Colonialism Reappears in Africa with a Woke New Spin

by Vijay Jayaraj

Many people read history to understand colonialism — how it looked and felt. However, for those in the Third World colonialism is a living experience, courtesy restrictive energy policies forced upon them by Western political leaders.

This modern form of enslavement — to the West’s so-called green agenda — is variously known as climate colonialism, carbon imperialism and other monikers. Whatever the nomenclature, the reality is suppression of access to fossil fuel energy sources in the name of saving the planet from a made-up climate emergency.

The effect of this imposed energy crisis on developing countries is lethal and quick. What climate-woke politicians decide in their temperature-regulated offices in Europe and North America has disastrous consequences for the world’s poor who live — and die — without reliable electricity, running water, washing machines, refrigerators, ovens and hospitals connected to a power grid.

Societal objectives supposedly cherished in the West — from improving one’s livelihood to empowering women — are sacrificed by anti-fossil fuel activism of the colonialists.

John Kerry, the U.S. administration’s special presidential envoy for climate change, asked African leaders to limit the role of natural gas to being a short-term replacement for coal and oil. Kerry expressed reservations about long-term gas projects because he believes that the fuel’s CO2 emissions are problematic.

The authoritarian drum beat from the likes of Kerry has led the prime minister of India to call out the “colonial mindset” of western leaders who continue to suppress access to affordable and reliable energy in sovereign nations.

The issue was also brought up in a recently concluded political conference where Russia, China, India, and other countries expressed deep concerns over the coercion of restrictive Western energy policies.

The most astonishing aspect of these persistent calls for reducing Third World consumption of fossil fuels is that they come from people who have some of the highest CO2 emissions. For example, Kerry’s family owns a private jet and multiple mansions, with emissions higher than that of thousands of villages in Africa and Asia.

As per data obtained by media in July, the Kerry jet, a Gulfstream GIV-SP, “has made a total of 48 trips lasting more than 60 hours and emitted an estimated 715,886 pounds, or 325 metric tons, of carbon since President Biden was sworn into office.” Reports indicate that the jet “produced 30 times more carbon in 2021 than an average vehicle.”

So, on what moral ground do politicians like Kerry ask the poor to reduce emissions? What authority do they have to deny energy liberation to 620 million Africans still without electricity?

This fathomless level of hypocrisy was displayed during the recent energy crisis in Europe. European preachers turned to coal and oil when Russian gas supply was interrupted. National leaders who had discouraged poor countries from using fossil fuels turned to the very same countries to produce and export fossil fuels to European shores.

Wealthy western economies return to fossil fuels because neither wind nor solar can meet the energy demands of modern society. Only fossil fuels, hydroelectric, and nuclear can. Yet, wealthy climate elitists somehow feel it is necessary for the Third World to forgo the coal and oil that enabled the growth of Western economies during the last couple of centuries.

According to the International Monetary Fund, the UK, whose economy constitutes approximately 3.2 percent of  global gross domestic product (GDP) has lifted a ban on fracking to secure long-term hydrocarbon production. Meanwhile, Africa with a GDP share of about 2.9 percent is being pressed to give up gas projects and embrace abject poverty.

Vijaya Ramachandran, Director for Energy and Development at the Breakthrough Institute, says, “Africans must not be the target of climate colonialism. Alignment with the Paris Agreement is becoming code for banning critical energy projects in very poor countries.”

As Syd Lucas puts it, “We cannot let climate colonialists rip the rug out from under these developing countries as they are growing and developing their energy industry.”

Climate colonialism threatens to usher in a period of sustained poverty, wiping out decades of economic progress in just a few years.

This commentary was first published at The Western Journal, September 30, 2022, and can be accessed here.

Vijay Jayaraj is a Research Associate at the CO2 Coalition, Arlington, Virginia. He holds a masters degree in environmental sciences from the University of East Anglia, UK, and resides in India.

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October 1, 2022 6:06 pm

Globalism is colonialism on steroids.

Rud Istvan
October 1, 2022 6:26 pm

I think this analysis is fundamentally wrong albeit superficially plausible, for several reasons

  1. Energy was never a ‘colonialism’ driver since no one then ever questioned UK had enough energy.
  2. Energy was never an issue since none was colonially imported. As an example, UK had plenty of coal to fuel.It’s imperial expansion post sail.
  3. The limitation on British ship expansion was oak timber, not fuel. Solved by its former ‘US’ colonies until they revolted and then the war of 1812.
Richard Page
Reply to  Rud Istvan
October 1, 2022 7:04 pm

The analysis is correct but, you’re right that the ‘colonialism’ term might not be the correct one in this context. Climate subjugation might be a more apt term to use.

