Guest essay by Eric Worrall
Greta is incensed that rich countries are prioritising taking care of their own people, instead of sharing their Covid-19 vaccines with poor countries.
Greta Thunberg says she won’t attend COP26 summit if ‘vaccine nationalism’ continues
- “Of course I would love to attend the Glasgow COP26. But not unless everyone can take part on the same terms,” Thunberg tweeted Friday.
- Thurberg said inequality was already at the heart of the climate crisis, adding that if people could not be vaccinated and travel to the summit to be equally represented, that would be “undemocratic.”
LONDON — Teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg has said she will not attend the high-profile United Nations climate change summit if current vaccination trends continue.
Thunberg tweeted Friday morning in response to a BBC report which said she had “no plans” to attend the summit, known as COP26, which is due to take place in Glasgow, Scotland in November.
“Of course I would love to attend the Glasgow COP26. But not unless everyone can take part on the same terms,” Thunberg tweeted.
She argued that many countries were vaccinating “healthy young people” against Covid-19 at the expense of higher risk groups and front-line workers in other countries.
Thurberg said inequality was already at the heart of the climate crisis, adding that if people could not be vaccinated and travel to the summit to be equally represented, that would be “undemocratic.”
“Vaccine nationalism won’t solve the pandemic,” Thunberg said, arguing that “global problems need global solutions.”
Greta has no consideration for the millions of working class people in rich countries, whose taxes paid for the vaccines she wants to redistribute.
Of course, if poor countries were rich, they could buy their own vaccines. So what is stopping poor countries from becoming rich?
The best economic analysis of global poverty I have read is P J O’Rourke’s economic treatise “Eat the Rich”. The evidence O’Rourke presents suggests the reason poor countries are poor is they are run by kleptocrats.
You might think some of the politicians who run the US are bad, and there are worrying trends, but the picture O’Rourke painted of the poorest nations was of rulers who never give the green shoots even the slightest chance to grow. In the worst places in the world, as soon as the local thugs in charge notice an accumulation of wealth, they swoop in and steal it, shooting anyone and breaking anything which gets in their way, leaving nothing behind but wreckage and carnage. People in poor countries rapidly learn the hard way that there is no point attracting attention by trying to improve their own lives, because they won’t be allowed to keep the fruits of their labour. Anyone with ambition in such places emigrates or joins the thugs. Or both.
Asia learned how to become rich because for a short time after the abrupt collapse of the Empire of Japan, the organs of government sanctioned theft were in disarray. When British government employee Sir John Cowperthwaite travelled to Hong Kong in the aftermath of WW2, after the Hong Kong people had been left to fend for themselves for a few months, he was so entranced by the beauty of watching poor people sort their own lives out, he dedicated the rest of his career to preventing the British government from intervening in the Hong Kong economy. Cowperthwaite’s policy of strict non-intervention gave birth to the Asian Miracle – an accumulation of wealth so rapid that even today, Hong Kong is richer per capita than Britain.
People in the most insanely deprived circumstances can rapidly accumulate wealth if they get the thieves off their backs. A few years ago I read the heartwarming story of Mesfin Getahun, an Ethiopian living in Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya, who in just a few years made 10s of thousands of dollars; not by preying on his fellows, but by helping to supply their basic needs. At the time Mesfin wanted to emigrate to the USA. I hope he made it; I think he would be an asset for any nation which accepts him.
If Greta wants to help poor people buy vaccines, instead of cheerleading UN sanctioned theft, she should be urging the people of poor countries to go all George Washington on the tyrant thieves who are keeping them poor. Use the money accumulated in the offshore bank accounts of kleptocrats to pay for the health needs of poor countries. Let people in rich countries who have worked hard for their money keep what they have earned – including the right to receive a vaccine which they helped pay for through their taxes.
Maybe if Greta had gone to school a bit more she would know all this.