150 million people went missing in India (August 26 2012) 150 million people went missing in India (August 26 2012)

Johnny West the British journalist and founder of OpenOil a Berlin-based consultancy in oil and other extractive industries has published an article on Aljazeera titled ‘How 150 million people went missing in India’, in which he discusses how the media coverage of the country’s blackouts paid little attention to the millions of Indians who were not on the grid to begin with. West states “Reports [media] spoke of the 600 million people affected by the blackout across India’s north and east as cities plunged into darkness for two nights in a row – and the high priests of capitalism worried about the effect on what is euphemistically termed “global economic growth”. In fact, the real figure was more likely to be 450 million people – but that’s actually bad news. …A mere reporting glitch, of course, nothing intentional. But one that speaks volumes for the state of the global discussion about energy, how stuck it is in the 20th century, how riddled with ancient ideological canards. Those 150 million people who literally didn’t count belong to a global underclass of up to two billion people across Africa and Asia, mainly, who are off-grid. Who yesterday, today and every day, often go to sleep when it gets dark and live and work through summers of up to 50 degrees or winters of minus 20, without any means to cool or warm themselves other than keeping to the shadows or burying themselves in a mountain of blankets. In order to include them in the global energy debate, it is time for socially progressive thinking to revisit the issue of energy subsidies.”


Inspired by Aljazeera ow.ly/d0OcS image source Johnnywest.net ow.ly/d0O5C