Op-Ed: The Rich Are Taking the Poor to the Cleaners on ‘Green’ Energy in Countries That Can Least Afford It

By Vijay Jayaraj – March 30, 2022

Approximately 1.3 billion Indians have been informed that their cooking gas price will go up by 65 cents per liter. In a country like India, higher fuel prices can have quick and dangerous repercussions, resulting in greater morbidity and mortality.

The situation is similar in other developing countries and the poor economies of the African continent. Unfortunately, the establishment media does not sufficiently report on how hostility toward fossil fuels has contributed to the current energy crunch.

The populations of developing countries have been ill-served by leaders who waste precious resources on “green energy” infrastructure when they could have easily used those funds to improve the production and importation of coal, oil and natural gas.

Consider India and Vietnam, two fast-growing Asian economies that have been undone by the “green” distraction that has squandered their domestic energy security in the name of climate wokeism.

Despite the acceleration of coal production, India finds itself in an energy mess thanks to billions of dollars invested in poorly performing renewable energy technologies. Between 2014 and 2019, India’s renewable energy industry received $64.4 billion in investments.

The country instead could have directed money to reliable and affordable coal power plants that would have cost only a fraction of the “green” boondoggles. In 2016, India’s renewable energy investment was equivalent to the construction costs of 11 coal power plants. Likewise, several small-scale oil refineries could have been commissioned and made operational in the last 10 years, reducing the need to import refined fuel at higher prices.

Many argue that a country like India is already using too much fossil fuel. But this argument falls flat when the nation raises fuel prices for those who can least afford it. There are 230 million people in India who earn less than $5 per day. For these people, and millions of middle-class households, the hike in fuel prices means an increase in commodity and transportation costs and an overall stagnation of economic development.

Another rapidly growing Asian economy is Vietnam, where leaders appear committed to increasing the share of “green” technologies in the energy market. This ignores problems created by the country’s move away from fossil fuels.

During the past many weeks of volatile oil prices, analysts have rued Vietnam’s missed opportunity to strengthen its domestic oil and gas infrastructure. Since February, gas retailers have faced severe shortages, with more than 300 petrol and oil retailers across the country stopping sales.

Situations like these could have been minimized had the country not been apathetic about energy security. A key reason for high gas prices is decreased production at Nghi Son Oil Refinery, which did not receive enough government support to avoid financial difficulties and a 90 percent reduction in output in January. The refinery serves 35 to 40 percent of the domestic petrol market.

Economist Dinh Trong Thinh says, “When the plant’s production is unstable or has a problem, it will affect the Vietnamese petroleum market because the market share of Nghi Son refinery is large. The risk of a factory shutdown is an important issue for the petroleum sector in particular and the economy in general, which urgently needs the intervention of state management agencies.”

However, this urgency is not reflected in government actions to retain an environmental tax that boosts fuel prices and continue investing in renewable energy projects that do nothing to improve energy security.

It is time that developing economies stop experimenting with proven failures like wind and solar and start developing infrastructure that can address international price volatility.

Vijay Jayaraj is a contributing writer to the CO2 Coalition and holds a master’s degree in environmental sciences from the University of East Anglia, England. He resides in Bengaluru, India.

This commentary was first published on March 30, 2022 at the westernjournal.com website.

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Tom Halla
April 1, 2022 2:13 pm

The Green Blob hates people in general, and uppity peons who do not want to live in a mud hut in particular. As they hate industrial society, expanding it to include Third World peasants is automatically a bad thing.
I think the push for wind and solar is because they know it will not sustain industrial society.A sort of Arcadian Socialism is their beaux ideal— for everyone else but themselves.

Frank from NoVA
Reply to  Tom Halla
April 1, 2022 2:18 pm

‘A sort of Arcadian Socialism is their beaux ideal— for everyone else but themselves.’

It just sounds all so peaceful, doesn’t it. One just needs to reach up while out walking and grab a mango or any other healthy snack.

Reply to  Frank from NoVA
April 1, 2022 3:07 pm

One just needs to reach up while out walking and grab a mango or any other healthy snack.

Yes, life will be great for the Eloi except for the minor little annoyance of the Green Blob Socialists Morlocks

Frank from NoVA
Reply to  RicDre
April 2, 2022 4:42 pm

‘Yes, life will be great for the Eloi…’

A great analogy.

