Speaking to Radio Islam International, columnist Ivor Welton expressed his scepticism over the 133 billion secured by the Ramaphosa administration for the move toward ‘cleaner’ energy. He argued that over 46 countries per capita are responsible for more emissions than South Africa, and that countries such as India, China and the US are responsible for most emissions, yet the developing world needs to reform. Further, he noted the unfulfilled nature of previous promises on climate change funding. Lastly, he argued that South Africa already has moved toward cleaner energy; our emissions are now as low as 1978 levels, and the country peaked in 2009. He cautioned that renewables are unreliable and would likely lead to increased costs such as in South Australia, Denmark and Germany, saying, “joke’s on them. We’ve already begun the transition. We’ve shut down, broken or blown up a third of our coal fired power stations since 2008. We’ve used this coal fired electricity year on year, every year, but the deindustrialization all on our own, in our proudly south African way. Our GDP is down the toilet, poverty and unemployment are at all-time highs. This is exactly what happens in the absence of inexpensive, reliable energy.”
Further, he argued that this colonialist mentality is seeping through in relation to the new Omicron coronavirus strain. The West has responded by shutting their borders, despite advice from the WHO, and in spite of the fact that the virus has already been found in Germany, Israel and the UK amongst other countries. He said, “The UK, Europe, all the other countries that closed their borders to Southern African nations and yank their tourists back home should be ashamed of themselves. They have done irreparable harm to our economies for nothing out of sheer prejudice.” Welton noted how this will impact the already dire tourism sector, especially since it was just emerging out of the 2020 lock-downs. It is noteworthy that the WHO argues that travel closures should only be implemented in smaller countries, and will only postpone, not halt the virus.
Last, in relation to the seismic survey off the Wild Coast, Welton argued that its much ado about nothing. He argued that similar to a survey in the Eastern Cape in 2017, uproar has been high and intensified by mainstream media. He argued that the death of marine life, which was predicted by the survey in 2017 did not materialize, and that this would be the same now. He also noted that these surveys don’t only have to do with oil and gas mapping, but at times are also for geological mapping etc.