The end of extreme poverty and the rise of solar energy over the next 20 years thanks to …. capitalism
Free markets and trade rarely receive the recognition they deserve for delivering social benefits. An article in the Economist states “The World’s achievement in the field of poverty reduction is, by almost any measure, impressive … Most of the credit must go to capitalism and free trade”. Between 1990 – 2010, nearly 1bn people were lifted out of extreme poverty mainly due to strong economic growth in developing countries, with China making the greatest contribution. Click here to read the Economist article.
Critics will argue that the cost has been the increased use of fossil fuels and the global environmental impact. This is true. Currently fossil fuels are a key requirement for lifting people out of extreme poverty. In fact, to deny them access to fossil fuels would be to condemn them to extreme poverty. As The Economist describes, this means lives that are “poor, nasty, brutal, and short”.
Capitalism is already moving rapidly to address the challenge of fossil fuel’s environmental impact. As Elon Musk said, solar energy will generate more power than any other energy source within 20 years (click here to read my blog on this or here to read the TED2013 blog on Musk’s presentation).
Could 2010 – 2030 see the end of extreme poverty altogether and the rise of solar energy to replace fossil fuels? Yes … thanks to capitalism.