Today, 80% of people still live in developing countries — places with little industrial and economic activity where people generally have low incomes. Developing countries have low levels of access to safe drinking water, health services, and education. They also have high levels of pollution, infectious diseases, and violence. It’s no wonder life expectancies are as much as 20 years shorter in the third world.
Think about this: A typical woman in Nigeria spends all day collecting wood and materials in order to boil water to sanitize it, just enough so her family doesn’t get sick. The wife or children do not have time to find jobs or start businesses to better their economic state. The husband usually works a hard-labor job, fourteen hours a day, to make barely enough money to provide food for the family. It is an endless cycle.
Bringing these countries out of poverty requires basic necessities we take for granted — electricity, clean water, and safe air — to live healthy lives. According to International Energy Agency, global electricity demand in 2018 increased by 4%, growing almost twice as much as the overall demand for energy. This is the fastest increase since 2010, and it will continue to grow at a robust rate.
Banning cost-efficient and reliable energy sources in the U.S. in the name of a supposed climate crisis won’t accomplish the goal of ending world poverty. Continuing to invest in our reliable, affordable energy sources and sharing our abundant supply with our allies abroad, will give America the power to lift billions worldwide from poverty.
The average Westerner takes energy for granted, flipping a switch to turn the lights on or pressing a button to heat our food. We too often forget that we live a lavish lifestyle compared to those in developing countries. These people deserve the same living standards as we do.
For more on energy poverty:
Mallory Cochran is Life:Powered’s marketing and communications intern. She is a marketing student at Texas Christian University.
Katie Tahuahua is Life:Powered’s communications manager. She previously served in two gubernatorial administrations and the Texas House of Representatives.