Energy Poverty: A Cold Way to Die

In Climate Change, Environment, Life, People, The Big Picture, Uncategorized by Megan Toombs Kinard0 Comments

Very few people have heard the term “energy poverty,” also known as “fuel poverty.” The concept is really quite foreign to wealthy westerners. The sad thing is, it’s a term that relates just as much to many of our neighbors as it does to those in developing countries.

We all know people in Sub-Saharan Africa struggle in extreme poverty with no electricity, and we all support efforts to relieve that poverty (the most efficient and effective way through the use of abundant, affordable fossil fuels).

But most of us have no idea that many families, and many elderly, are victims of this same dangerous situation, a situation that in the developed world should never exist. The United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Spain,  and many other wealthy nations have chosen the myth of “renewable” energy over the welfare of their citizens—raising energy prices to the point where people can’t pay their bills. Because of these high costs, homes go unheated through the winter, and thousands die every year from health problems related to cold exposure.

I myself am close to a couple in their eighties who suffer from fuel poverty. They heat their home with wood (because it’s cheaper than electricity), and this year they didn’t know if they would be able to afford enough wood for the winter. They will be fine, because they have those who love them to make sure of it, but how many others will suffer?

As the weather turns cold, make sure to check on your family, friends, and neighbors. Many people are embarrassed or afraid to admit they can’t afford the power bill. They don’t realize it’s a common phenomenon as our policy makers choose low yield, expensive power sources like wind and solar.

Watch this video to learn more, and hear a personal story about energy poverty.

Thanks for sharing!

Megan is the Director of Communications for the Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation, and Editor of You can follow her on Twitter @MeganToombs.

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