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Category — Worldwatch Institute (Christopher Flavin)

Christopher Flavin (Worldwatch Institute) on the Benefits of Electrifying the Developing World (quotations from the past to challenge prospective CO2 caps)

“Today, 1.6 billion people in developing countries do not have access to electricity in their homes. Most of the electricity-deprived are in sub-Saharan Africa and south Asia. For these people, the day finishes much earlier than in richer countries for lack of proper lighting. They struggle to read by candle light. They lack refrigeration for keeping food and medicines fresh. Those appliances that they do have are powered by batteries, which eat up a large share of their incomes.”

- Faith Birol, “Energy Economics: A Place for Energy Poverty in the Agenda?” The Energy Journal, Vol. 28, No. 3 (2007), 1–6, at 3.

Chris Flavin, head of the Worldwatch Institute, has written prolifically (albeit often erroneously) on energy and the environment. Ken Lay, the architect of Enron’s “sustainable energy” vision, was a Flavin fan, keeping this study in his “Desk.”


I often wonder: What if Dr. Lay (as he liked to be called by the outside world–part of Enron’s “smartest guys in the room” problem) had instead kept a copy of William Stanley Jevons’s The Coal Question in his desk and had taken to heart Jevons’s argument that renewable energies were ill-suited for the carbon-based energy era.  But Lay was a political capitalist and second-hander, not a true capitalist or intellectual CEO like Charles Koch of Koch Industries Inc.

Back to Mr. Flavin. [

May 2, 2009   4 Comments