The World Economic Forum thinks there is a correlation between democratic freedom and commitment to renewable energy. But their green metric gives coal burning China a pass, and their freedom metric puts the USA behind Australia, Europe and Argentina.
The colour of democracy is green: Why a clean energy transition is also vital to safeguarding liberty
Jul 11, 2022
Edward B Barbier
University Distinguished Professor, Department of Economics, Colorado State University
Climate change and the decline of democracy are two global crises that have come to a head in recent years.
Transitioning to green energy is key to both tackling climate change and creating sustainable economies.
Collective action on a green transition is thereby not only good for the climate but also vital for protecting democracy.
Two global crises have come to a head – climate change and the decline of democracy.
If global warming is to be kept below 1.5 oC, the world must act now to reduce carbon emissions. Achieving this objective requires substantially lowering fossil fuel use through a clean energy transition.
For the past 15 years, democracy has been in decline worldwide. To protect and promote freedom, leading democracies must strengthen their economies and safeguard liberty.
These two aims are not mutually exclusive but complementary. Reducing reliance on fossil fuels and transitioning to low-carbon alternatives also make democratic economies more sustainable. Major democracies should work together to achieve these two goals.
The leading democracies of the G20 should collectively commit to phasing out cost and tax breaks for the production and consumption of fossil fuels. They should also phase in more efficient pricing of fossil fuels through taxes or tradable permits to cover the costs of local air pollution, global warming, and other economic damages.
WEF founder Klaus Schwab was born in NAZI Germany in 1938.
I’m not sure how imposing a new regime of trading permits and forcibly phasing out cheap energy equates to democracy.
I also question giving a high green score to China, which burns more coal than anyone, or a high freedom score to Canada, where police horsemen were filmed trampling unarmed protestors last February, and Australia, where rubber bullets were fired at unarmed protestors in 2021.
The lower freedom score for the USA is suspect in my opinion. In the USA people are protected by a strict bill of rights, including the right to free speech, and the right to bear arms for self defence. Not so much in countries like Canada and Australia. People in the USA also get to vote for town sheriffs, attorney generals and other important executive positions which are appointed jobs in most other countries.
Australia and Canada scoring top marks for freedom is questionable. Australia is not as repressive as countries like China, but Australia has no bill of rights, so the treatment of citizens is at the whim of politicians – as we discovered during the 2021 protests. Canada has a bill of rights, but going by recent treatment of protestors in Canada I’m guessing the Canadian bill of rights is more of a guideline than an inalienable guarantee.
via Watts Up With That?
July 12, 2022 at 12:35AM