Thursday, June 30, 2005
Environmentalists say: Roads are bad for Africa, will only cause global warming.
In an article headed...
Building more roads won't cure Africa's poverty - but it will worsen global warming... we first get an interesting history lesson about how roads make people poorer...
For the past two centuries, Africa's roads have led to its impoverishment...... and then the main point:
We are now expected to believe that if Africa had a more efficient transport infrastructure it would be able to export more effectively to western countries and expand its economy...So ... roads are bad. For impoverished Africans. (As opposed to for European environmentalists with their Volvos.)
However, reducing transport costs will, as the commission acknowledges, greatly increase traffic volumes, thereby worsening climate change... [Guardian, via Tim Worstall]
My reaction: Some people should be sentenced to live under the conditions they would force on others.
For instance, take the guys who authored this piece and drop them in some remote part of Africa where there's no road anywhere near, so there are no traded goods. Make them live there for, say, five years -- forced to keep alive entirely by what they can pick up off the land with their hands, without even a mosquito net to keep the malaria-ridden bugs away because there's no road to bring one in. Let them enjoy the lower atmospheric CO2 level that results all that time. See what they think about roads then.