Intellectually, I know that 7 out of 10 people (589 million people) in sub-Saharan Africa lack reliable energy access, which means women are giving birth in dark hospitals, vaccines aren’t being refrigerated and kids aren’t able to study at night. But National Geographic’s original film “American Blackout” really brought that reality home to me in a visceral way this weekend.
Watch the trailer here:
“American Blackout” dramatizes what life would be like in America if we lost power for 10 days.
When it premiered on Sunday night, the issue of “energy poverty” was already on my mind because I had just spent 3 hours watching the Dallas Cowboys lose, (in incredible, dramatic fashion) to my Detroit Lions earlier that day. And whenever I think of the Cowboys, I think of the unbelievable stat that their stadium uses the same amount of power on game day as the entire country of Liberia.
So here are 5 freaky things I realized during “American Blackout”
1. I’m a lot more claustrophobic than I thought. When a group of college students gets stuck in an elevator in the film, I pretty much can’t breathe. Same with the subway passengers. When the apocalypse comes, I want to be outside.
2. Even things that run on batteries or gasoline could be useless without electricity. You can hand crank your iPhone and have an unlimited supply of back-up batteries, but if the cell towers don’t work, you’re out of luck. And I learned that a lot of gas station pumps rely on electricity, so if you think you can live in your car during a massive blackout, think again.
3. My wife can’t be trusted around open beverages during scary movies. Most of the soda landed on my mother-in-law.
4. While we need water to generate electricity, we also need electricity to generate water. More than 1/5 of the freshwater in America is taken from the ground, which requires energy to pump it. No power = no water.
5. Paranoia is a double-edged sword. Despite his bunker and two-year supply of food and water, the survivalist character in “American Blackout” wasn’t mentally prepared for the blackout.
Have you seen “American Blackout?” Use the comments below to tell us what you learned.