Last week, the Financial Times reported South Africa’s coal-dependent power grid is regularly failing to meet demand, requiring rolling blackouts to the extent of requiring an official declaration of a national state of disaster. The country's power monopoly Eskom "has had to cut off swaths of customers for up to 10 hours per day in recent months in order to prevent the accelerating collapse of ageing coal power plants, the mainstay of South Africa’s power network, turning into a total grid breakdown."
When we saw this, we knew it was only a matter of time before some disinfo dork misled their audience by using coal's failure in South Africa to attack renewables, much like what happened when coal and gas failures in Texas spurred 2021's "frozen windmill" disinfo spree.
South Africa 'is reliant on coal for 80% of its power generation, so there's no honest way anyone could blame renewables, but that still leaves plenty of dishonest ways to do it.
On Monday, Breitbart published a column by Joel Pollak demonstrating one such option, warning that "California is in danger of becoming the next South Africa."
How many times does Pollak tell readers that South Africa's failing grid is run by coal? Zero. Instead, he compares "California's 'green' fiasco" of pursuing renewable energy to the fact that South Africa's “priority is “transformation” — the idea that all of the country’s institutions should reflect the demographics of the nation as a whole, as a way of redressing the discrimination of the apartheid past.”
While Pollak attempts to dodge accusations that his writing is transparently racist by mentioning that "there are some good intentions behind the policy, in theory," he immediately goes on to claim that South Africa’s efforts to right the wrongs of apartheid have "been used to justify ruling-party corruption that has robbed South Africa of its assets and destroyed its infrastructure." Which would mean that the issue is actually corruption, which is certainly not unique to policies meant to address systemic racism, so…why bring that up at all?
In a wildly racist demonstration of his ignorance of the true horrors of apartheid (in addition to the history of racist, extractive colonialism, which has been robbing South Africa of its assets for centuries), Pollak wrote the "transformation" agenda "has left the vast majority of black people worse off than they had been before."
This kind of heinous coverage is shockingly routine for Breitbart, which has a neo-nazi-drafted style guide and constantly pushes the false conspiracy theory about terrorism targeting white farmers in South Africa.
In keeping with what is apparently Breitbart editorial policy, Pollack decided that South Africa's fossil fuel dependence is a warning for California's efforts to move off of fossil fuels because the state's "utopian fight against 'climate change'" has similarly been "abused by rent-seeking interest groups."
Pollack claims, without evidence of course, that "solar and wind power are simply unable to meet demand," in this story premised on coal being unable to meet demand.
We'd say you can't make this stuff up, but apparently you can, because they did!