Sunday, August 02, 2009
Our electricity has been playing up this week, our batteries aren't charging properly on the solar panels so we have been kicking over to generator more often than I would like. Last night the generator stopped working so we were plunged into darkness at about midnight, not really the end of the world just a bit of a blow for the boys trying to find the toilet in the night, and a worry for all the stuff in the freezer. The generator guy turned up at 6 pm today and has helped us get it going for the night and hopefully will fix it in the morning.
We aren't really used to life without electricity, candles are okay but they don't keep the freezer running.
A bit of research reveals that 1.6 billion people from some of the world's poorest countries have no access to electricity, that about one quarter of the worlds population. Which probably doesn't affect you because if you're reading this you probably have electricity! I can do without it for a day, but realise we are all rather electrically dependent.
How do we respond to a world without electricity, do we need to? Or is it just some form of industrial imperialism.
We could help by saving electricity, but this wouldn't provide more for other just reduce our own impact on the planet. For instance I read this about light bulbs if every one of 110 million American households bought just one energy saving bulb, took it home, and screwed it in the place of an ordinary 60-watt bulb, the energy saved would be enough to power a city of 1.5 million people. In terms of oil not burned, or greenhouse gases not exhausted into the atmosphere, one bulb is equivalent to taking 1.3 million cars off the roads.
That's the law of large numbers--a small action, multiplied by 110 million.