Reply to  Richard Page
October 1, 2022 9:10 pm

subjugation on the excuse of ‘climate’ is more correct.

Smart Rock
Reply to  Rud Istvan
October 1, 2022 8:06 pm

It’s obviously not colonialism as it was practised in past centuries. No western nation is moving in and taking over African countries by force. You could call it “neo-colonialism” and it’s mostly carried out by a sort of blackmail – threatening to cut off aid, or just denying funding for indigenous energy projects.

It won’t work because China is there to help out. Meet the new boss…

It doesnot add up
Reply to  Smart Rock
October 2, 2022 7:16 am

Force was often mainly about protection from or attacking colonial rivals rather than subjugation of locals. The Belgians were perhaps the brutal exception. Expeditionary forces were quite small, and usually depended on forming local alliances for success. The aim was procuring exotic items for trade to make them rich. Before Britain banned slavery that could include trading for slaves rounded up by the dominant local tribe.

It doesnot add up
Reply to  Rud Istvan
October 2, 2022 7:01 am

In fact the UK was the world’s biggest coal exporter at the height of its colonial power. It had a major trade surplus, but also helped many colonies to develop by opening up their economies, building railways, farms, mines etc.

Reply to  Rud Istvan
October 2, 2022 9:41 am

I suspect that they use “colonialism” for the same reason the socialists call everyone they don’t like a “fascist”.

Because everyone knows that colonialism is bad.

jeffery p
Reply to  Rud Istvan
October 2, 2022 9:49 am

I agree, colonialism is not the right word, unless we redefine the meaning of colonialism.

Brian Pratt
October 1, 2022 6:39 pm

Great article, as always, Vijay. Small question: you state that Kerry and his jet emitted “325 metric tons of carbon”, does this mean elemental carbon or carbon dioxide. Sorry, haven’t had time to do the sums. We should not fall into the journalistic and political trap of equating the two.

Geoffrey Williams
Reply to  Brian Pratt
October 1, 2022 8:45 pm

The jet cannot possibly emit pure carbon. Has to be CO2.

Pete Bonk
Reply to  Geoffrey Williams
October 1, 2022 9:30 pm

Sadly- and we should be careful to avoid it- lazy journalists ( but I repeat myself) use “carbon” as a shorthand for carbon dioxide. It’s not hard to say “CO2”, so the use of carbon in place of CO2 or carbon dioxide is no doubt intentional, perhaps linking “carbon” with “carbon black” as something dirty…. Words as weapons, indeed.

Reply to  Pete Bonk
October 2, 2022 10:57 am

Words as weapons

While I understand (and agree with) the point about being accurate in communication, in cases like this I think it’s fair to use their own words to attack them.

Last edited 2 months ago by Tony_G
Reply to  Geoffrey Williams
October 2, 2022 2:02 am

> The jet cannot possibly emit pure carbon. Has to be CO2.
They will have emitted about 8 tonnes of carbon in that 30 tonnes (metric tons) of plant food. 🙂
(1 Kg of carbon on complete combustion will produce 3.67 Kg. of CO2.)

Last edited 2 months ago by StuM
It doesnot add up
Reply to  Geoffrey Williams
October 2, 2022 7:22 am

Unfortunately CO2 emissions get reported both as mass of CO2 and as just the carbon mass within the CO2. So it’s a fair question.

Reply to  Geoffrey Williams
October 2, 2022 9:34 am

CO2 weighs more than C. So is that 325 metric tons of Carbon, or 325 metric tons of CO2?

Reply to  Brian Pratt
October 2, 2022 1:53 am

I suspect sloppy reporting by Fox News and it is carbon dioxide.
If you follow the link, you will see the confusion in the original article. The headline says “Carbon” The body says:
John Kerry’s family jet has emitted over 300 metric tons of carbon dioxide since the Biden administration began, federal data shows..Kerry’s family jet, a Gulfstream GIV-SP, has made a total of 48 trips lasting more than 60 hours and emitted an estimated 715,886 pounds, or 325 metric tons, of carbon.

Reply to  Brian Pratt
October 2, 2022 11:07 pm

That was a direct quote from Fox. Believe it is CO2.

