With a population of 26 million, Afghanistan is amongst the poorest nations in the world in terms of energy consumption. Per capita electricity consumption is 0.16% and oil consumption is 0.3% of USA per capita consumption.
"Ten years ago, on February 15, 1989, as the last of the 115,000 Soviet soldiers crossed over from Afghanistan into Soviet Tajikistan, there was quiet celebration in Washington as well as Riyadh and Islamabad. Officials in these capitals visualized Moscow's retreat as the first, crucial step in the re-emergence of an independent Afghanistan ready to ally with the United States. The US-Saudi-Pakistani alliance had played the central role in training, arming and financing the Afghan mujahedeen to expel the Soviets from Afghanistan...."
Is this empoverished nation a deserving target of US military aggression? With about two watts (continuous) of electricity per capita, wouldn't these people be better served by a donation of radios or solar panels? A budget of $40 billion for solar panels at $5/watt would provide over 300 watts per capita, bringing these people close to the energy usage of Egypt or China. Such infrastructure would overcome illiteracy and poverty beyond anyone's wildest dreams.
Will we be "bombing Afghanistan back to the Stone Age" or illuminating their way forward to the solar age?
|© 1994-2011 Ecotopia