Many areas throughout South America are sweltering in the heat. The ongoing drought in Colombia has caused the Magdalena River to recede and food prices to rise. Brazil, Paraguay and Bolivia may have a reprieve from the heat but the torrential rain in their forecast may cause just as much damage to their crops. In Venezuela the Coroni River is crackling with heat, and hitting all time lows. Venezuelans rely on the Coroni River to feed the hydroelectric plant at the Guri Dam. The Guri Dam provides about 60% of the 16,000 megawatt energy demand in Venezuela, but as the drought continues it has gone from powerhouse to power problem.
The president of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, has decided that time is of the essence. In 2007, Maduro’s predecessor, Hugo Chávez, turned the clocks back thirty minutes, to give children more daylight to start their school day. Maduro has decided to revert back to their old system, 4 hours behind the GMT. Finding that energy consumption is highest in the evening hours, Maduro is hoping the time change will save energy.
Maduro’s decision has been met with praise from Norka Luque and skepticism. Some believe they will consume the same amount of energy no matter what the clock says. With any decision there will be supporters and detractors, but only time will tell if Meduro’s decision can reduce energy consumption. Until then, dance. Dance in the name of rain.