About Us

Newsletter of the
World Government
of World Citizens

Volume VIII
Number 5
Oct/Nov 1994

Want To Contain Global Population? Expand Energy Resources

By: Peter Meisen, President, Global Energy Network International (GENI)

November 1994, World Citizen News

Delegates attending the recent U.N.-sponsored population conference in Cairo spent all their time discussing family planning, abortion and the empowerment of women. These are all critical issues, but their attendant action programs are almost impossible to implement for the two billion people in the world who have no electricity or potable water.

Most of the agreed upon steps of the conference, in order to be taken, require energy - for refrigeration of food and medicines, for lights to educate women and children in the evening, and for the pumping and filtration of water.

Cairo was a perfect venue for the event. The over-crowded city exhibits extremes of wealth and poverty, along with an infrastructure unable to meet the needs of the 10 million Cairenes.

Although the conference's primary document, called the Program for Action, was signed by most countries, it is not binding on them. Most the the $17 billion required to finance the plan is to come from the developing countries themselves.

In the writer's opinion, the main good to come out of the conference is the heightened level of awareness concerning the population issue, as well as the benefits to be gained by improving the lot of the world's wormen. Unfortunately, I think much of the vociferous rhetoric heard during the event was meaningless to many in the world who struggle every day just to survive. As was the case with the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio, I fear much will be forgotten as new crises come to dominatre the front pages.

Immediately following the Cairo conference, I spoke in Hong Kong where I noted that Southern Asia is the most important region of the world in regards to the conversation on population and energy. Over half the world's people live there, most of them striving for prosperity, and the energy demands are enormous. While energy infrastructure is being built as fast as it can be financed, most of the region's power is derived from non-renewable resources, primarily coal.

Opportunity lies in the region's vast -- and largely untapped -- supply of renewable energy resources: hydropower, geothermal, solar, wind, tidal and biomass. Today's technology enables us to move power as far as 7000 kilometers with high voltage direct current transmission - far beyond the political boundaries and thinking of most energy planners and policy makers.

The Global Energy Network International (Geni) is working on a detailed computer simulation of an interconnected electric system throughtout Southern Asia. As would also be true for North America and Europe, the electrical interconnection of India, China and the Southeast Asian countries will bring enormous economic and environmental benefits.

Technical Articles