Tom Halla
October 1, 2022 6:44 pm

The Greens also want to impose Organic farming on Africa, opposing modern farming technology. As the Greens also oppose modern energy production technology, windmills are also to be imposed on the third world.
The Greens hate people in general. They really do want people in thatched huts.

Reply to  Tom Halla
October 2, 2022 12:48 am

“They really do want people in thatched huts.”

NO Tom … they don’t !!

The greens want OTHER people to live in thatched huts.

William Abell
October 1, 2022 7:01 pm

Yes, as pointed out by Italy’s new prime minister who raked Macron over the coals for his stance on African development-and she is right on the money.

Reply to  William Abell
October 1, 2022 7:11 pm

Italy’s new prime minister managed to defend a crazy dictator (“colonel Kadhafi“) whose so called rich and happy country was in a civil war when France, UK and US intervened. And unlike what I hear everywhere, France (Sarkozy) was pushing hard for the intervention, not just US (Obama).

I remember, I was following the news and I don’t have the “memory of a goldfish” (which apparently is a scientific myth, fishes have memory).

Pete Bonk
Reply to  niceguy
October 1, 2022 9:41 pm

Perhaps off topic, but after Reagan threatened the Colonel’s home he behaved, gave up his nuclear ambitions, and info from the Libya nuke program was key to exposing the sale of nuke work by the Pakistanis and was used to create the Studnex virus that crippled the Iranian efforts. The Colonel was behaving on the world stage but got on the wrong end of the Arab Spring. Libya has been pretty much a failed state since the Colonel’s demise. US Embassy and Ambassador, 3 others dragged thru streets, mutilated and killed, remember, with HRC as SofState under BHO.

Reply to  niceguy
October 1, 2022 11:08 pm

Colonel Gaddafi foretold the rise of ISIS in phone calls to Blair, and warned that Europe would be attacked – and deluged by flood of Middle Eastern migrants
Colonel Gaddafi warned Tony Blair that if he was removed from power Islamic extremists would take over Libya with the ultimate goal of conquering Europe

Last edited 2 months ago by brent
Reply to  brent
October 2, 2022 5:58 am

He would have gotten more sense by conversing with a brick wall than conversing with Blair.

jeffery p
Reply to  niceguy
October 2, 2022 9:54 am

This was an extremely misguided adventure. Obama promoted the so-called Arab Spring, which did not bring peace or democracy but instead empowered the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamicists.

Reply to  William Abell
October 1, 2022 9:08 pm

bur where we be able to go for big game hunting?

Richard Page
Reply to  Andyhce
October 2, 2022 9:40 am

In the UK, the Labour Party Conference and I believe the US has Democratic Conventions from time to time. However, it must be stressed that these operate strictly on a ‘catch and release’ program – no exceptions.

October 1, 2022 7:07 pm

The most astonishing aspect of these persistent calls for reducing Third World consumption of fossil fuels is that they come from people who have some of the highest CO2 emissions”

On the French leftist/green twitterverse, the latest fad is to say NO to carbon and lifestyle shaming of militants who have SUV, travel all over the world, etc. So no shaming except for the industry leaders who manage to keep thousands of jobs in France!

jeffery p
Reply to  niceguy
October 2, 2022 9:55 am

Well, somebody has to cut back, right?

John Hultquist
October 1, 2022 7:32 pm

While “climate colonialism” may not be correct in an historical sense, it is catchy and can be used to disparage the 3% of the Climate Cult that have a functioning brain. The other 97% will need an interpreter.

October 1, 2022 7:42 pm

Vijay is right.

October 1, 2022 8:03 pm

Surprise! Eco(logical) tourism leads to eco(nomic) exploitation.

Joh Boland
October 1, 2022 8:12 pm

Some things are better off just left alone. Let’s say it’s all true, and the earth is going to warm and the poles are going to melt. Well, that will take a long time, I would think hundreds if not thousands of years to occur. That’s plenty of time to adjust, and no one dies. The alternative solution is what we are doing now, and millions die. Don’t doctors have an oath that goes something like “first, do no harm”?

Pete Bonk
Reply to  Joh Boland
October 1, 2022 9:45 pm

Doctors have their Hippocratic Oath and the sage primary directive of “First, Do No Harm.” Politicians have no such common sense moral/ethical guidance, and consequently do more harm by 9 am than most of us do over a full day.

