Welcome to the New Era of Environmental Colonialism

There’s a new kind of colonialism afoot in rich nations, and much like the old colonialism, this one, too, purports to be for the good of the colonized. Today’s colonialists are Left-wing environmentalists exporting their vision of “climate justice” as a way to deal with global inequality. But despite the high-minded morality implied by the latest green agenda, just like older forms of colonialism, it creates a relationship of dependency that undermines the true interests of the colonized.

Environmental colonialism was on full display at a recent guilt fest, the UN’s latest climate summit, known as the COP27. The idea cooked up by the billionaires of Silicon Valley, London and Wall Street and agreed upon at the November summit by born again zealots like President Biden, is to provide “loss and damage” funding for countries hit hard by climate disasters. In other words, we’ve just committed to paying climate reparations.

Of course, governments in these countries will take the loot, and perhaps send some of it to useful pursuits. But what the developing world needs most is not a handout but the very technologies—including fossil fuels—that have served to reduce poverty globally. What poor countries and poor people everywhere need is not green blood money but help increasing the electricity supply that is critical for industrialization.

Yet climate-conscious Western governments, corporations and non-profits are doing the opposite: In the name of “climate justice,” they are trying to restrict access to fossil fuels for the world’s poorest nations, which offers the quickest path to development; indeed, it’s a point that was raised by African leaders during the COP27 conference, who made it clear that Fossil Fuels are indispensable for uplifting millions of citizens from poverty.

“There is a lot of oil and gas companies present at COP because Africa wants to send a message that we are going to develop all of our energy resources for the benefit of our people because our issue is energy poverty,” said Namibia’s petroleum commissioner, Maggy Shino, who works within the country’s Ministry of Mines and Energy.

To many in Africa and other developing countries, attempts to block fossil fuel expansion are greeted with increasing skepticism. They see the West’s demand that developing countries eschew fossil fuels as both self-defeating and hypocritical, particularly at a time when electricity is now less available in the developing world for the first time in decades, while virtue-signaling Europeans tap out out remaining oil and gas suppliers, leaving developing countries in the lurch.

Of course, as they take the West’s reparations, leaders in developing countries will look to Russia and China and perhaps the Middle Eastern oil states for capital, energy and, sadly, political models. Thanks to self-defeating environmental extremism, a new parallel world is being built increasingly outside of Western influence.

Read the rest of this piece at Newsweek.

Hügo Krüger is a South African born Structural/Nuclear Engineer, writer and YouTube podcaster, commentating on topics relating to Energy and Geopolitical Matters, Hügo is married to an Iranian born Mathematician and Artist; the couple resides in Paris.

Joel Kotkin is the author of The Coming of Neo-Feudalism: A Warning to the Global Middle Class. He is the Roger Hobbs Presidential Fellow in Urban Futures at Chapman University and Executive Director for Urban Reform Institute. Learn more at joelkotkin.com and follow him on Twitter @joelkotkin.

Photo: UNclimatechange via Flickr under CC 2.0 License.


The New Global Class War

A Better Future

In earlier times, even with a soaring population, Americans knew how to accommodate housing demand. In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries we built cities from scratch along the frontier. The existing major urban centers—Boston, New York, Baltimore, Philadelphia—all expanded rapidly, both by density and expansion into land on the periphery.

After the Second World War, mass suburbia and its expansion in homeownership ushered in a period of sustained prosperity that lasted until the 1970s. After 1940, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, U.S. homeownership rates grew rapidly, from 44 percent to 63 percent over the next three decades.

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Do Cities Have a Future?

The great core cities don’t die — but only if they are willing to change. Today the world’s great cities, such as New York or London, face dramatically changed conditions, notably the rise of remote work, fears from the pandemic, and rising crime.

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The Fall of Los Angeles

For much of the 20th century, Los Angeles symbolised the future. Over the course of the century, the population grew 40-fold to nearly four million people.

But now, for the first time in its history, the population of Los Angeles is in decline, falling by 204,000 between July 2020 and July 2021. LA was once a magnet for investors. But recently many of the area’s corporate linchpins – including aerospace giant Northrop Grumman, Occidental Petroleum and Hilton Hotels – have left, taking with them high-paying jobs and philanthropic resources. Read more

Rent Forever and Love It

Housing is an industry, but it is also where people live, raise families, and stake their future. Yet increasingly, all around the world, housing has increasingly become just a commodity to be traded, often by foreigner investors, notably from China, as well as by large well-capitalized financial institutions who plan to cultivate a generation of lifelong renters. In the notorious words of the World Economic Forum, “You will own nothing, and love it.” Well, you may not love it, but the first part is coming true.

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Irvine: A National Role Model

Irvine provides a solution for transportation, energy and diversity issues bedeviling the country. The master-planned city represents the modern version of a 19th-century garden city – a largely self-contained and environmentally sustainable community.

Critically, Irvine is not an outlier, but a role model for other communities – from The Woodlands outside Houston to New Albany in central Ohio – that are creating a new and more sustainable reality for households and families. Indeed, in discussions with other developers and planners in my research, Irvine is repeatedly cited as an example of the kind of community they want to create.

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Engineered California

Nothing so illustrates the mindset of green politics, particularly in California, as the word “natural,” which is taken to mean unspoiled, pure, and better than the workings of man. Yet few places are as fundamentally artificial, if measured by its dependency on human intervention, as California.

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Reconsidering the City

Over five millennia, urban centers have been drivers of civilization and progress, and have adapted in ways that have changed their form and function but assured their survival. Today, they are about to undergo another critical transition that will determine their relative position in the decades ahead.

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America’s Great Cities are Gripped by Decline and Disorder

For the past decade, America’s urban centres have been increasingly run by ‘progressive’ activists. Yet today, as US cities reel from collapsed economies, rising crime and pervasive corruption, there’s something of a revolt brewing, the success of which may well determine the role and trajectory of our great urban centres.

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What COVID Hath Wrought

Glenn Ellmers’s analysis of COVID and Trump represents a classic, and effective, account of the situation from the perspective of declining liberty and adherence to traditional values. But though it is important and necessary to hold onto our highest ideals, I would like to emphasize what is actually taking place on the ground and its likely long-term implication.

Statistics show that COVID accelerated economic, demographic, and geographic trends which were already existent, but rarely acknowledged. These trends include large-scale migration to the south, the west, and the suburbs. COVID also, as Ellmers suggests, sharpened the conflict between many Americans and the ruling “expert” class, who, unlike most Americans, actually flourished under COVID.

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