We often hear about the number of deaths around the world each year associated with heat waves and cold snaps. What we don’t hear enough about however are the thousands of deaths that could have been prevented if the victims only had only access to affordable energy.
The benefits of affordable energy may seem obvious. It allows for refrigeration, less spoiled food, air conditioning for the sick and elderly and heat during the coldest times of the year. However, regions without affordable energy solutions often face needless loss
of life because they are forced to use more expensive and less efficient methods by international treaties, which aim to curb carbon emission in the interest of thwarting global warming.
There is no scientific consensus though that global warming is man-caused or that more affordable energy methods such as nuclear, coal, and natural gas play a significant role in climate change. These are however some of the best options for countries that want to end energy poverty among their people. These methods are capable of the providing many times more energy than intermittent and expensive technologies like wind and solar. By far, these methods provide the largest return on investment.
In short, years of vehement opposition to affordable energy solutions, especially in the form of restrictions and tariffs, based almost entirely on unverified theories about global warming, have led to rising energy costs and along with it, needless loss of life. At COP16, the UN Climate Change Conference in Cancun, CFACT students had the opportunity to spread this message where it counts most. During the third day of the conference CFACT students from around the United States arrived to pass out “Energy Poverty Awareness” ribbons to delegates and party representatives from around the world. The students took time to discuss key issues surrounding energy poverty with conference attendees. They reminded each person they were able to speak with that costly policies based on unverified and politically charged issues can have devastating effects on many of our planets poorest and most vulnerable.
In general, CFACT students were received well at COP 16. They passed out over 1,000 ribbons. They left the conference feeling as though they had reminded some of the most influential individuals from around the world that policies which lead to energy poverty are not just abstract political ideas, but real initiatives with sometime all too real consequences.