The world needs more energy!

By |2016-12-03T16:25:04+00:00December 3rd, 2016|Guest Insights|3 Comments

By Steven Lyazi

hydrobrazilOur planet is blessed with abundant resources that can generate enormous energy, provide raw materials for wondrous technologies, and build modern homes, roads, and other structures – to support every man, woman, and child on this earth. But can and will political powers make them available to the people who need them?

Of all these resources, energy is the most important. Nothing happens without energy.

For most of mankind’s history, human or animal muscle, wood and animal dung, water power, and plant or animal oil provided our energy. But the amount and quality of that energy was limited, and therefore what people could do was also limited.

Then, almost suddenly, people began using coal, and then oil, natural gas, hydroelectric, and nuclear power. Our abilities, and our dreams, began to reach for the heavens – at least in many countries. Sadly, many other countries lagged far behind, and many still do.

They are held back, condemned to continued energy poverty – and thus to real poverty and the diseases, malnutrition, and desperation that go with that absence of modern energy. This is partly because many nations are governed by incompetent, corrupt leaders, who care only about enriching themselves, their families, and their close friends, allies, and supporters.

But it is also because callous, imperialistic people in rich countries use exaggerated, imaginary, or phony environmental concerns and fake disasters to justify laws, regulations, and excuses not to let poor countries use fossil fuels or nuclear power or develop their economies.

They tell us we should only use renewable energy. They say nuclear power is dangerous, and oil, gas, and coal are dirty and cause dangerous climate change. They don’t seem to think or care about the poverty, diseases, and starvation that we suffer because we do not have fossil fuels.

And when they talk about renewable energy, they mean the very limited energy – and economic growth – that come from wind and africancandlessolar power, or from growing crops for energy instead of to feed our hungry people. They even oppose hydroelectric power for poor nations.

They are rich and well fed, enjoying amazing homes and jobs and technologies in their modern countries. But they tell us poor Africans (and other people) that we must limit our energy and dreams to whatever can come from expensive, insufficient kinds of energies to serve our large and growing populations. This is greedy and selfish, the kind of attitude of people who only think of themselves.

Yes, they use renewable energy, but only a little. Almost all their energy still comes from oil, gas, coal, nuclear, and hydro power. Only a tiny amount comes from wind, solar, or biofuels – that they say should be our only sources of energy.

They have money and power, and they can influence what happens to us. But they are causing massive poverty, disease, starvation, and death in third world countries.

I support clean energy and don’t want to see dangerous global warming. I agree that everyone should help ensure that we live in a clean environment. Everyone wants that, and to see their children and grandchildren living in a clean environment.

But that does not mean we should accept more poverty. It does not mean these rich, powerful people should be able to take away our right to live. It does not mean they have a right to put make-believe scare stories in our papers, on our televisions and radios, and on the internet.

It does not mean they should invent claims that our planet is boiling and we are causing droughts and floods – and so we should throw away coal and other cheap energies that we need to survive.

vikingsMaybe they are right, and humans are warming the earth or changing the climate – a little. But our weather and climate have always changed, and the world was even warmer during the dinosaur era than it is today, and much colder during the ice ages, with no human activities. Climate change has been going on for millions of years ago, but that doesn’t mean today’s changes are because of humans or will be disasters.

Environmental agencies and groups say the world is changing and try to tell us what to do to prevent these changes, which they say will all be bad. But getting rid of poverty and disease is also a big change that would be good for all of us, and cannot happen without fossil fuels.

We’ve all been scared to death by horror movies, especially films that are just plausible enough to make us think it could happen. But when these movies (or computer models) are used to scare us away from fossil fuels, that is wrong and we should not be frightened.

What these rich country movie actors, politicians, regulators, scientists, and activists forget is that our planet and environment have existed for millions of years, have changed over and over, and will continue to exist either with or without human interference. But we humans have to live here too.

Denying people their right to use fossil fuels is the worst thing someone can do to a fellow human. Western powers dungcookiesdeveloped massively due to cheap fossil fuels and today live like kings. They have no right to deny their living standards to people in developing countries.

Who invented the terms “developing countries” or “third world countries” anyway”? All countries have been developing at some point. In fact, they are always still developing, all the time.

The only wrong interpretation is to say “third world countries” do not have a God-given right to use all their energy, minerals, and other resources to develop themselves, and get rich, create good jobs for their people, end poverty and disease, and grow enough food to make everyone well fed and healthy.

In fact, here is a thought for all African leaders: A collective mindset supporting development will make Africa as great as any other region on earth. We all just need to unite around this idea.

The recent United States elections disappointed many people, but made many others happy. To me, they may be a very good thing. They might mean the new President Trump will be a good leader for the entire world. He might make more people question these claims that fossil fuels cause dangerous global warming – and encourage everyone to use more oil, gas, and coal to improve our lives, until smart people someday discover different energy sources that really do work.

doctorsWe all desire to be healthy and live better lives, just like people in developed countries. Yes, we have had greedy, selfish leaders in the past who might have contributed to our status today. But we can and must learn from our mistakes, and Mr. Trump wants to correct his and Mr. Obama’s mistakes.

