The story of Jeremiah Thoronka, the rising star of clean-energy tech hailed as a saviour by green elites, is a cautionary tale about the dangerous optimism and ignorance of Western green elites. As Ralph Schoellhammer explains in Spiked, the inconvenient truth is that our societies still heavily rely on fossil fuels, and the consequences of abandoning them would be dire. Here’s an excerpt:
In 2021, Jeremiah Thoronka was making a name for himself in clean-energy technology. The then 21-year-old Durham University masters student had invented a device that uses kinetic energy from traffic and pedestrians to generate electricity. It certainly sounded groundbreaking. In a pilot project in Thoronka’s native Sierra Leone, two devices had apparently provided free electricity to 150 households and 15 schools.
Thoronka’s work clearly impressed awards panel judges. In 2021, he picked up the Commonwealth Youth Award and the Global Student Prize, which was presented to him by film star Hugh Jackman at a virtual ceremony, broadcast from the UNESCO headquarters in Paris. Thoronka was the man of the moment. There was a profile by the BBC, an invitation to give TED talks and, in May 2022, an audience with the Pope. He was celebrated as a green-tech innovator, someone setting a clean-energy example for the world to follow.
The accolades have continued to flow. Last month, at the Green Tech Festival in Berlin, he won the Youngster Green Award for 2023. It was this that prompted German journalists to ask if it might all be a little too good to be true. They contacted the organisers of the Youngster Green Award and Greentech Festival to find out a bit more about Thoronka’s pilot project. After all, it sounded incredible. But the organisers said that wouldn’t be possible because the pilot had since been dismantled. They asked if the device was being used anywhere else, and were told that it wasn’t. One journalist even asked if there were any videos, blueprints or other documentation of this unprecedented breakthrough. Again, nothing was forthcoming.