Energy poverty is a real issue facing 1.3 billion people around the globe. It is a problem most of us can’t fully comprehend. We use electricity constantly, our modern life is predicated on readily accessible energy; however, almost one out of every five people on our planet do not have this privilege.
This is the message CFACT students at the University of Saint Thomas wanted to share with their school. CFACT students challenged other students to a game of Energy Poverty Fact or Fiction. Many students were shocked to discover how many people actually live in energy poverty. “That’s crazy” said one student, “I had no idea over a billion people lived without electricity.”
Other students were shocked to learn some environmental groups oppose the development of hydroelectricity in energy poverty countries. Another student said,”It is one thing for us to look out the environment, but we shouldn’t force people to live in the dark.” We have the luxury of deciding where our power comes from but the developing world doesn’t.
CFACT students also launched an energy poverty pledge drive, challenging students to go electricity free for one hour. It was a huge hit, and dozens of students signed the pledge. Some students wanted to sign the pledge, but didn’t know if they could do it. Another student said, “I always have something plugged in. I don’t know if it is possible for me to go an hour without electricity, which is kind of sobering.” Despite the challenges posed by the pledge many students were excited to spread the word about this important issue.