Monday, August 12, 2013

The Worst Kind of Poverty

poverty [pov-er-tee] (noun) - the state or condition of having little or no money, goods, or means of support; condition of being poor. Synonyms: privation, neediness, destitution, indigence, pauperism, penury. Antonyms: riches, wealth, plenty.

As you may or may not know, poverty is a problem that is prevalent around the world. There isn’t a place you can go where the possibilities of seeing someone who lives in poverty doesn’t exist. Seeing places where the people don’t have any of the things we consider to be necessities for a “decent” life. They don’t have food, clean water, medicine, the ability to further their educations, or the ability to work enough hours to adequately support their families. These aren’t just examples of poverty, but they’re subdivisions of the worst kind of poverty. Energy Poverty.

We live in the age of technology. With all of the new phones, tablets, and computers we have the world at our fingertips in a matter of seconds. If it takes any longer than thirty seconds to retrieve any information using these wonderful devices we are upset and we feel that this technology is out of date. So imagine not having any of this technology. Not because it doesn’t exist, but because you don’t have enough energy to support it. We would undoubtedly be bored and upset and some of us would likely have panic attacks and go through withdrawals. Now imagine we get past the fact that we don’t have computers, iPhones, television, or any other form of technological entertainment. We can get past that. We could move on.

But now imagine losing the energy to do things like flip on a light switch, or turn on an air conditioner or heater. Losing the energy to turn on an oven or microwave. Now you have to start a fire or light a candle to have enough light to move around your home at night, or to keep warm, or to make a meal. Without these “basic” things our lives would cease to exist, as we know it and life would get exponentially harder for all of us. And despite these “necessities” it gets worse. There are billions of people in the world who not only lack these essentials but also lack even more than that. They don’t have a refrigerator to keep their food preserved, they don’t have enough energy to get clean water, they don’t have enough medicine because hospitals don’t have enough energy to keep refrigerators cold. They don’t have enough energy to live a somewhat “decent” life.

There is no worse poverty than energy poverty. Without adequate energy there isn’t the possibility to improve or maintain a decent standard of living. Unfortunately there are 1.3 billion people in the world suffering from energy poverty, however we can help them by giving this issue the attention it deserves. All you have to do is spread the word and put yourself in their shoes for a bit. Imagine your life without energy. It’s not a life that anyone should have to struggle through. We can help make a difference.  

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