Reply to  Frank from NoVA
April 2, 2022 7:40 pm

One just needs to reach up while out walking and grab a mango or any other healthy snack.”

And a return to people, where mangoes grow, having cavities between their front teeth as dental floss becomes either too expensive or a banned fossil fuel product.

Reply to  Tom Halla
April 1, 2022 2:57 pm

The leaders of the Green revolution from Beijing to DC and beyond, subscribe to the nominally “secular” Pro-Choice “ethical” religion, including diversity [dogma] (i.e. color judgment, class-based bigotry), social justice without borders (e.g. coups without cause, Spring series of civil conflict), the wicked solution (i.e. one-child/selective-child) for social, redistributive, clinical, and fair weather causes. Deja vu.

April 1, 2022 2:16 pm

Looks like the globalists intend to make everyone poor and dependent on government — they get more and we get less. And it’s not so much about prices, but about control — just like with vaccine mandates. However, with respect to energy needs, Joe Biden has a brilliant plan which requires OPEC to drill more oil … https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kfy2wKiXWxM

April 1, 2022 2:20 pm

The need for renewable energy technologies is based on flawed reasoning. There is no climate crisis. The benefits of CO2 far outweigh its perils.

At current concentrations the only warming provided by CO2 occurs by absorbing energy far out in the wings of its absorption bands. This is countered by a cooling effect across the main absorption bands. Net effect is no effect.

There’s always been enough CO2 in the atmosphere to saturate the main absorption bands. That’s the big reason more CO2 has no effect now.

April 1, 2022 2:29 pm

Coming to America…

Pat Frank
April 1, 2022 2:32 pm

Let me reiterate here the observation I made at the end of my WUWT post describing the Propagation of Error paper that demonstrated the utter unreliability of CMIP5 climate models.

But we now know this for a certainty: all the frenzy about CO₂ and climate was for nothing.

All the anguished adults; all the despairing young people; all the grammar school children frightened to tears and recriminations by lessons about coming doom, and death, and destruction; all the social strife and dislocation.

All the blaming, all the character assassinations, all the damaged careers, all the excess winter fuel-poverty deaths, all the men, women, and children continuing to live with indoor smoke, all the enormous sums diverted, all the blighted landscapes, all the chopped and burned birds and the disrupted bats, all the huge monies transferred from the middle class to rich subsidy-farmers.

All for nothing.

And let’s add, following Vijay Jayaraj’s lament, all the deeper impoverishment and immiseration of the already poor and desperate.

All for nothing.

Except for enriching the already rich and for the public preening of political virtue poseurs.

Chris Hanley
Reply to  Pat Frank
April 1, 2022 5:48 pm

There ought to be a reckoning … someday.

william Johnston
Reply to  Chris Hanley
April 2, 2022 4:02 pm

As in SOON!!!!

April 1, 2022 2:32 pm

But the UN demanded that rich countries send money to these poor countries to pay for their “climate change” policies. So who’s poor now?

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  marlene
April 1, 2022 8:47 pm

Who’s poor now?

Not the Kleptocrats of those poor countries.

Reply to  marlene
April 1, 2022 9:36 pm

Not many people realise that United Nations Lima Agreement signed by member nations during 1975 was the basis for developed nations not standing in the way of manufacturing industry businesses moving offshore to UN “developing nations” like China.

And in addition fund developing nations on a climate hoax based protection racket,

Rud Istvan
April 1, 2022 2:35 pm

I prefer to analyze things closer to home than India and Vietnam.
Like the impact Dementia Joe has caused via excessive spending resulting in inflation, and anti fossil fuel policies resulting in high gas prices BEFORE Russia/Ukraine.

About 37 million people live below the US poverty line—about 11.5%.
For the lowest income quintile (20%) food expense was 27% of income (this includes SNAP, without which it would be considerably higher).
For the lowest quintile, fuel is 8.6% of income. For those below the poverty line, it is 18%.

So it is readily apparent that this D resident’s policies directly hurt most those in the US who he and the Demorats profess to care the most about. It will catch up with them bigly November 2022.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Rud Istvan
April 1, 2022 3:23 pm

Rud, add to that the fact that low income families would no longer have access to low-cost used ICE vehicles once they are outlawed. EVs are high-priced commodities and, with their costly battery deterioration problem, wouldn’t seem to have much of a used EV market.