October 1, 2022 8:20 pm

The new liberal imperialism
Sun 7 Apr 2002

Robert Cooper
Senior British diplomat Robert Cooper has helped to shape British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s calls for a new internationalism and a new doctrine of humanitarian intervention which would place limits on state sovereignty. This article contains the full text of Cooper’s essay on “the postmodern state”, written in a personal capacity, an extract from which appears in the print edition of The Observer today. Cooper’s call for a new liberal imperialism and admission of the need for double standards in foreign policy have outraged the left but the essay offers a rare and candid unofficial insight into the thinking behind British strategy on Afghanistan, Iraq and beyondYou can join the online debate here.

Last edited 2 months ago by brent
Reply to  brent
October 1, 2022 8:50 pm

Postmodern imperialism takes two forms. First there is the voluntary imperialism of the global economy. This is usually operated by an international consortium through International Financial Institutions such as the IMF and the World Bank – it is characteristic of the new imperialism that it is multilateral. These institutions provide help to states wishing to find their way back into the global economy and into the virtuous circle of investment and prosperity. In return they make demands which, they hope, address the political and economic failures that have contributed to the original need for assistance. Aid theology today increasingly emphasises governance. If states wish to benefit, they must open themselves up to the interference of international organisations and foreign states (just as, for different reasons, the postmodern world has also opened itself up.)

Richard Page
Reply to  brent
October 1, 2022 8:57 pm

Incredibly biased defence of the EU superstate and an odd interpretation of historical events.

Reply to  Richard Page
October 1, 2022 10:15 pm

Robert Cooper was concocting a justification supporting Tony Blair’s political aims. However to the extent it mirrors political aims of TPTB, worthwhile understanding their motives and drives,

October 1, 2022 8:33 pm

Naval innovation: from coal to oil
Oil erased the drawbacks of a solid fuel. As Churchill noted, “the advantages conferred by liquid fuel were inestimable.” But he also recognized that a switch would be difficult to implement: “To change the foundation of the navy from British coal to foreign oil was a formidable decision in itself.” Finding and securing sources of oil threatened to be the most difficult part of the venture

Reply to  brent
October 1, 2022 8:59 pm
Geoffrey Williams
October 1, 2022 8:50 pm

Yes indeed the use of the term colonialism is out of context.
But climate imperialism is closer to the mark . .

Paul Johnson
October 1, 2022 9:27 pm

The implication is that Africans are not capable of recognizing their own best interests. White Western elites seek to force them into the “correct” decisions for their future by virtue of their moral and intellectual superiority. It’s the Woke Man’s Burden.

Reply to  Paul Johnson
October 2, 2022 10:15 am

The assumption that blacks can’t run their own lives is pretty much universal in the U.S. woke movement also.

dodgy geezer
October 1, 2022 10:55 pm

The word ‘colonialism’ Is simply being used as a smear word here. Directing a sovereign country to forgo technical advances is nothing like colonial activity.

Colonialism involved taking over the government of a country with whom you had a close trading relationship. This was usually done to maintain that relationship whatever local rulers might want, but it also had advantages for the subject country. That country lost its sovereignty, but was then defended against local enemies, and gained access to all the technological advantages that the colonizing power had – roads, railways, and sophisticated governing practices like the rule of law.

‘Climate Colonialism’ is actually more like slavery, in that benefits and freedoms that the country formally had are being taken away, with nothing being given in return…

Reply to  dodgy geezer
October 2, 2022 1:06 am

” ‘Climate Colonialism’ is actually more like slavery,”

Nail on head.

There are more people in slavery now than ever before.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  saveenergy
October 3, 2022 5:49 am

And the ‘powers that be’ are thirsty to get more under their boot heel, aka the ‘climate catastrophe’ (NOT) “solutions,” all of which require restrictions on individual freedom and choices and wealth transfer to the political classes.

Richard Page
Reply to  dodgy geezer
October 2, 2022 6:31 am

Colonialism actually involved some sort of, well, colonising; it involved taking over the country with people from the colonising country. That isn’t quite what we’re seeing today, more like subjugation.

October 2, 2022 1:10 am

Thank you for your [CO2] contribution, Mr Kerry

The world is a little better for it

October 2, 2022 5:21 am

John Kerry is a washed-up has-been still seeking relevance after losing his 2004 presidential campaign and leaving the Senate in 2013 to lackey for Obama and Biden. Nobody on the international scene takes him seriously, especially as the mouthpiece for Biden and climate alarmism.

October 2, 2022 5:56 am

The substantial Chinese influence in continental Africa does not exist.
It is just a figment of my imagination.

