February 25, 2013

A pure humanitarian tragedy

From the Beeb:
Energy revolution promises to transform East Africa
An energy revolution is taking place in East Africa as the price of solar technology tumbles and huge resources of geothermal steam beneath the Great Rift Valley start to be exploited, moves which have the potential to lift millions out of poverty and cut greenhouse gas emissions.

It feels more like each strand of hair is being torn rather than cut, barber Sylvester Muthama explains as he demonstrates the manual clippers which he uses to cut hair in his salon in rural Kenya.

The problem, he tells me, is that the clippers tend to snag, especially with African hair, a worry for a barber who needs happy customers for his business to grow.

But Mr Muthama has little choice - the electric shears dangle uselessly to one side as this is not one of the very rare days when he has enough money to charge the car battery on the floor. And female clients must dry their hair in the sun.
A little bit more:
A little further north is Menengai Crater, where further test wells are being drilled and the potential could be even greater. Overall it is believed the geothermal potential in Kenya is 10,000 megawatts.
And the work does not stop at Kenya's borders - geothermal prospecting is happening in Ethiopia, Rwanda and Tanzania. Some of the money is coming from the African Development Bank and their regional director, Gabriel Negatu, says it could be transformative:
"Energy is not an end in itself; it is an enabler... every part of your life is affected by energy. [We'll see] a robust economy with factories, universities, a full industrial economy, and all of it will be powered by geothermal energy. What was once known as the Dark Continent will henceforth be known as the bright continent."
These poor poor people. Their energy planning has been hijacked by the green ideologues -- no, do not build a coal power plant. We will tell you what to build and it will be GREEN DAMMIT!. After all, I was educated at Harvard and I know more than you brown people. If we don't build green, you will all die horrible and tragic deaths. Oh... Wait... The density of available energy is in direct correlation to the intensity of development and wealth building. To uplift these people from their grinding poverty, we need to do two simple things: #1) - stop supporting the oligarchs that are keeping them down and #2) - let them develop at their own pace with their own choice of technologies. C.O.T.S. is a great leveller -- Commercial Off The Shelf. Cheap. It has worked very well elsewhere. True, it may not satisfy the subtle and nuanced hipsters in Portland or Seattle but, seriously, fuck them. We are talking about bringing clean water, sanitation, refrigeration, clean cooking to hundreds of thousands of people in one fell swoop. The twee hipster option is for those little brown people to suffer through an endless cycle of solar ovens, composting toilets, bicycle-powered radios and lights and gravity water filters that take an hour to filter a gallon of water (yeah Berkey -- I'm looking at you) when, if they were allowed to develop on their own, they could just come home, flick a switch and settle in for the evening. A lot of the progressives labor under the delusion that there is a fixed pool of money and that the inequities of the world are a result of that pool's unequal distribution. Bzzzzztttt!!! This was Karl Marx's major fuckup. Money is fungible -- it can be created and destroyed. In 2008, where were the trucks? Bear Stearns collapsed, it's corpse was sold off to Morgan Stanley for pennies on the dollar. The company lost several tens of billions of dollars. A shame since it was founded in 1923 and was able to weather the crash of 1929 without laying off any of its employees and in 1933 was healthy enough to start opening branch offices. Again, where were the trucks? Another example, back in 1997 a single Mom published some of her bedtime stories that she created for her son over the previous decade. She created an empire out of nothing -- an empire worth 15 Billion dollars. I am talking about Harry Potter of course. Again, where were the trucks? The idea that these nannies; our betters; these congenital morons (and I sincerely apologize to all the wonderful morons out there) see themselves in a position of authority is profoundly repugnant. They micromanage not only in their own country of residence but wherever else they can cast their net of lies and stupidity and they are blind to the reality, blind to the unintended consequences and blind to the damage caused by their cupidity. Shame on you. Bloody shame and a pox on your lineage. Posted by DaveH at February 25, 2013 6:32 PM