Tuesday, May 15, 2007


In living without electricity, I am far from unique. A 2000 UN report estimated that 1.64 billion people, or 27% of the world's population, were living without electricity. However my location - inside London's Zone 1, the heart of 'developed' urbanity- makes me more unusual. 99% of the population without elecriticy lives in the developing world, and 4 out of 5 in rural areas. While I'm sure electricity would be a great help to these people, I also have reason to believe that they know how to live without it.

My condition is more similar to people who have become used to electricity, and then suddenly it is denied of them. War or natural disaster result in power failures, and an urban population has to find solutions for food storage, light and heating. Electricity often returns, but not for the whole days, and less reliable. People who can afford it buy it from local generators. Such is the case in Gaza, or Baghdad. But this is likely to be a far more common scenario in the urban third world by the end of the next decade. The growing population of the globe needs more energy and the sources are limited. Prices will rise, bringing shortages, blackouts and disruptions.

For those of us lucky to live in the 'developed' worlds, and with the exception of some minks, this scenario is still farther away, although less farther away than you'd think.


Marjojo said...

Good to hear from you again. Does that mean your thesis is going well or is it that your anxieties need to be voiced? I'd find it very difficult to live without light, find utter darkness scary. Remember a walk through woods many years ago though, late at night after a rallye against extension of airport, trekking back towards car, first stumbling over roots and stuff but after a while when eyes adjusted absolutely loving it. Good to be in group then, could enjoy the mystery and absolute focus.
Thought you might like this blog, shares some of your sensibilities in terms of approach to artmaking. Wonderful art too, have a look:

mink said...

thanks for comments and link. Thesis on hold as I am mainly doing paid work this month. That is, mainly invigilating (supervising exams). Which can be fun. I might blog about it soon. no time no time xm

نیکی said...

It's crazy that a nearly a 1/3 of the world's people live without electricity. And still people weave fantasies about the "Internet Revolution" and "the internet world village"!