Solving Africa’s Energy Poverty Problem, Part 1

Gathering wood for cooking in Africa

Based on an assumed need to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2), climate change advocates and international agreements generally provide investment funding and technical support only for so-called sustainable renewable energy, such as solar and wind power, both of which are unreliable, intermittent, and unsustainable, while they discourage or prohibit development of power plants based on abundant fossil fuel (coal, oil, and natural gas), hydroelectric, geothermal, or nuclear energy. It is well documented that environmentalists have stopped or prevented the construction of more than two hundred hydroelectric dams in Africa[1], although it is the cleanest, most reliable and safest energy source available, and uses conventional materials and proven technologies. Hydroelectric power is also “sustainable” over time and returns the water used to the environment. Power in the form of electricity, natural gas, and petroleum products are essential for economic development, industry, transportation and medical infrastructure as well as home cooking, heating and refrigeration, which are needed to provide a safe, clean food supply and to reduce deadly indoor air pollution from bio-fueled cooking and heating fires.

Without adequate power, the continent’s health and economy cannot improve as it should. The answer to Africa’s energy poverty is an all-of-the-above solution. Environmentalists from developed countries and international governmental and non-governmental organizations have no business denying African nations the chance to better their citizens through the same means that developed countries used in the past to raise themselves out of energy poverty for their own development. (They have an “I got mine, to hell with you” attitude.) Coal, oil, and natural gas electricity generation must be allowed to continue and grow for the foreseeable future until other means such as hydroelectric, geothermal and nuclear facilities can be built.

Africa can’t afford the luxury of skipping these vital steps toward ending energy poverty in order to adopt unreliable solar and wind alone. It would be like giving a dying man an aspirin and expecting him to survive.

Today’s coal fired power plants with modern air cleaning technology are not the dirty, polluting monsters they once were, even though they are still portrayed that way. In developed countries, technology to remove particulates, heavy metals, and sulfates have long been utilized. Emissions consist mostly of carbon dioxide and water vapor. Modern power plants use coal, oil, or natural gas to heat water for steam to turn turbines attached to electrical generators. This steam and hot water are not released directly into streams but are cooled to condense the steam and reduce the water temperature to a level compatible with life in the streams. Some of the hot water is recycled to efficiently produce more steam for power generation. The huge towers seen at power plants are not emitting pollution as environmentalist propaganda suggests. They are cooling towers that are used to cool the water and steam before returning it to its source so that only water vapor is emitted. Similar air cleaning and cooling facilities can be added to any existing power plant in developing countries.

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[1] For example, twenty years ago, Brent Blackwelder, president of  Friends of the Earth bragged that FoE and other environmental groups have succeeded in blocking almost 300 dam projects in the Third World on a TV documentary series, ‘Against Nature,’  hosted by Martin Durkin, London Channel 4 Television Corporation, 1997

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The book: Saving Africa from Lies that Kill: How Myths about the Environment and Overpopulation are Destroying Third World Countries will be published on October 23, 2018. Print and e-book will be available online and in bookstores.

My first book, Perverted Truth Exposed: How Progressive Philosophy has Corrupted Science was published in 2016. It is available in print and e-book, on line only, through World Net Daily store, Amazon, Books-A-Million and Barnes & Noble.  See the companion blog at www.realscienceblog.com  for related posts and pages.