Energy is like any other economic good. It needs decent governance, functioning institutions, and effective markets to get electrons from the producer to the consumer on a sustained basis. Without reliable energy, virtually even’ aspect of life is negatively affected. After all, energy, at its most basic, is the capacity to do work. “At the village level, energy poverty means you can’t pump clean water regularly, there’s no communications, no way to have adult literacy classes, and certainly no way to run computers at school or have access to connectivity.” This perpetuates social inequality.

To put it another way: Every problem of the developing world is also an energy problem. The problem of education is about a teacher shortage—and an energy shortage. The problem of health care in sub-Saharan Africa is about a shortage of doctors and medicines—and a shortage of energy to run medical equipment and refrigerate drugs. Unemployment in rural India is about a skills shortage, an investment shortage—and a shortage of the energy needed to keep factories running. Agricultural weakness in Bangladesh is about shortages of seeds, fertilizer, and land—and a shortage of energy to pump water or power equipment.

When the world is hot and you don’t have access to electricity, your ability to adapt to climate change is dangerously limited. When the world is flat and you don’t have access to electricity, you have no ability to use computers, cell phones, or the Internet—all the tools that arc now central to global commerce, education, collaboration, and innovation.

In a world that is hot—a world that is more and more affected by global warming—guess who is going to suffer the most? It will be the people who caused it the least—the poorest people in the world, who have no electricity, no cars, no power plants, and virtually no factories to emit CO-, into the atmosphere. Many of the 2.4 billion people who live on $2 a day or less reside in rural areas and depend directly on soil, forests, and plants in their immediate vicinity for subsistence. – Hot Flat Crowded

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