Brazil Recession: Taking a Step Down the Energy Ladder?

Brazil’s economy shrank by almost 4% last year, as it has been enduring the longest recession since the 30’s. How does this relate to dirty cooking and the average Brazilians place on the energy ladder?

In this article, CNN’s Money section discusses the impact of Brazil’s current recession…

Brazil recession: ‘I’ve never seen anything like this’ – CNN Money

This recession will have numerous and far-ranging effects on the lower economic classes in Brazil, some of which might not manifest themselves for years, but some are undoubtedly showing up already. When an impoverished family begins to improve their economic standing, they take steps up the energy ladder. They may purchase an improved cookstove, or move up to a fuel such as propane or ethanol. These fuels require a costly capital purchase, namely a new stove, and a continual expense of filling a large propane cylinder. In many countries it is not possible to purchase a smaller, more affordable cylinder, so making this large purchase can be burdensome.

Convenient, but not without consequences...
Convenient, but not without consequences…

When our family finds their personal economy falling due to loss of work, healthcare expenses, or a countrywide recession such as that in Brazil they are forced back down the energy ladder, with the added insult of lost capital sunk in their new stove (which can’t even be resold, as their neighbors are likely in a similar situation).

Read more about the energy ladder in one of our older posts…

Day 17 – Helter-Skelter

But it doesn’t have to be this way. Pasqual is working on bringing a mix of clean cooking technology to Latin America that will help buffer against recession, national or personal. Biomass is an effective fuel, and the sun is free and clean. Help Pasqual bring economic stability on a personal level to Latin America by contributing to our crowdfunding campaign (below).

Cooking Smoke – The Secret Killer in Latin America

There is not a moment to spare, since we began working on the Pasqual concept almost one year ago 28,000 more people have died due to the health consequences of cooking on unimproved solid fuel stoves. Every day costs us another 76 lives. How many people do you know at work, or at church? How many people do you interact with on a daily basis? I bet it’s not 76. Imagine if every person you met today died from emphysema due to breathing cooking smoke. Do that again tomorrow. That’s what is happening in Latin America.

Be the person who makes a difference.


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