Rud Istvan
Reply to  Dave Fair
April 1, 2022 5:46 pm

Dave,I am of two minds on EVs.
I have owned a Ford Hybrid Escape AWD with class 1 tow hitch since 2007. Battery is still going strong since is carefully floated. Has saved me already about $12k since purchase, since less gas’s at regular than Premium for the gas guzzling tow equivalent V6. Not to mention the $3k hybrid premium I got back day one via a then hybrid income tax credit.

But no calculation I can do justifies range limited pure EVs, or even plug in hybrids. Range anxiety only alleviated by further shortened battery life. Not a good tradeoff.

Reply to  Dave Fair
April 1, 2022 9:39 pm

Recently the Prime Minister of Australia stated that there will be no forced transition to EV here, that recharging infrastructure will be partly funded by taxpayers to create a city and highway network for EV but no compulsion to change over from ICEV.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Dennis
April 1, 2022 11:13 pm

Fascinating, Dennis. Did the Australian government force taxpayers to fund gas stations? I note that they love to tax the gas sold.

Ron Long
Reply to  Rud Istvan
April 1, 2022 3:50 pm

I think your depiction of those below the poverty line being hurt the most is right on. I live in Argentina, where it was just announced that 44% of the population lives below the poverty line. So who did they vote in? A socialist. What is one of his programs? Clean Energy. This problem is world-wide and getting worse.

Reply to  Rud Istvan
April 1, 2022 4:05 pm

Could you please elaborate on US poverty line?
Here in Australia relative poverty is used. It is defined as income of half of the median income. Something like A$28,000 pa for single and A$50,000 pa for family. Or US$100 per day.
This must always be highlighted when comparing with real poverty.

I am supporting a family in the rural Philippines where they work hard to earn about US$14 per day.
Electricity prices, bottled gas prices and petrol prices have all gone up.
It’s not something gotta give. Something is already gone. Families in rural Philippines are now buying less clothes an food.

Rud Istvan
Reply to  Waza
April 1, 2022 5:30 pm

Sure. You can look it up. US is NOT relative poverty. Is ‘absolute’. The official US poverty definition is income, the contested unofficial definition is consumption (because that is relative). Depends on ‘family’ size. For 2021, official income based, a 1 person ‘family’ poverty level is $12880. For a family of 4 (presumed 2 children) it is $26500.

Explains the stupid 2022 LA ‘experiment’ to eliminate ‘poverty’ (among the homeless) by ‘guaranteeing’ them $1k/month.

Reply to  Rud Istvan
April 1, 2022 5:34 pm

Spot on. The Dimocrat’s strategy is to make food and energy unaffordable and then hand out government welfare to counter the high prices. California is already talking about handing out $800 debit cards to buy gas. This strategy makes the poor even more dependent on the Dims and thus more likely to vote for them.

Unfortunately, their strategy is impoverishing everyone. The Dims are hoping that the majority of people won’t figure it out.

April 1, 2022 2:40 pm

Making fuel more expensive with carbon levies simply means more of humanity will live in energy poverty. Rich countries that can afford the levies simply have more wealth in the hands of their governments instead of in the hands of little people. But energy-poor mango-rich countries seem to be catching on…..

April 1, 2022 2:47 pm

The Telegraph is reporting:
Thousands more turbines could be built to treble onshore wind power
Boris Johnson set to sign off on strategy to improve country’s energy independence in wake of Ukraine war and lower spiralling bills.

That is from BoJo currently married to a climate change nut-nut.
This was BoJo before: Those white satanic mills whose collective oomph wouldn’t pull the skin off a rice pudding.

BoJo is a shopping trolley steered by a weather vane.

Leo Smith
Reply to  Vuk
April 1, 2022 3:48 pm

BoJo is a shopping trolley steered by a weather vane.

Never heard it called that before…

Reply to  Leo Smith
April 2, 2022 3:54 am

a typo again ?
perhaps a weather-vane
happy then?
no loss, no gain,
all this is a bit inane
let not get insane.

April 1, 2022 2:52 pm

Laundered, intermittents/renewables, ecological hazard, shared/shifted responsibility, Green toxic blight from recovery to reclamation with “benefits” through redistributive change.

