Turning our backs on the poor? Cartoon by Josh

Josh writes: It is extraordinary to think that Bjorn Lomborg first published The Sceptical Environmentalist 17 years ago in 1998 – that’s as long as The Pause!

However there has been no pause in some people ignoring his message as we have, rather depressingly, read on BishopHill over the weekend – see here and here.

It is really simple: the money we spend on Climate Change mitigation can be better spent on health, education and cheap energy. Why is this hard to understand? Do they think climate science is done in a moral vacuum? Can they not see that divesting from fossil fuels hurts the poor the most?

Incredible. (click image to enlarge)


Cartoons by Josh

58 thoughts on “Turning our backs on the poor? Cartoon by Josh

  1. It’s rationalized by the end justifies the means. It’s not about science or temperature.

  2. Exquisitely witty, and right on-point as usual, Josh.
    The moralistic preening of the Greenies and their faux “concerns” for the future (“children/grandchildren”) stands in stark contrast with their cluelessness about energy poverty in the Third World. Billions live in squalor, misery, and disease because they don’t have cheap, reliable, abundant energy – TODAY!
    If you’re worried about the grandkids of today, just recall that no one had a personal computer 35 years ago, and the first YouTube was posted only 10 years ago. Technology evolves far faster than Troglodyte Greenie brains.

  3. Graphic art with such a serious message ought to be called something other than a cartoon, although “editorial cartoon” is often applied (wiki entry says serious, irony, satire) when the intent is to draw attention to a political or social ill.
    Whatever the name, this is an outstanding example.
    Thanks, Josh.

  4. “There are still people who are unconvinced that carbon dioxide has any greenhouse warming effect, particularly in the US and Australia …” (Tamsin Edwards The Guardian).
    I can’t think of any prominent Australian sceptics (Ian Plimer and Bob Carter are two mentioned in Wikipedia) who are unconvinced that CO2 is a greenhouse gas although they may be unconvinced of the final warming effect conjectured by the IPCC.

  5. Pity Josh didn’t draw Viviene Weatwood dropping organic food down to the poor. The poor should eat organic food, if they can’t afford organic food they should eat less!
    It sums up their contempt for all the people who have to suffer the consequences of the mad “saving the planet” meme.
    “Vivienne Westwood tells poor to eat less”

  6. Its amazing how many so called democrats are not remotely interested in hearing their wealth.

  7. This is the best cartoon ever… I’m glad to see that at least some one is pulling the poor out. Though I think there is only so much that AIIB can do. We need greater political awareness and support for sustainable sources of cheap energy for all classes. Because if the proletariat are suffering in a part of the world, the bourgeois can’t rest in peace because ultimately, the infrastructure of society is made by people. Thankyou Josh, for the thought provoking article!

  8. Not unreasonable , and not too sycophantic I hope , to compare it to some of Hogarth’s commentaries on 18th C London life , eg the famous “Gin Lane” cartoon /picture.. Whether the latter had any influence on legislation to address the underlying problem of that day , poverty , unemployment and the exploitation of the vulnerable by those wanting to profit from the situation I do not know , not being a historian , but there are worrying parallels.

  9. Since 1750, cheap and abundant fossil fuels, industrialization and capitalism are the three key ingredients to establishing a vibrant economy.
    In the early stages, there are always problems with pollution, social unrest from urbanization, wage inequality, government corruption, etc., but these will always be part of the process of modernization that can’t be avoided.
    Eventually, sufficient wealth and savings are generated to clean the environment and address the social issues, but Leftists don’t understand how economies grow and prosper.
    It’s a process.. If foreign leftist hacks try to implement government command and control Socialism rather than letting the free market work its magic, then poverty persists and foreign govts waste $100’s of billions to fix the problems the misallocated funds created.
    Just let cheap energy and industrialization work. It really is that simple.

  10. The complete over reaction to Lomborg by scientists (especially social scientists), both in 1998 and Oz now, is one of the great indicators that this debate is not grounded in rational global utilitarianism. However, neither is any foreign policy or UN policy, despite the rhetoric.
    There are some very nasty forces international, and colluding inside poor country governments, that are preventing their citizens access to cheap energy — even when it is their own supply (Nigeria, Indonesia, Mexico). Moreover, when, in all these negotiations (Law of the Sea, Ozone, FCCC), G77 3rd World Governments request aid (‘technological transfer’ etc), if they ever did receive it, many of them would be unlikely to use the money to the greater benefit of all their citizens.
    Lomborg’s Copenhagen group did come up with some good plans. But, from both sides (supply and delivery), realpolitik would often make them unrealistic. So, while I like these rational global utilitarianism arguments, we should not believe in them too much. In the end they are little more than rhetorical strategies.

  11. Good cartoon. But the west does not want to help the poor, the west wants to rid the planet of them. We have seven billion or so people on the planet and the eco-loons want to pare that down to perhaps 500,000 or so. That means a lot of people have to die off. Lack of energy would do that.

