From Our Readers: Turkey Turnips and Electricity for All - Carolina Country

From Our Readers: Turkey Turnips and Electricity for All

April's letters to the editor

From Our Readers: Turkey Turnips and Electricity for All

Turnip or Turkey?

Here is a picture of a turnip that my brother and sister-in-law, Jeter and Kathy Allred of Ellerbe, picked. Looks like a turkey, doesn’t it?! [Kathy added: “One evening I ran out and pulled some turnips for dinner — this turnip definitely caught us off guard!”]

Donna Perez, Monroe, a member of Union Power Cooperative

Electricity for All

According to the Sustainable Energy for All database from the World Bank, 100 percent of the United States is electrified. Practically everyone in our country has access to electricity and the benefits that it affords. The ability to turn on the heat, warm up the water, switch on a light or cook in an electric oven can be easily taken for granted in the United States. 

However, millions of people around the world are not so lucky. In Sub-Saharan Africa, only about 40 percent of the region is electrified. That means that 60 percent of people there live without electricity. Children who do attend school finish their studies by candlelight, economic growth is stifled, food cannot be refrigerated and health clinics rely on outdated practices to treat patients. Where electricity is not available, food is cooked over biomass fuels which can have seriously adverse consequences on people’s health and the environment. Poverty is both a cause and a result of lack of access to electricity. For this reason and many others, access to electricity is an issue on the forefront of U.S. Foreign Policy in development.

In the February edition of Carolina Country, Jay Rouse encouraged electric co-op members to “reach out to elected officials and talk to them about issues of importance to you and your community” (“Co-op Members Make an Impact at the Polls,” page 4). Communication with government officials really does help our leaders understand the values and concerns of their constituents. But while we use our computers and telephones to contact our Congressional leaders, we should also take a second to remember those without such luxuries. 

By encouraging our elected officials to support bills like the Electrify Africa Act (passed last February) or the Digital GAP Act (currently before Congress), we can ensure the development of electrical connections and internet accessibility around the world. Not only will this promote economic growth by opening up new marketplaces at home and abroad — over 16 percent of North Carolinians are employed in export-based manufacturing jobs driven by global internet connectivity — but global electricity and internet development will provide people around the world with access to education, government accountability and new jobs.

Emily Schwartz, Cameron, a member of Central Electric. Emily is regional director of The Borgen Project, a Seattle-based nonprofit organization working to end global poverty.

Garden Guide Enjoyment

I read and enjoy every issue of Carolina Country. The March 2017 issue was special! The greenery, flowers and fruits in the magazine were beautiful. Thank you.

Helen Sparks, Winston-Salem, a member of Surry-Yadkin EMC


More from our garden guide: Reader photos and tips for attracting pollinators.

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