October 2, 2022 6:31 am

Failing To Invest In Oil And Gas Would Be The “Road To Hell For America”
The CEO of JP Morgan, Jamie Dimon, said that banks refusing to fund new oil and gas projects would be “the road to hell for America”.
Cutting off investments in fossil fuels would be the road to hell for the United States. This is what JP Morgan’s chief executive Jamie Dimon said during a congressional hearing on a range of topics.
“Please answer with a simple yes or no, does your bank have a policy against funding new oil and gas products, Mr. Dimon?” Rep. Rashida Tlaib asked JP Morgan’s chief executive, after laying out net-zero plans that require a shift away from fossil fuels.
“Absolutely not, and that would be the road to hell for America,” Dimon said in response. He went further, as well, saying the country needed to invest more not less in oil and gas.

Pope Francis calls on Christians to ‘repent and modify our lifestyles’ to save the planet
“Enough is enough. All new exploration and production of coal, oil and gas must immediately end,” said Cardinal Michael Czerny.

Exxon Mobil outlook.
Decline without Investment

comment image

Saudi Aramco Shares Some Hard Truths About Our Energy Future
Sep 21, 2022

“Oil fields around the world are declining on average at about 6% each year, and more than 20% in some older fields last year. At these levels, simply keeping production steady needs a lot of capital in its own right, while increasing capacity requires a lot more,” Nasser said.

Reply to  brent
October 2, 2022 7:45 am
Reply to  brent
October 2, 2022 8:53 am
Reply to  brent
October 2, 2022 8:56 am

Liquids supply highlights the need for investment
Global liquids supply by type – MBDOE

comment image?usecustomfunctions=1&centercrop=1

The natural decline rate of existing oil production is 7% per year. Significant investment is needed to offset this decline and meet the projected demand growth.

Last edited 2 months ago by brent
Tom Abbott
October 2, 2022 6:35 am

The Western Elites are bullying the rest of the world over CO2.

Happily, it appears the rest of the world is not going to listen to the bullies. Instead, they are going to act in their own best interests. Something any rational nation would do.

And the bullying is not limited to the Third World. The Climate Change Bullies are bullying everyone in the world, including those in the Western Democracies. They are demanding that the Third World destroy their economies like the Western Elites are currently destroying their economies.

So the Western Elites are bullying the entire world. Or trying to. But we’re not going to let that happen, now, are we. 🙂

The Western Elites are becoming more and more isolated. They are trying to sell the world a false CO2 reality and the world is not buying.

Russ Wood
October 2, 2022 8:52 am

In South Africa, we’re getting 4 – 6 hours a day of ‘load shedding” – mostly because of inept management and maintenance of our power stations. On top of this, our corrupt government has accepted a massive ‘bribe’ to go “carbon free”. I would guess that the thieves in power think that much of this could be siphoned off into their own pockets. Unsurprisingly, there’s a “seller’s market” in solar panel installations!

Eric Schollar
Reply to  Russ Wood
October 5, 2022 4:03 am

I agree with you. You can add racist employment polices, endemic corruption and sabotage to the causes of our load shedding. The ANC sees international unicorn wind and solar funding as enabling them to continue their looting with enough left over to pay bribes to voters. Depressingly, the progressives (can’t think of a better word) in general, desperate to be seen as fully in step with global international (i.e. Western) trends, are demanding that the ANC moves more decisively against fossil fuels as a solution to load shedding! Obviously insane! I’m no fan of Gwede Mantashe but he does, at least, acknowledge that nuclear should be an option and we did, after all, pioneer the development of SMR plants. In fact, we could potentially lead the development of SMR reactors all over Africa. Finally, the sale of battery inverters is orders of magnitude higher than solar panel installations. Forget wasting money on solar panels – rather use it to buy more inverters to store the energy whenever it is generated by ESKOM. Generators are also increasingly popular and my local Mica store devotes far more space to them than they do to solar panels.

October 2, 2022 9:36 am

He [Federal Minister of Economics and Technology] itemized the eco–Anschluss on stolid fingers: German wind farms in the North Sea; German hydropower plants in the Balkans; German windmills in Romania; German solar thermal projects in Spain; a vast half–trillion–dollar complex of solar turbines in the Sahara that will surge gigawatts to whole swaths of Europe. The goal of a carbon–free economy by mid–century may be, as one local enviro put it to me, das Blaue vom Himmel—“a hopeful blue sky”—but when the minister uttered the phrase “to rescue the world,” it sounded like he meant it.

How Green is My Berlin
August 9, 2010

Last edited 2 months ago by CapitalistRoader
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