Of course, there are many other issues at play in comparing first world and sub-Saharan African energy usages. Do you find this disparity congruent with your expectations of capitalism as it is, incongruent, or do you find other factors more important? — boethius
The UK, where I live, is a relatively crowded place, and relatively wealthy place. But it is not an entirely pleasant place to live. The man-made environment is ugly, noisy, polluted, stressful, unhealthy, and inconvenient. It is the result four submission to the 'necessities of production', where the methods are those of slash and burn agriculture - clear the land, suck the nutrients out of the soil, abandon and move on. Such is industry - it does not need to clean up after itself, and so finds it uncompetitive to do so.
And so we live in each others' waste, and are only out of fear beginning to wonder if we need to. We have never much asked how we would like to live together. The necessities have always seemed inescapable, but this is only because they have happened without thought or plan, they are really just accidents. Capitalism is the rule of accident, of grabbing whatever has value, and dumping whatever has none. Socialism is making a plan, and making rules of behaviour to implement the plan. Or perhaps that is wrong entirely. I don't think it matters much whether it is those words or some other words i use to make a distinction that I think is more important than political convention.
What is important is, for sure, to have modern medicine and dentistry, to have good communications, to have food and shelter, security, and a pleasant environment. Now the problem at the moment is that production is not making itself responsible for cleaning its own mess plastic in the sea, fumes in the city, pesticides in the countryside, CO2 in the atmosphere ... and if a rule is made here, industry will go elsewhere where there is no rule, because if one doesn't a competitor will. This is the industrial tragedy of the commons.
But we manage, together, to regulate a water and sewage system according to rules, we manage to have a police and justice system, we regulate and limit ourselves in all sorts of ways to make our environment work, and with a little thought we can solve the problems we have not yet addressed. Perhaps you will not be able to pour petrol into your car, and fumes into the atmosphere any more, the way you are not allowed any more to pour waste chemicals into the rivers. And much will be made of a totalitarian nanny state infringing your God given liberties.
Some fuckwit builder has poured his waste concrete into the sewer
. This is what we are doing to the planet. Let's stop being so fuckwitted as to think there is some issue of liberty in such behaviour; it is an act of tyranny.