When the numbers get real

I don’t know why this happened. I was planning on doing a post on the Philippines–I had included their statistics in the report published on the side of this weblog, and read the numbers I am about to present, and nothing happened to me then. I had read about renewable energy in the Philippines, especially their progress with geothermal energy, and nothing happened to me.

So today I was thinking I would check and see if there are new statistics about energy consumption there that would back up my thesis, that energy growth is happening faster than anyone predicted.

And now I’m just sitting here staring at the screen. Because the Philippine Islands, home to 94 million people, uses 1.3 quads per year. That works out to 14 mbtus per person per year. This vibrant country full of bright and energetic people are energy starved and after looking at stats for richer countries (we in the U.S. use about 340 mbtus per person per year, about 100 quads in total) it just gives me a new perspective on what poverty really is. The energy I use in two weeks has to last a Filipino all year long.

Maybe it’s because I’ve been there and know a lot of Filipinos here in the States.

And I do know there are countries that make the Philippines look rich in energy (Mali averages 1 mbtu per person per year). And the fact that the Philippines doubled their energy use between 1980 and 2000 somehow makes it seem worse.

But this got real in a hurry. For me at least.

One response to “When the numbers get real

  1. It seems to me that the Philippine labor law is in substantial part responsible for their ongoing poverty. Everything about it resists an individual’s ability to start a company. We won’t be needing to worry about their energy consumption until their extreme ‘people’s’ laws are revised to a more company friendly environment.

    Of course, they will need to worry about what to eat.

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