Wind Aware Ireland, on the future of energy generation in Ireland in the context of these parameters, was published in November 2017, and announced just 50 steps away from Dáil Éireann, all the Irish political parties found they had other better things to do. A serious engineering and financial analysis of a major public expenditure policy apparently isn’t worth hearing? This is how seriously the political class take their financial responsibilities to the Irish people.
But here is the essential truth of all this ghastly virtue signalling. The people of Kosovo –or India, or Congo – can’t afford this extremely expensive and unreliable energy. (Incidentally, from an economic development sense the unreliability of renewable is the greater cost here, because it brings with it an opportunity cost as people can’t invest in development within the country if the energy supply is unreliable.) Germany (for now anyway) can afford this expensive virtue signalling, because they have the insulation of an established economy with working infrastructure and plenty of money in reserve.
While Eamonn Ryan says it is not punishment, we all actually know that it is. For a certain type of yuppie green, who find meaning in this sort of activism, it is a worthwhile punishment. It’s a luxury idea. It most likely feels like a justified penance to the type of green activist who has plenty of money to burn, and feels guilty for ‘despoiling the planet’.
The type of yuppie who bangs on about climate justice citing some unfortunate third world farmer who has to suffers for every SUV trip said yuppie makes, has created a fictional victim to justify their “penance policies”.
The African farmer (anyone who has discussed carbon with a climate zealot will recognise this mythic farmer) they cite is a construct. A myth. A fiction. He – or preferably she, to tick the intersectional victimhood boxes – just doesn’t exist in the real world. She is the excuse for the pursuit of a “luxury idea”; the thing that makes it seem virtuous.
This type of environmentalism is a costly virtue signal, which ironically, maintains poverty in the developing world. Michael Shellenberger has written extensively about this and he argues quite convincingly that to improve the environment, India should be encouraged by the West to build coal burning electricity plants.
Counterintuitive as that sounds, it is because a country that starts burning coal to make electricity, stops burning wood to cook. This improves the air quality in the homes and in the cities immeasurably, and it prevents deforestation. It also brings society along a trajectory of technological improvement and increasing standards of living. Both of these factors have an implication for the environment because a wealthier society starts caring about their environment and starts polluting less, and improving technology means decreasing waste and becoming cleaner in manufacturing. And finally; as a rule of thumb, the transition from low density energy to high density energy is less intensive on environmental resources. In this order fuels are less polluting and more energy dense. Wood, coal, oil, gas, nuclear.
Renewables are energy dilute and contravene this paradigm in more ways than one, because they use massive resources of space and have a large environmental imprint. They also require backup power supplies and infrastructures, and resource intensive technologies to compensate for low efficiencies.
The Dominican Republic uses fossil fuels for power generation and domestic heating and cooking. Its neighbour Haiti uses none. Haitians cut wood to heat their homes and to cook over, and this has lead to massive deforestation. The forests of The Dominican Republic stop abruptly at the border of deforested Haiti.
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The fact that the burden of green policies are applied to everyone equally brings to light how unjust they are. They are a new form of Poll Tax, they are applied to everyone no matter what their personal means. It is no wonder that it was working class drivers who were most infuriated by the obnoxious protest of Insulate Britain, because it is working class people who are most directly targeted by their anti-human agenda. In fact in the work-from-home era, the laptop class who typically support green ideology, are impacted even less by fuel costs.
The political elites sell this poll tax with a bait and switch tactic. “It will be just” they say. “Everyone will benefit from the economic opportunities” they say.
Time will probably show that everyone will pay the levies for the investment in expensive renewable energy, and everyone will pay the inflationary costs of rising energy costs, but only a select few rich investors will get all these lovely profits. How very unjust will that transition be.
This photo was taken at a market in Australia in 2012. One can only imagine what the increase in cost is now, 9 years later