March 12, 2008

Nobel Scientist: Make Solar, not War

Rajendra Pachauri, the head of a Nobel peace prize-winning U.N. panel of climate scientists says that a billion people could recieve light by solar power for the cost of one month of the Iraq War. Pachauri is supporting a campaign "lighting a billion lives," led by India's Energy and Resources Institute, to furnish people without access to the grid with electric lanterns powered by solar photovoltaic panels.

"Millions and millions of people do not see light after the sun goes down," he told a carbon market conference in Copenhagen on Tuesday.

Some 1.6 billion people worldwide do not have access to electricity.

Pachauri compared the $15 billion cost of providing solar-powered lights to a billion people with a reported cost of the U.S.-led military campaign in Iraq of $12 billion a month.

He described that perceived mis-match in resources as "one of the biggest tragedies that the world can be guilty of."

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