GENI History and Milestone report
Dear GENI Friend,
In the Peace Corps as a teacher in the late 1960s,
I had the privilege of living for two years in Nigeria.
I did have lights in the house provided by the school,
as well as a
wet bar size refrigerator,
running water and a flush toilet. Few others did.
Blackouts were common. I was in many, many villages
where there was no electricity. Access to sanitation
was poor, and we would never, under any circumstances,
drink tap water. Those who did contracted potentially
deadly cases of amoebic dysentery. Being in the constant
humidity of the tropics, our luxury vacation was a
half-day trip to Lagos to an air conditioned, high
rise hotel where we could bathe and actually stay
dry when we got out, until we stepped out of the building.
That experience sparked my first appreciation for
electricity. I discovered that reliable and abundant
electricity determines most of the necessities, comforts
and luxuries I enjoy in this culture. My level
of good health, my education, my mobility, and access
to a job as a woman in the developed world would not
exist without electricity. Most of the women and children
in Nigeria spend their entire day collecting wood
and water, shopping or selling at the open markets
or preparing meals for their families. Most walk.
Some take a taxi. There is time only for a few to
attend school. In some cases, an entire village will
pool their money to send one child, usually a boy,
That was 25 years ago. At the time, Nigeria was the
most populous country in Africa with 55 million people.
Today, it is still the most populous with 112 million.
That is more than double in 25 years. What
was inadequate then is grossly inadequate today and
will be into the future unless something happens quickly
to change this scenario.
I first learned of GENI two years ago. GENI's
message, to interconnect electrical power grids
between countries and continents, with an emphasis
on linking remote renewable energy resources, makes
practical sense to me. The relationship between
electricity and a decent living condition, especially
population stability, is within my own experience.
Consider these benchmarks comparing Nigeria to the
developed world: birth rates (45 per 1000 vs. 14);
longevity (50 years vs. 76 years); infant mortality
(84 per 1000 pop. compared to 8). While the condition
for Nigeria (and other developing countries) may seem
hopeless, there is evidence that it can be altered.
Recently, I gained a certain perspective on this
stark contrast. Because of my son's history project,
I dug out and read my family genealogy. As new immigrants
from Germany over 200 years ago, the five Yeisers
settled in Pennsylvania; many migrated south to Danville,
Kentucky. Families had between 5 and 12 births; many
families lost 2 to 4 children in birth or infancy;
several women died in childbirth; others were lost
to small pox, chicken pox, influenza, and wars. Those
numbers changed very rapidly once electricity became
widespread in this country, especially in the rural
areas. Now our population is stable, except for the
influx from other countries. So what we see in developing
countries today was once our own condition. Electricity
was fundamental to altering that condition. When
GENI asserts that electricity will increase living
conditions and help stabilize population, there is
both statistical evidence and our individual personal
experience to substantiate it.
The developing countries can avoid our mistakes.
We used fossil fuel to generate electricity and are
now suffering the consequences in environmental damage
and challenges to our very health. Renewables, abundant
and virtually unlimited, would allow developing countries
to circumvent our mistakes and would allow developed
countries to reverse a deadly trend.
Your donation in support of the research, education
and advocacy work of GENI facilitates the reversal
of unacceptable trends on our planet. A shift
is possible. We need your financial help today to
do this vital work. Please contribute as generously
as you are able. Enclosed is a form for you to
mail or fax to us with your contribution.
This work is very personal to me. I do it for the
lives of my children and their children. Thank you
for sharing in this tremendous challenge.
In partnership for the planet,
Keywords : GENI History and Milestone report, sustainable
development, global energy network institute, international
electricity transmission, grid, power, environmental
educational programs, peace, zero population growth,
stabilization, life expectancy, infant mortality,
free world energy trends, deforestation, climate change,
global warming, world game, uhv, hvdc, hvac
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