Reply to  n.n
April 3, 2022 6:13 pm

The long term contracts should not be honoured in these projects. The largest wind project in Ontario will be subsidized for 14 more years unless an elected government has the sense to stop wasting this money.

April 1, 2022 2:59 pm

I find THIS outrageous that the alarmists are causing that kind of suffering when it isn’t needed. Chasing after solar and wind when the needed storage technology isn’t available is deadly, especially to the populations of the third world, but of course no one complains about THIS, only about when the EVIL US won’t let “enough” people with high melanin levels into the US, but those same people can starve and die of preventable disease because GAIA FORBID they produce power using unapproved means….it’s criminal.

April 1, 2022 3:33 pm

It is almost enough to cause one to question the commitment of the Greens to social and economic justice.

Reply to  Tom.1
April 1, 2022 9:02 pm

No just need to do a Stokes and define social and economic justice … you are using the same words but very different definitions.

April 1, 2022 5:25 pm

In simplistic terms it’s evil with the greed for money and power no matter the suffering.

April 1, 2022 5:29 pm

I am edging nearer to the revolution side of these discussion. The Fing Democrats ignoreREAL AMERICANS

Jeff Alberts
April 1, 2022 8:43 pm

Another rapidly growing Asian economy is Vietnam

The only nit I have to pick about the article is this. The country’s name is Viet Nam.

April 1, 2022 9:01 pm

India and all the other poor countries will be overwhelmed with work when us rich Westerners dump all our used renewables in their backyard to recycle. If poverty doesn’t kill them I’m sure that the toxic renewables recycling facilities will. How goods the West.

April 1, 2022 9:33 pm

Australia will conduct a Federal Election soon, probably during May 2022, and “the rich” creating more wealth from so called renewable business ventures, many of them are supporting for the second election candidates each masquerading an Independent but only in electorates where the sitting MP is centre-right on the political spectrum (Liberal or National parties here) and therefore supporting coal mining, coal fired power stations and not supportive of wind and solar unreliables.

Obviously the backers are trying to gain influence in the Parliament to lobby for concessions such as removing the renewables subsidies by 2030.

Olavi Vulkko
April 2, 2022 12:22 am

WEF agenda is going forward.

Rod Evans
April 2, 2022 12:35 am

When the pain of these insane Green policies builds and the time of reckoning is reached, all those virtue signalling luvvies with their high status friends, in state funded placements, will not be spared. They think, living in their gated community residences, guarded by the ‘little people’ will guarantee their security? They are in for a very painful shock. If this constant destruction of the civilised poor in society carries on much longer, there will be no civilised poor..
When the people awake to what is being done to them, by those claiming to be ‘woke’ it will not be a happy ending.
Where will the virtue signallers run to then? .

April 2, 2022 4:02 am

More fiction: solar comes in far cheaper than coal in India… and is of immense use, given electricity is in high demand in rural areas for irrigation pumping.

Reply to  griff
April 2, 2022 4:54 am

Not much help to put your lights on and cook at night though Giff. Can the average family afford solar?

Dave Andrews
Reply to  griff
April 2, 2022 7:50 am

Funny then that in FY 2021-2 Coal India reported record coal production at 629.2 m tonnes up from 595.2m tonnes in 2020-1 and that as of March 2021 India had 209GW of coal fired power production with a further 33GW under construction.

For solar the installed capacity at December 2021 was 49.5GW

All these stats are easily found on the web griff.

April 2, 2022 2:41 pm

“It is time that developing economies stop experimenting with proven failures like wind and solar and start developing infrastructure that can address international price volatility.”

When you import international energy, you are subject to international price volatility. What “infrastructure” can fix that?

“Situations like these could have been minimized had the country not been apathetic about energy security.”

Building refineries doesn’t help if the price of a barrel of oil is volatile.

April 2, 2022 7:26 pm

It is time that developing economies stop experimenting with proven failures like wind and solar and start developing infrastructure that can address international price volatility.”

What is certain is that all of these developing countries are going to be demanding the billions of dollars they were promised by western Civilization for pursuing green madness.

April 5, 2022 5:39 pm

“It is time that developing economies stop experimenting with proven failures like wind and solar ”

I was under the impression that the World Bank, under pressure from China, no longer will provide funding for any fossil fuel power generation projects even in underdeveloped countries. So, those countries have no choice but to experiment with wind and solar which China just happens to be the world’s largest manufacturer of.

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