So, I’m reading another fantastically stupid piece at HuffPo …..
Climate Change Consultant at Bank Information Center
The FY2015 State Foreign Operations spending bill that emerged from the House on Tuesday demonstrates a clear misunderstanding of the role of international institutions in promoting U.S. interests and reflects the inconsistent priorities and hypocrisy of House Republicans. The bill cuts funding for the UN Human Rights Council and other worthy institutions, while simultaneously boosting spending to build coal-fired power plants overseas. Although trade-offs must be made when budgets are tight, steering money away from international institutions that promote human rights and toward an industry that is not only responsible for thousands of deaths and illnesses per year, but is also increasingly obsolete and economically unsustainable, is outrageous.
The UN Human Rights Council is a worthy institution? Nezir, you’re a moron. Here are the 2015 members …
- African States: Côte d’Ivoire, (that’s a nation?) Ethiopia (lol, experts on human rights!!!), Gabon, Sierra Leone, Kenya
- Asian States: Japan, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, Republic of Korea(winner!!!!), United Arab Emirates (famous for understanding rights of all humans, even if they’re not Sunni!)
- Eastern European States: Estonia, Montenegro
- Latin American & Caribbean States: Argentina, Brazil, Venezuela (Winner!!!)
- Western European & Other States: Germany, Ireland, United States
Yes, Nezir, tell me more about this “worthy institution.
I’ll let you babble more nonsense before I address your comments about an “obsolete industry responsible for thousands of deaths.:
The bill includes a provision that would deny funding to certain development finance institutions such as the World Bank and OPIC for the enforcement of limits on coal-fired power generation. In the case of the World Bank, such limits are largely self-imposed. Last year the World Bank Group agreed on its new Energy Directions Paper for the Bank’s work in the energy sector. One of the aims of this paper was to shift the institution’s portfolio away from investing in coal towards more renewable energy projects. It did so by limiting coal projects to “rare circumstances.” Arguably, the vague restriction would still allow even controversial coal plants to go forward, given the discretion the Bank has to decide the meaning of “rare circumstances.” Yet, it was a step in the right direction for an institution that has long been a major source of funding for environmentally degrading power projects. House Republicans, however, seem to believe that even this is a step too far.
The press statement released along with the draft bill stated:
The Committee bill overrides the anti-coal regulations of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, Export-Import Bank, and World Bank, and allows the financing of coal-fired and other power generation projects by U.S. companies overseas. This provision will bolster U.S. job creation and ensure quality, cost-effective technology for developing and other nations.
Whether or not U.S. job creation was a motivating factor here, it is completely contrary to the stated purpose of the Bank, which is to end extreme poverty and promote shared prosperity.
Is it really contrary, Nazir? He continues ….
The reference to “quality, cost-effective technology for developing and other nations” in the statement is laughable. Coal-fired power generation cannot seriously be considered a “quality” source of energy, or even “cost-effective,” once the externalities associated with burning coal are factored in. The high economic costs associated with poor health and environmental degradation (such as lost livelihoods, degradation of natural capital, etc.) cannot be considered consistent with the World Bank’s mission. Furthermore, it is well-known that building coal-fired power plants to provide energy access in places like rural Africa, where there is no centralized power grid, is completely ineffective. Instead, off-grid and mini grid renewable sources of energy can provide power where there currently is none. Nevertheless, this bill would encourage more spending on coal and less on effective, sustainable energy projects that might finally lead to energy access for all and that undoubtedly would contribute to reduced poverty.
From the “externalities” link Nazir provided …..
Externalities are real costs . . .
Externalities are costs that are borne by individual members of the public or by society as
a whole rather than by the generator of the electricity. In some cases, the costs can
actually be measured, like those for treating asthma and lung disease caused by power
plant emissions. Individual patients and their health insurance companies bear the cost of
this externality, rather than ratepayers.
In other cases, the costs are harder to quantify. Consider the mercury deposited in our
lakes and rivers from burning coal, which makes fish too contaminated to eat. We might
not be able to put a number to it, but we can all recognize mercury contamination as one
of the costs of “cheap” coal.
Well, no worries on that! The “real costs” would be reflected in the nation’s GDP. If there are less fish to fish for, then, there would be less gain by commercial fishermen and less food bought by the public, thus lowering the GDP. Further, if lost of livelihoods were greater than the gain, this too would be reflected in the GDP.
You see, the problem with this thinking is that they don’t measure the real and measurable benefits from having electricity. It’s sad, but, it’s true, in many cases, electricity generated from sources other than coal are simply cost prohibitive. Does coal pollute the air? To a certain extent, yes. But, technology has reduced the harm to almost negligible effects. All the while, the benefits from cheap and reliable electricity far exceed the costs. Refrigeration would be one of the first things to jump out at you. Easier labor would be another. Physical labor is fun, at times. But, to be forced to work at a physically demanding job, simply for sustenance for your entire short lived life isn’t. Electricity, even coal fired electricity helps elevate this problem which has plagued humanity for so long.
Electricity does some other neat things like provides light at night!!! People like Nazir take this for granted, but, try studying to educate yourself without light ….. especially when you can’t store food and have to laboriously work from sun up to sun down. We should ask those people the House is trying to help. Would they want a coal fired plant, or a windmill?
As to “no centralized power grid”….. If only we had an example of a nation which didn’t have a centralized power grid and then burned coal for electricity. Surely we’d see the “externalities” manifest in decreased life expectancy and a decrease in GDP, right? If what Nazir and the other lunatics are saying is true, this can’t help but be manifested, especially if we see this over an extended period of time, right?
How about maybe 50 years of data? Nazir, would that suffice?
Back in the 40s and 50s the US started on an electrification process. Much of the nation didn’t have electricity and we all wanted it. No, there was no “centralized grid” and there isn’t one, today. Anyone using that term demonstrates a pervasive misunderstanding as to how electricity is delivered to your homes, hospitals, government buildings, businesses, and the like. Yes, I’m sure some small nations have “centralized grids” … sort of, but, not really. Most of the “electrification” was powered by …. coal.
So, after our electrification was nearly complete, how did we fare with all that coal burning?
Boy, we sure wouldn’t want the poorest nations to experience longer lives and higher prosperity, would we?
And, this is the problem I have with people who don’t wish other people have the same opportunity as we did. We live longer. We’re more prosperous. Our lives are infinitely easier than theirs, and what ours would otherwise be without the use of our so called fossil fuels.
Are there “externalities” associated with coal? Yes. As is there with everything else. But, not in the way people like Nazir present them. In the manner Nazir presents them, they are a fabrication. A lie. A fraudulent misrepresentation of a perfectly reasonable concept.
As to the externalities of coal, clearly, the costs are wholly and entirely outweighed by the benefits …. presuming people like Nazir believe longer and more prosperous lives are a benefit.