By Paul Homewood
h/t Joe Public
We know how utterly biased the BBC are when it comes to climate change, and how left wing they are.
They put the two together in this article which is nothing more than a piece of political propaganda:
When Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in 2005, it was the city’s black neighbourhoods that bore the brunt of the storm. Twelve years later, it was the black districts of Houston that took the full force of Hurricane Harvey. In both cases, natural disasters compounded issues in neighbourhoods that were already stretched.
Climate change and racism are two of the biggest challenges of the 21st Century. They are also strongly intertwined. There is a stark divide between who has caused climate change and who is suffering its effects. People of colour across the Global South are those who will be most affected by the climate crisis, even though their carbon footprints are generally very low. Similar racial divides exist within nations too, due to profound structural inequalities laid down by a long legacy of unequal power relationships.
I won’t bore you with the rest of what follows. It is the usual load of tedious wokeness, with little basis in fact, and is simply the extremist viewpoint of the author.
It is based on the false assumption that both the Global South as a whole and minorities in western countries are adversely affected by the West’s industrialisation. To quote anthropologist Jason Hickel::
“The nations of the Global North have effectively colonised the atmospheric commons. They’ve enriched themselves as a result, but with devastating consequences for the rest of the world and for all of life on Earth.”
We have of course been down this road before. By every metric the third world is immeasurably better off now than before the industrial revolution. This is no coincidence, it is a direct result of economic growth and technological development, all enabled by fossil fuels.
But poorer communities are always more vulnerable to the vagaries of weather, or indeed any natural calamity. The answer to that is not the abolition of fossil fuels, but to make those communities wealthier to enable them to be more resilient.
And, of course, that is exactly what has been going on in the last few decades. Thanks to economic development in the West, the third world economy has also been growing, benefitting from trade and western technology and expertise, not from aid.
The BBC article uses Zambia as a specific example:
Zambia clearly demonstrates this injustice of climate change. Average carbon footprints in Zambia are very low, coming in at just 0.36 tonnes per person per year – less than one-tenth of the UK average. Nevertheless, the country is facing environmental disaster, including a prolonged drought which left over a million people in need of food assistance in 2021.
“Zambia has been experiencing the negative impact of climate variability and change for the last three decades,” says Zambian climate scientist Mulako Kabisa. “The biggest impact has been increased temperature and reduced rainfall, resulting in climate shocks that include droughts and floods.”
These changes in rainfall and temperature have resulted in crop failure, livestock deaths and reduced the country’s GDP, she adds. “Droughts in particular have led to livelihood loss for the smallholder-dominated agricultural sector, because production is dependent on availability of adequate rain.”
While specific events are often tricky to attribute directly to climate change, the IPCC has observed all these impacts in Southern Africa already. Worse is likely to come. “Local evidence and simulated projections all indicate that rainfall will be more variable,” says Kabisa. “The production season will shift and drought incidents will be more frequent.”
These experiences of climate breakdown generally don’t make the news. In an overview of the most under-reported humanitarian crises of 2021, Zambia came in at number one.
For the Zambian climate activist Veronica Mulenga, the justice implications are clear. “The climate crisis affects some parts of the planet more than others,” she says. “Historical and present-day injustices have both left black, indigenous and people-of-colour communities exposed to far greater environmental health hazards than white communities. Those most affected by climate change are black and poor communities. As a continent we are one of the hardest hit by the impacts of climate change and we are left behind as the world progresses toward a low-carbon economy. Without taking into account those most affected, climate solutions will turn into climate exclusion.”
This exclusion extends to international negotiations, where Mulenga says her country has been marginalised. “African voices are not well represented in climate summits, leaving climate justice out of the equation,” says Mulenga. “At COP26 a lack of vaccines and funding available for African countries prevented many delegates and activists from taking part in the negotiations, including myself. Racism and white supremacy have long excluded African voices from environmental policy.”
This sort of amateurish language belongs in a student common room, not in a supposedly objective, informative BBC report.
But where are the facts to back up these juvenile claims? Far from being hard done by, Zambians are twice as well off as they were just a couple of decades ago:
In particular, agricultural output, while showing the effects of drought in the last couple of years, has been rapidly expanding since the 1990s. The final year in the series, which is 2019, still saw the third highest output on record.
Dips in output, as seen lately, have happened before, and have nothing to do with climate change.
As for climate change induced droughts, the World Bank Portal clearly shows there has been no long terms in rainfall for Zambia, though the 1960s and 70s were a much wetter period:
And they comment:
Of course, the BBC won’t tell you that, because it would spoil their climate narrative.
If you think this lot is eerily familiar, you would be right!
The author, Jeremy Williams, published a book last year, called Climate Change Is Racist. I reviewed it at the time here, and it was as childishly absurd as this BBC piece is.
According to his Amazon blurb, Williams is is a writer and campaigner for environmental and social justice. He writes at The Earthbound Report (twice recognised as Britain’s leading green blog) and is editor of the Extinction Rebellion book Time to Act.
He has every right to promulgate his opinions, but why is the BBC giving oodles of publicity to a self-confessed eco-activist, without even any attempt to challenge what he says or publish alternate views?