Today, elites like Robert Downey Jr. virtue signal their wealth by taking pristine older restored cars and paying to have them ripped apart so they run on vegetable oil. In the future, it may mean simply having an air conditioner.

There is concern that the world will be warm enough by 2100 that the climate itself is changed. To prevent that, wealthy countries have begun to mandate and subsidize alternative energy like solar and wind. The success to-date has been negligible, after $4 trillion spent conventional energy's share of overall production has dropped by 0.1%, but it would be not only wasteful but unethical if groups like the World Bank, under pressure from the US White House, continue to say they will only fund centralized energy in developing countries if it is solar or wind.

There are 2 billion people burning wood and dung for energy and any centralized energy would make no further energy efforts needed. As Dr. James Hansen, the pioneer of global warming concern, phrased it, if everyone used modern clean burning coal CO2 would plateau. American innovation has worked so well that the Clean Power Plan that failed to pass court challenges was withdrawn, because by 2017 the private sector had met the CPP targets for 2025.

With centralized energy, even if it is coal, cooking, heating, and food production would all be less environmentally damaging. Instead, western governments are pushed the same schemes that have not worked, and a new paper worries that will lead to 'cooling poverty.' Because 2 billion people will be forced to continue to use wood stoves, 99% of Americans can't afford solar, it certainly won't be viable in developing nations, warming will continue.

Credit: Mazzone A et al.

Then not only will 150 countries be in a warmer world, they won't be able to afford air conditioners. The paper outlines five core dimensions that make up their proposed concept of systemic cooling poverty: Climate, Thermal comfort Infrastructures&Assets, Social and thermal inequality, Health, and Education and Work standards.

Rather than just thinking about electric cars and solar panels subsidized by poor people, the authors want the world to think about the cost passive cooling infrastructures (water, green, and white surfaces), building materials for adequate outdoor and indoor heat protection, and social infrastructures. If energy becomes affordable for developing nations, that makes available cooling provisions for outdoor working, education, health, and refrigeration purposes.

Instead of the status quo, where industry lobbyists convince environmentalists and the politician they fund that if a few countries make a fraction of their energy solar and wind, it is helping the planet.