More than two years after the 2010 earthquake that left Haiti in rubble and displaced 2.3 million people, recovery has been slow in coming. Hundreds of thousands are still living in camps such as Corail-Cesselesse, a relocation area set up in the aftermath of the quake. And the cholera outbreak that has taken nearly 7,000 lives on top of more than 300,000 lost in the quake itself continues to cause suffering.

Aside from the quake, dependence on charcoal for cooking has continued to cause deforestation and health problems Haiti, prompting the U.S. Agency for International Development’s announcement today that it would support a $7.2 million project meant to bolster the market for cleaner cookstoves.

(Related: Time to Clear the Smoke)

The dearth of reliable, sustainable cooking options in Haiti is just part of the overall energy access problem in a country where fewer than one third of the residents have any electricity at all, and where outages are frequent. Haiti, like many other countries around the world, suffers from a crippling lack of power.

Not many bands are better suited to bring that message to a broad public than Linkin Park. With more than 39 million Facebook fans, more than 700,000 followers on Twitter and a listener base that has steadily expanded since the band’s debut album Hybrid Theory was released in 2000, Linkin Park has threaded a philanthropic mission throughout its website, social media and via video messages on YouTube.

Last November, the band announced its support for the United Nations’ Sustainable Energy for All initiative. Dave “Phoenix” Farrell, the Linkin Park’s bassist, answered questions via e-mail about their efforts.

Tell us about the Sustainable Energy for All initiative. The band pledged support for it last December. What will the band be doing?

Linkin Park and [our aid organization] Music for Relief have launched Power the World in support of the United Nations Secretary-General’s Year of Sustainable Energy for All in 2012. We chose Haiti for our first Power the World project because the country faces severe energy poverty. There are 34 million people in the Western Hemisphere who have no access to modern energy; 8 million of them are in Haiti. To help, you can go to www.powertheworld.org to make a $10 donation and Music for Relief will provide a solar-powered light bulb for a family in Haiti without access to energy.

What led to your interest in energy poverty? Have you done anything like this before?

I traveled to Haiti in April of 2011 to see firsthand how Music for Relief has helped the recovery effort. I visited Camp Corail and saw solar-powered lights, which MFR helped fund with the UN Foundation to help keep women and children safe. When the Secretary- General announced the energy initiative for 2012, I knew it was something we should be a part of.

Getting people interested in issues like energy poverty can be challenging. How do you plan to do it?

It’s definitely a tough issue to communicate fluidly and succinctly. In addition to our normal online channels (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) we are going to be creating some video components to help relay the magnitude and importance of sustainable energy for the future. We are also working in conjunction with the UN to create other projects throughout the year.

What has the response been like from fans (and maybe non-fans)?

So far the response has been very positive, but we are just getting started. I hope momentum continues to build through the year to facilitate a very strong interest in the issues of energy poverty.

There are so many issues related to energy. What stands out to you as being particularly pressing?

Fewer than 25 percent of households in Haiti are connected to electricity grids. That means 75 percent of households are lit using kerosene lamps, candles. In addition to being dangerous, this is also far more expensive than electricity. With sustainable energy, neighborhoods are safer at night, medical services can be more effective, and children can study and play after the sun goes down. Our solar light bulb is hopefully a small first step towards a far better quality of life for millions of Haitians.

How far do you think social media can go in creating change?

As has been seen in 2011, social media can be revolutionary. The potential social media has to create change is just starting to be tapped.

What do you hope to have achieved by this time next year?

Power the World is a pledge to help one million families gain access to clean energy solutions. That’s the goal, and with the help of music fans everywhere, we hope to achieve it. Once again, you can help by going to www.powertheworld.org. Make a $10 donation and Music for Relief will provide a solar powered light bulb for a family in Haiti without access to energy.

(Related: “Solar Energy Brings Light to Quake-Darkened Haiti“)

(Related: “The Solvable Problem of Energy Poverty“)

Comments

  1. Sam S.
    Clearwater, FL
    February 21, 2012, 9:24 pm

    if they make a power source that uses the sun ene, like a cal. that might work work, glass panes, could be ushe but, would had to have a safe place to put, them when a storm broke out, like a bunker some thing like a fall out might work, the only thing that most islands are above sea level, would have to make above ground for that work, if we had the knowledge like the Mayans that made the Pry. to with stand weather conditions, some like that might work.

  2. Sergio Emilio Gutierrez
    GUATEMALA
    February 21, 2012, 8:38 pm

    ME LLEGAN ESO LOKOS por ser tan bueno honda los felicito LINKIN PARK

  3. samith maduka
    home
    February 21, 2012, 8:37 pm

    u r best

  4. edith naara
    Argentina
    February 21, 2012, 8:28 pm

    hola, soy de Buenos Aires. Me parece muy bien el tema abordado. espero que se pueda ayudar a aquellas que carecen de energía… de mi parte intentare ayudar a la distancia… los felicito!!!

  5. justin moeller
    pinetop lakeside..Arizona
    February 21, 2012, 8:22 pm

    if only there were more bands like LP…still need to get all albums but cant find them.. :/ (PS e-mail is my moms mine got hacked lolz

  6. jefferson
    brasil
    February 21, 2012, 8:09 pm

    amo linkin paek melhor de todas

  7. malco
    uruguay
    February 21, 2012, 7:55 pm

    go linkin park!

    I want a now CD and come to uruguay to play a concert!

  8. Akshay Roy
    India
    February 21, 2012, 7:48 pm

    I just love LP. LP is Dad of RoCk….

  9. Joako
    Argentina
    February 21, 2012, 7:44 pm

    Im The First Comment!

    I love you LP Youre the best

  10. Mimy
    Indonesia
    February 21, 2012, 7:40 pm

    Cool.!