A commentary at flagship German online daily FAZ looked at a recent study by the German Umweltbundesamt – UBA – (Federal Environment Agency) which examined the per capita consumption of natural resources by different population groups.
Not surprisingly, high income groups were found to own a large number of cars and live in large homes with energy-guzzling appliances – thus making this group of people large consumers of energy.
Frequent flier climate activists
Also the study found that the “urban, academic young classes who tend towards voting for the Greens have far above-average CO2 emissions per capita” and these emissions “are not offset by them buying vegetables from the local region in the organic shop”.
The FAZ writes that the study found that this particular class — who are worried about the CO2 emissions and the climate — have “an above-average number of frequent flyers” and like to take long-haul flights to distant places like “New Zealand or Canada to admire nature”.
The UBA study also found that traditional working classes (whose lifestyles the Greens often complain about) in fact are energy modest and fly less frequently.
Here the FAZ concludes:
The bottom line of the study was that those with a ‘positive environmental attitude’ had the highest actual energy consumption and CO2 emissions.”
Al Gore: “a hypocrite and a Pharisee”
The FAZ also mentions former Vice President Al Gore’s film “An Inconvenient Truth”, where he “praised his ‘CO2-neutral lifestyle’ and claimed he compensated for his air travel. But later it was exposed how Gore’s 10,000 square foot mansion in Tennessee consumed “about twenty times as much energy as the house of an average American family”.
“The green-preaching politician was a hypocrite and a Pharisee,” the FAZ commented over Gore.
Back to extreme poverty
The FAZ commentary also wrote about the “Fridays for Future” movement. Here the involved activists are calling on society to wean itself off fossil fuels. This for example could be done by enacting a high CO2 tax, they claim. However the FAZ comments that this would lead to “a sharp rise in energy costs, which would be difficult for low-income groups to bear” and that “millions of poor people in other parts of the world, such as Africa, would be pushed below the absolute poverty line.”
High energy tax “a death sentence”
According to the FAZ: “To put it bluntly, the path naively advocated by some well-off activists could, in extreme cases, be the death sentence for the poor in developing countries whose future well-being and survival they are supposed to be fighting for.”