P1020361

University of Minnesota Collegians and Santa Talk Energy Poverty

2015-12-04 15.17.36Christmas is fast approaching and collegians from the University of Minnesota decided to recruit Santa Claus to join them for an event. Santa Claus was happy to help, and arrived ready to spread CFACT style Christmas cheer to the students of the University of Minnesota. Together Santa and the University of Minnesota Collegians took on ignorance about energy poverty.

So Santa and his CFACT helpers handed out fact sheets and highlighted the prevalence of energy poverty by playing a simple game. Students had to draw a prize bag out of Santa’s stocking, but only four out of every five bags contained candy, the fifth bag contained coal instead. This reflects that one out of every five (1.3 billion) people on the earth lack electricity.

P1020359Some students thought the best way to combat energy poverty was by using more green energy, but there is a problem with that idea: money. Collegians took on the myth of cheap green energy head on. “Developing nations can’t afford green energy because it is so expensive,” said John Mickley, “that is why fossil fuels should be part of the fix.” Fossil fuels are a cheap source of energy, and many developing nations can afford to use them.

Energy poverty is a concept we have a hard time understanding. We use electricity constantly almost every day. Refrigeration, light, and cell phones are just a few examples of ways we use electricity; however, the 1.3 billion people living in energy poverty have no way to use these potentially lifesaving technologies. If we don’t raise awareness about the facts behind energy poverty millions upon millions of people in developing nations will be forced to live in the dark.

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