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Rick Perry: Shifting From Fossil Fuels To Renewables Is Immoral

A 2017 Lancet study showed that air, water, and soil pollution kill over 9 million people globally each year.

Department of Energy Secretary Rick Perry said Wednesday that the shift away from fossil fuels toward renewable energy sources is "immoral" when it comes to helping poor countries make the change.

Perry, who last year proposed propping up the coal and nuclear power plants, made the comments at an energy conference this week.

Via Think Progress:

“Look those people in the eyes that are starving and tell them you can’t have electricity,” said Perry in remarks after his big speech to the oil and gas industry at the annual CERAWeek energy conference in Houston. “Because as a society we decided fossil fuels were bad. I think that is immoral.”

Perry's assertion that developing countries must go without electricity if renewable energies are pursued is flawed, and it also fails to consider the harm done to communities where fossil fuels are used in abundance.

A recent study shows that 1.1 million people die prematurely every year in India from air pollution, which primarily comes from burning fossil fuels.

[A] 2017 Lancet study concluded that globally, air, water, and soil pollution kill more than 9 million people a year. Air pollution alone accounts for 4.5 million deaths, and those numbers are projected to rise sharply in developing countries in the coming years.

And an issue Perry is loath to address presents a truly moral obligation for humans alive today: climate change.

The world is currently on track to spend $4.8 trillion on fossil fuel production by 2025, finds a new study by Carbon Tracker. But to get on the path needed to preserve a livable climate — keeping total warming below 2°C (3.6°F) as the world unanimously agreed in the 2015 Paris climate accord — we should spend no more than $3.6 trillion on fossil fuels.

The failure to shift rapidly to clean energy will therefore squander trillions of dollars in the coming decades, while killing millions and irreversibly destroying the climate for centuries to come.

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2 Responses

  • Deb McRey

    Mar 9, 2018

    It seems in Texas we like voting for idiots. Perry was elected twice as governor. He and Ted Cruz are two peas in a pod, both out of touch with reality. But Republicans keep voting for them because they're Republicans and they don't have anyone better.

  • dgolson45

    Mar 9, 2018

    How on God's Green Earth did someone like Perry EVER get appointed to office. What delusional, narrow and insidious thinking!

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