In Praise Of Petroleum?
What possible better use for high-efficiency clean-burning fossil fuels such as LPG than providing
high-quality energy services for poor households? There are no realistic resource or greenhouse constraints
to keep us from targeting the needs of the poorest with LPG in places where renewable
technologies are not yet appropriate or sustainable. In addition, there are clear health benefits of
doing so. The World Health Organization (WHO), for example, has recently estimated that some
1.6 million premature deaths each year come from the use of solid fuels (biomass and coal) in poor
households. Rather than excluding petroleum, some of this one-time gift from nature ought actually
to be reserved to help fulfill our obligation to bring the health and welfare of all people to a
reasonable level: an essential goal of sustainable development, no matter how defined.