    • Not the west, the west as a whole has done lots of good work trying to help the poor, especially private citizens.
      It’s the eco loons and many members of the self declared elite who want to get rid of people in general, but especially the poor.

  12. William, Wilberforce not only worked for the end of the slave trade (and slavery) he also worked for the betterment and help of the poor, bringing many injustices to public view which would otherwise have gone unnoticed.
    I think this picture does a similar job showing what the effects of all this CAGW hype is doing to those least able to do anything about their situation.
    James Bull

  13. The cartoon immediately reminded me of Dante’s INFERNO, with its circles and levels of hell; in Josh’s picture there is only one undifferentiated level, but the anguish and hopelessness are there in plenty. Truly an excellent cartoon, even if not funny! Thanks, Josh! Perhaps in a human-maintained hell there is as yet only one level . . .

  14. Global warming is predominantly a fad of the public sector. and the public sector have no concept of where they get their money.
    This is why they have no concept that taking money from the public might also mean the public have less money to spend on health care, poverty … or if you are too old and can’t afford to heat your home … that they just might be making the cost of living LITERALLY too high. (hint: they cannot afford to live).
    This is why there’s such a disconnect: the public sector aka “alarmists”, really have no idea that money given to their favourite scam might take money away from where it is really needed.

    • First as I’ve seriously proposed a link between glacial-scale warming (100,000years) and earthquakes ““Toward a new theory of ice-ages III (Global Warming and Earthquakes)” I can’t say the idea of a link is total rubbish.
      However, I suspect the cause of the astonishing rise is one that is all too common and hinted at here:
      And although activity of this magnitude is usually too small to be detected without specialized equipment, “the more earthquakes you have, the more likely you are to have bigger earthquakes,
      In other words, equipment has got more sensitive and so the number of earthquakes reported is skyrocketing.

  15. The first comment on that first link to Bishop Hill was this:

    Bishop Hill
    I think your last paragraph is a strawman. Does anyone really argue for “shifting of resources away from dealing with the problems of today”? I don’t think so.
    It’s more a case of considering the long view as well as dealing with today’s urgent problems of poverty, sanitation etc.
    May 3, 2015 at 9:35 AM | Registered CommenterRichard Betts

    It is amazing that some people can not see that driving the price of energy sky high does, in fact, take resources away from the poor. People die from lack of affordable energy. “Heat or eat” was said to be a saying in one country.
    Every product or service we use has a large energy component. Increase the cost of energy and you drive up the cost of the product or service. What is so hard to understand about that for some people? Does no one remember what happened in the 70s when oil prices quadrupled? Remember “stagflation”?
    It is amazing how many people just don’t understand economics at all. Amazing.

    • Redirecting money from investment in cheap energy towards investment in expensive, unreliable, luxury surplus energy as wind and solar deliver is simply wasting the money. After the money has been wasted, no good can come out of it (except the occasional private jet for a well connected oligarch).

  16. `The UN climate chief, Christiana Figueres, has said there was “no space” for new coal developments´
    So South Asia, Africa and part of Middle and South America can kiss cheap reliable 24-7-365 new coal electricity goodbye while Europe, Russia, China, the US and Japan can continue to benefit from old coal. Those poor can experiment with expensive unreliable 8-6-265 alternative energy: let them eat cake!

    • look how ‘blue’ the little bottle looks in the midst of the dark- I think the bottle represents the grand and false promises of the politicians and the ultimate delivery of the promise, which is tiny and not at all fulfilling!

  17. Josh’s editorial art is sad but true.
    The cult of CAWG is madness. The removal of logic and reason from the formation of public policy (a consequence of calling those who point out the fact that the science, engineering, and economic calculations are all incorrect, deniers) has unintentional consequences.
    An example of the madness are the legislated mandates that force the conversion of food to biofuel.
    40% of the US corn crop is now being converted to ethanol. When all the energy inputs (fertilizer, energy to plant and harvest, transport the materials, energy to triple distillate the ethanol, and so on) are included there is almost no net reduction in CO2 to use corn based ethanol as opposed to use natural hydrocarbons from the earth.
    Massive regions of tropical forest are being cut down and then burned to plant palm trees to produced palm oil that will then be converted to diesel fuel to meet the EU mandated biofuel of 10%.
    The conversion of food to biofuel is not a bad idea, it is madness.
    A back of the envelope calculation indicates that three to six times the land area that is currently used to feed 6 billion people would be required to produce biofuel if all transportation fuel was derived from biofuel. The poor people of this planet will starve and there will be no wild life habitat left, if the food to biofuel madness is not stopped.

