Erick Erickson distorted a statement made by President Obama on the need for new energy solutions to claim he said African nations “must remain poor” to avoid the negative effects of climate change.
On June 30, President Obama discussed “youth empowerment and leaderships with young African leaders” in Johannesburg, South Africa in a town hall. During the town hall president Obama expressed the need to address climate change by exploring new energy sources as the standard of living increases on the continent of Africa:
Ultimately, if you think about all the youth that everybody has mentioned here in Africa, if everybody is raising living standards to the point where everybody has got a car and everybody has got air conditioning, and everybody has got a big house, well, the planet will boil over -- unless we find new ways of producing energy.
In a post on Redstate.com, titled “Africa Must Remain Poor With No Power or the World Will Boil Over,” Fox News contributor Erickson claimed that Obama's remarks meant that “Africa must remain in the third world poor and without power for the good of the world.” Erickson called the comments “socialism pure and simple”:
The President is telling a group of young African leaders that if things improve too quickly in Africa, before new ways of producing energy can be discovered, the world will boil over. But taken with the paragraph before it, the President seems to suggest that in order for the standard of living to rise in Africa, the west must see its standard of living come down.
This is socialism pure and simple. The free market shows time and time again that people can be lifted out of poverty while we all, in some way, benefit. There need not be a game of winners and losers. But socialists believe if some see improvements, others must see declines.
Most troubling is the President of the United States telling the Africans that he supports improvements in their lives, just not too quickly because he truly believes the world will get too hot. So Africa must remain in the third world poor and without power for the good of the world.
But Obama was not saying African nations “must remain poor,” he was emphasizing the need for all countries to come up with clean solutions in order to handle increasing energy demands. Obama has pledged $7 billion in U.S. government resources to help African nations develop new sources of energy. He added:
We'll expand access for those who live currently off the power grid. And we'll support clean energy to protect our planet and combat climate change. So, a light where currently there is darkness; the energy needed to lift people out of poverty
In his remarks at the Young African Leaders Initiative Town Hall, Obama stated:
We're going to all have to work together to find ways in which collectively, we reduce carbon but we make sure that there's some differentiation so that countries that are very wealthy are expected to do more, and countries that are still developing, obviously they shouldn't be resigned to poverty simply because the West and Europe and America got there first. That wouldn't be fair. But everybody is going to have to do something. Everybody is going to have to make some important choices here. And I expect that it's going to be your generation that helps lead this, because if we don't, it's going to be your generation that suffers the most.
Ultimately, if you think about all the youth that everybody has mentioned here in Africa, if everybody is raising living standards to the point where everybody has got a car and everybody has got air conditioning, and everybody has got a big house, well, the planet will boil over -- unless we find new ways of producing energy. And tomorrow, or the next day, when I visit Tanzania, I'm actually going to be going to a power plant to focus on the need for electrification, but the need to do it in an environmentally sound way.