About 108 million people watched this year’s Super Bowl. That means that about 108 million people got to enjoy the half-hour blackout of the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. For more than thirty minutes, a viewing public that was greater than the population of Rhode Island was focusing on the lack of power in the stadium. In case you’ve missed it, the Super Bowl blackout was a big deal.
While those in the stadium panicked at not having power for a half-hour, much of the world, as of 2003 an estimated 1.6 billion people, live without access to electricity in their daily lives. In the United States, we use electricity for so many things in our day-to-day life, phones, lighting, charging products, cooking and more, to live without it seems unimaginable. Thankfully, the world has changed a lot since 2003, with more and more people gaining access to electricity in their homes or in community centers and clinics around the world. This shift has increased standards of living, production, and education everywhere.
As of 2009, roughly 1.3 billion people still lived without access to electricity according to the group World Energy Outlook. As that number slowly gets smaller, we have to keep in mind that it is an issue, something that is often difficult to remember when the only time we really worry about the power in our lives is when we need to charge our phones or pay the bills.
Hopefully, those thirty minutes of Super Bowl chaos will have made people think a little more carefully about the lack of energy access around the world, and inspire them to take action on this cause.
– Kevin Sullivan