Obama: 'Planet Will Boil Over' If Young Africans Are Allowed Cars, Air-Conditioning, Big Houses

July 1, 2013 - 3:22 PM

 

Obama in Johannesburg

(Official White House photo/Pete Souza)

(CNSNews.com) – President Barack Obama said at a town hall event in Johannesburg, South Africa, on Saturday that unless we find new way of producing energy "the planet will boil over" if people in Africa are allowed to attain air conditioning, automobiles and big houses.

“Ultimately, if you think about all the youth that everybody has mentioned here in Africa, if everybody is raising living standards to the point where everybody has got a car and everybody has got air conditioning, and everybody has got a big house, well, the planet will boil over -- unless we find new ways of producing energy.”

The president’s comments, made the day before unveiling his “Power Africa” initiative for a “sustainable” African energy strategy, came while speaking at University of Johannesburg-Soweto.

According to Obama, global warming constitutes “the biggest challenge we have environmentally,” one greater than all other environmental calamities like “dirty water, dirty air.”

However, the President’s statements do not reflect statistics released by the United Nations:  Based on a data released in October, 2012, the World Health Organization estimated that “Global warming” is responsible for approximately 140,000 excess deaths each year.

By comparison, as many as three million people died from indoor and outdoor air pollution – in other words, over 20 times the number of alleged victims of global warming, according to the Word Health Organization.

The list of victims of unclean drinking water is even more staggering.

According to UNESCO, unsanitized water causes billions of preventable diseases annually, from diarrhea (4 billion), cholera (120,000), malaria (300-500 million), intestinal parasites (25% of world’s population), typhoid (12 million), trachoma (6 million), and schistosomiesis (200 million). list from highest to least affected

The president gave short shrift to these more traditional health concerns during his visit to the continent.  Instead, Obama implied several times that the U.S. would only encourage growth in Africa should it be grounded in “clean energy strategies” and not in “corrupting” energy economies that gave rise to unprecedented levels of health and prosperity among Western nations.

Speaking on the future of U.S. aid to Africa, the president said that it was his goal “to see if we can leapfrog some of the polluting practices of America or Europe, and go straight to the clean energy strategies that will allow you to advance economic growth, but not corrupt the planet.”

The crux of the president’s new energy strategy is a $7 billion investment that Obama hopes will stimulate the alternative energy sector in Africa – much like the president sought to do with huge domestic investments in green energy companies like Solyndra.

“In partnership with African nations, we’re going to develop new sources of energy. We’ll reach more households – not just in cities, but in villages and on farms.  We’ll expand access for those who live currently off the power grid.  And we’ll support clean energy to protect our planet and combat climate change,” President Obama said Sunday at the University of Cape Town.

 

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