    Biofuels ‘crime against humanity’
    Massive production of biofuels is “a crime against humanity” because of its impact on global food prices, a UN official has told German radio. “Producing biofuels today is a crime against humanity,” UN Special Rapporteur for the Right to Food Jean Ziegler told Bayerischer Runfunk radio. Many observers have warned that using arable land to produce crops for biofuels has reduced surfaces available to grow food. Mr Ziegler called on the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to change its policies on agricultural subsidies and to stop supporting only programs aimed at debt reduction. He says agriculture should also be subsidised in regions where it ensures the survival of local populations. Meanwhile, in response to a call by the IMF and World Bank over the weekend to a food crisis that is stoking violence and political instability, German Foreign Minister Peer Steinbrueck gave his tacit backing.


    EPA’s RFS accounting shows corn ethanol today is worse than gasoline


    The Clean Energy Scam
    The U.S. quintupled its production of ethanol–ethyl alcohol, a fuel distilled from plant matter–in the past decade, and Washington has just mandated another fivefold increase in renewable fuels over the next decade. Europe has similarly aggressive biofuel mandates and subsidies, and Brazil’s filling stations no longer even offer plain gasoline. Worldwide investment in biofuels rose from $5 billion in 1995 to $38 billion in 2005 and is expected to top $100 billion by 2010, thanks to investors like Richard Branson and George Soros, GE and BP, Ford and Shell, Cargill and the Carlyle Group.

  18. Almost by definition, all “green” ideas are wrong or stupid or both, or we would have been doing them already.
    I teach my Environmental Science class that inside most individuals is a person who likes and values environment around them. We are thus all environmentalists as well as practical. We are just not radical environmentalists who use the environment to force others to bend to their will, in which case they cease to be environmentalists and become fascists.

  19. Nice cartoon with good use of color.
    But I think there are many more social ills down at the bottom of the poverty barrel, led by desperation, violence, and crime but including alcoholism, drug abuse, and homelessness.
    Many of the poor and/or homeless I see locally have tattoos, dogs, and are smoking cigarettes while they panhandle alongside their shopping-cart junk-wagons.
    Adding to the problems of the poor in the United States, rental prices are shooting up. I doubt you’ll find many RE agents who give two hoots in hell about the poor.
    Too many social ills for one drawing, I suppose, but Josh’s cartoon is right on target.
    But the local authorities have banned plastic shopping bags, so that should help the poor, right?

    • You are thinking of the Western poor, the sort of people you might run into in any part of the United States, for example. On a global scale, those poor are still part of the 1%. That’s not the poor in Josh’s illustration. Josh’s poor can’t afford clean water, or fuel to cook their food and are more likely to eat the dog than keep it. Willis Eschenbach has an excellent essay floating about WUWT on this very topic. They can’t afford the sundry ills you describe.

  20. Globally, 2 billion people lack improved sanitation. Over 4 million die prematurely from burning renewables such as dung and charcoal for cooking and heating. 300 million in India have no electricity. 600 million in Africa have no electricity. From Namibia north to Morocco and west to Madagascar and Zanzibar, it truly is the Dark Continent. 32 countries produce less per capita electricity than North Korea. Disease! Yellow fever tuberculosis, diphtheria, dengue fever, malaria, parasites from South America to Indonesia. But no. Stay in poverty and collapse the Western economies all for a political and radical environmental movement!!!

  21. how are “the poor” going to pay for electricity to cook?
    how is the power going to reach the isolated communities?
    A group of 20 households all cooking/heating with electricity requires a hefty supply current = high voltage line and transformer – who pays?
    Who protects the power lines to remote villages? And who pays for their services?
    Local generation? where’s the cooling water for steam that drive turbines?
    Of more use and a lot cheaper is low power for lighting, phones, laptops from solar and batteries – a much cheaper option.
    Dung is free wood is free the poor need proper cooking apparatus with chimneys. This is how sensible people aid the poor.
    Power hungry industry cannot be sustained in villages – by lakes coast perhaps. And of course the poor can then move to the industry and of course remain poor!

  22. Yeah well. How do you expect AlGore to get richer helping the poor?
    Get your priorities straight. Silly.

  23. sergeiMK makes a good point. If the utility is not paid for the electricity it generates, even the AIIB will look askance at requests for assistance to build dams or coal fired power stations, if there is no return on infrastructure investment. In India, there is much too much corruption & far too many thieves. Do you you see any electricity meters in these photos?
    At present, about a third of India’s electricity is lost each year. It just never gets billed. Some is stolen or disappears because of technical problems. Honesty & altruism are seen as weaknesses to be exploited in many third world countries. That’s not our culture for now, but with uncontrolled immigration, that mind set could develop & cause the collapse of the very society to which illegal, benefits seeking migrants clamour for admission. They will kill the goose that lays the golden eggs.

  24. The Guardian today is claiming that investment funds which divest from carbon fuels do better. They want Bill Gates to lead the world away from carbon.

Comments are closed.