African countries have sought to provide electricity for citizens and businesses to aid development and tackle poverty but the cost of oil-fuelled electricity has been prohibitive. The alternative is to turn to coal, which African governments argue is the best way forward. They made their case clearly ahead of this month’s UN Climate Change Conference in Marrakesh in Morocco where the recently ratified Paris Agreement, dealing with reducing greenhouse gasses emissions and financing to combat climate change beginning in 2020, was top on the agenda. The 22nd session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 22) also took place at a time of momentous political change in the US, where President-elect Donald Trump pledged during his campaign to revive America’s struggling coal industry. His promise led him to overwhelmingly victory in once thriving coal mining communities, helping him to secure key swing states. Outgoing President Barack Obama is all for increasing access to electricity in sub-Saharan Africa by adding more than 30,000 megawatts of electricity generation. But he is not a fan of coal, despite its importance to the US economy, in these sensitive days of the climate change debate. When he launched his Power Initiative in 2013, he clearly said that his administration would no longer back the use of coal abroad for electricity generation unless there were carbon emission controls.There's the promise. Africa noticed it, and noticed the change from status quo. There's your chance to develop a new trade pattern that would actually help both sides, and a new relationship with Africa.
Nigerian Finance Minister Kemi Adeosun told a recent joint meeting of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank: “We in Nigeria have coal but we have a power problem, yet we’ve been blocked because it is not green. “There is some hypocrisy because we have the entire Western industrialisation built on coal energy. “They are saying: ‘You have to use solar and wind’, which are the most expensive,” she added.Sounds like some African leaders are through with the old Mouse That Roared routine. They want to have real business and real industry that doesn't simply supply raw materials to a few Western corporations, and they're willing to skip the old "development aid" that kept the leaders rich and the countries poor. More power to them in both senses. Too bad they're putting hope in the nonexistent "Trump" who promised to change things. They haven't figured out that the hologram of horrifying dark populist troll "Trump" was just a trick to bring Western populations down to the misery of Africa, not an actual populist who would bring all populations up to real-value productivity. Coal isn't the best way to get there; Africa has lots of uranium and thorium which could provide cheaper and cleaner power if Africa can truly cut loose from the Mouse routine and the Gaians who run it. A rich thorium-powered continent with a firm and unbreakable culture can afford to disobey Soros.
Polistra was named after the original townsite of Manhattan (the one in Kansas). When I was growing up in Manhattan, I spent a lot of time exploring by foot, bike, and car. I discovered the ruins of an old mill along Wildcat Creek, and decided (inaccurately) that it was the remains of the original site of Polistra. Accurate or not, I've always liked the name, with its echoes of Poland (an under-appreciated friend of freedom) and stars. ==== The title icon is explained here. ==== Switchover: This 2007 entry marks a sharp change in worldview from neocon to pure populist. ===== The long illustrated story of Polistra's Dream is a time-travel fable, attempting to answer the dangerous revision of New Deal history propagated by Amity Shlaes. The Dream has 8 episodes, linked in a chain from the first. This entry explains the Shlaes connection.