African and other countries need abundant energy for economic growth. They need all kinds of energy, especially fossil fuels, to become modern and make people’s lives better.

Anyone who tries to prevent us from using these energy resources is denying us our right to improve our lives, and even our right to live, which is the most fundamental right of any human. That is wrong and immoral, and we will no longer tolerate it.


Steven Lyazi is a student and worker in Kampala, Uganda. He served as special assistant to Congress of Racial Equality-Uganda director Cyril Boynes, until Mr. Boynes’ death in January 2015.


  1. Brin Jenkins December 5, 2016 at 4:54 AM

    Sounds fair enough to me, of course you will need to work as well after nearly 60 years of independence. The main problem seems to be with politicos grabbing the lions share every where leaving little for the plebs.

  2. ninetyninepct December 12, 2016 at 12:44 AM

    How can anyone stop any African country from using the most affordable technology available? Tell the UN and the leaders of the more advanced countries, including Obama and that idiot Trudeau, to shove it. Demand loans and energy infrastructure in exchange for access to resources. Whoever provides the most and best energy infrastructure gets access to riches. Graft and corruption have to be eliminated first using any method available.

  3. freecam October 29, 2017 at 6:39 PM

    I liked Steven Lyazi’s article “The world needs more energy!”. I have been studying energy for some time and often envision what it would be like if the entire world had sufficient energy to live decent lives. I have found the solution to this problem.

    I have studied virtually every energy source we know of including renewables (solar and wind). I have weighed the cost and efficiency of all the technologies we have (or could have). I have come to the same conclusion UK physicist David McKay came to in his book “Sustainable Energy”.

    The world is looking towards solar energy and to an extent wind energy as sustainable sources. Unfortunately even if these go down in cost they simply cannot supply all the energy we need. They will require large areas of land and resources to deploy. They are intermittent sources meaning they cannot supply energy all the time. They also require storage of the electricity they produce which diminishes their efficiency. They can play a role as an energy source but cannot meet the “baseload” energy requirements the world needs. There is another solution.

    The world must deploy small, safe, clean and cheap molten salt nuclear reactors. These reactors use uranium and thorium to produce almost limitless electrical and thermal power. They are a thermal platform which can produce fresh water, industrial chemical processes, recycling, sewage treatment and of course electricity. They use enriched uranium and thorium fuels which the world has plenty of. They are made in a factory like an airplane. They can be installed virtually anywhere and do not need or consume air, water or anything else locally. The small amount of nuclear waste these next-generation reactors produce is more than manageable and can be processed for re-use in these same reactors. MSRs cannot explode or meltdown. They are inherently safe because of their design. They can be used to power small communities and villages without the need for long transmission lines. They do not emit radiation because the molten-salt contains all the nuclear materials and acts as a shield. They are safe from proliferation because the molten salts containing the nuclear materials are at a temperature of 650 Celsius. It would be extremely difficult for someone to tamper with one of these reactors. They are inexpensive compared to conventional nuclear reactors. Terrestrial Energy of Canada is currently developing a type of reactor called the Integral Molten Salt Reactor. They are designing three different sizes of reactors. The smallest one is 80MW thermal or 32MW electrical. It will be a game-changer by being able to produce electricity in areas of the world where no other form of energy is available or affordable. I hope to see one of these reactors deployed in Iqaluit, Nunavut, Canada. The Inuit people there pay more than $0.50 per kilowatt hour, one of the most expensive electricity rates in the world. They use diesel generators to produce electricity. This also has a huge environmental impact on the land. They also dump raw sewage into Frobisher Bay (the ocean). They do not have adequate access to clean drinking water. They suffer Third World conditions there. People in Iqaluit are digging in the dumps for food.

    IMSRs would eliminate the need for fossil fuels and ensure energy security for all countries. They are also designed to eat-up the current stockpile of nuclear waste. They are the safest and best solution to the world’s need for energy.

    Enriched uranium (235) is currently a proliferation issue. This means it is a threat to world security because it can be used to make nuclear bombs. Enriching uranium is a necessary part of using it in nuclear reactors. Typically an enrichment of up to 5 percent is required for an IMSR. Enrichment for nuclear weapons is more than 90 percent. SILEX of Australia has developed a secure and safe method of uranium enrichment which is 16 times cheaper than conventional enrichment methods. It uses laser light to process the uranium in order for it to be used in a nuclear reactor. This makes uranium more affordable and within reach as a competitive fuel source. The problem is that governments are afraid this technology will enable rogue nations like North Korea and Iran to produce nuclear weapons.

    Energy is the number one cause of war.

    I believe that if nuclear reactors like the IMSR are deployed around the world using enriched uranium or thorium, that the world will no longer be at war and that no one will want to use nuclear weapons.

    I hope that my vision for an energy-abundant world where EVERYONE can live a healthy and prosperous life comes true.

    Contact me if you want to know more.

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