Jakarta a High Energy Society

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    Grade 10 E,Period 5

    Jakarta: A High Energy Society

    As the most densely populated region in the world, Asia is home to several rapidly

    booming economies, in context of Mumbai, Beijing, Manila, and even Jakarta. As megacities

    such as these continue to industrialize and advance in aspects of technology, high energy usage is

    indeed inevitable. Energy has prioritized itself in the daily lives of urban society in such a way

    that everyday life devoid of energy would be quite unproductive, particularly to an urban citizen.

    As in the case of Mumbai, economic boom results in the developing of modern conveniences and

    energy sources to enhance its economy. However, along with the skyscrapers and huge shopping

    centers that symbolize a societys booming economy and wealth, there stand slums and ruralcommunities who are not privy to these commodities; they stand as low energy societies. This

    conflict between energy can be subdivided into two categories, namely high energy societies and

    low energy societies, and can also be further portrayed in context of Jakarta.

    High energy societies, most often urban communities, rely on modern energy sources

    such as fossil fuels, nuclear power, geothermal energy and coal for their daily energy usage.

    Furthermore, I context of Beijing, they have adopted many capitalist values and western ways,

    and follow the trend of most developing countries which use less biomass fuels and more

    commercial energy fuels. In urban communities such as those in Manila and Beijing, wealthy

    urban residents can perform daily activities such as cook food, heat homes and fulfill other

    household needs with a flip of a switch, much more easily than rural communities. These energy

    sources are often less reliant, and therefore the continuous, reliable power helps further develop

    the societys production, industries and economy.

    Low energy societies, most often agrarian communities and slum dwellers, usually

    represent a large portion of society, and therefore these social concerns and differences regarding

    energy are of high importance. Over 40 % of Mumbais population lives in slum areas, and the

    islands surrounding Manila are mostly rural and under developed. These rural communities are

    often not equipped with the facilities and services that support modern sources of energy, such as

    heating, lighting and regular water service, all of which require energy. Although not always

    poor, many of these residents cannot afford modern energy services. The fact that fewer than 10

    % of Chinese families nationwide have a refrigerator, and that about the same number use old

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    fashioned stoves for cooking and heating stand as evidence of this. Instead, rural families have

    to supply their own fuels such as wood, dried dung, vegetable waste and coal for their daily

    energy usage. They must therefore a part of their day collecting these energy sources, which

    takes time away from other activities, such as entertainment and education. As a result, low

    energy communities tend to be controlled and conservative, and the people are fairy self sufficient and do not depend on outside services. The collection of fuel sources such as wood can

    also lead to deforestation and other harmful environmental impacts. Many programs and policies

    are being implemented in cities around the globe, where the conflict and differences between

    high and low energy societies still prevail and are the origin of many social conflicts, among

    others. For example, the government of China is attempting to make coal more accessible to

    rural areas.

    As a megacity with a thriving economy, Jakarta is a magnet for rural immigrates, who

    come to Jakarta in search of jobs and other economic opportunities. However, this, along with

    other economic and social aspects, has created a wealthier upper class and a poorer middle class,

    and has widened the gap between rich and poor. Nevertheless, the majority of residents in

    Jakarta can be classified as a high energy society: modern energy sources such as electricity and

    fossil fuels are commonly available, and discard most minor energy sources that are key in low

    energy societies, such as vegetable waste and animal dung. An average urban resident of Jakarta

    relies heavily on these modern energy sources for day to day activities, although the majority of

    Jakartas energy production is consumed by industries and transportation. Simple everydayactivities such as taking the car or bus to school (transportation), watching television

    (entertainment), and doing homework (lamps and other light sources) all require energy, and lack

    of these energy sources could seriously disrupt the lives of residents in Jakarta. Air conditioners

    are highly common in most upper class homes, and their sources of energy are rather reliant.

    Goods and services are most often produced outside the family, and a city dwellers value and

    status come from their economic and political status.

    Therefore, it is evident that the relationship between wealth and society is proportional to

    its energy usage and vice versa, and that the access to energy of these societies can not only

    greatly influence their lifestyles as well as cultural values, but create social and political conflicts

    between these communities.