It may just be my imagination, but the majority of solar cooking enthusiasts appear to be concentrated in the Southwestern US (for we are blessed with the Sun).
From Utah to San Diego, there are people who understand that energy delivered from the grid, can be interrupted, and a backup plan should be in place.
Before I lived in Las Vegas, I lived just north of New Orleans, actually selling my home three days after Hurricane Katrina, to move away from that part of the World. I have a lot of friends that toughed it out, and their common denominator was having the tools to transcend an emergency situation (generators, tools, boats, dehydrated food supplies, hunting and camping equipment).
Although you may have heard of Katrina, the year before, Hurricane Ivan was a "near miss", and a few months before Katrina, it was Hurricane Dennis that solidified my decision to get while the getting was good. I was not a Louisiana native, so the decision to leave was not difficult, and being in the power industry, my experiences with the emergency management system found in Louisiana was so poor, that I felt that any direct hit on New Orleans, would be catastrophic. Sadly, I was right.
As problems continue to unfold for the Japanese, those in the Middle East, Sudan, Congo, Ivory Coast, etc. I am amazed at how dependent people are on governments to supply the fabric of their lives (water, electricity, sewage, and food). Emergency preparedness is the last thing on people's minds, although earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes and other natural disasters, impacts tens of millions of people, every year.
Recently, I read about the 60 GW of power that Tokyo Electric is expected to supply in the summertime.
"Demand this summer is expected to be between 55 GW and 60 GW, but TEPCO predicts it will only be able to generate 45 GW of electricity."
Making matters worse, Osaka cannot balance the power demand easily, because the two grids, Tokyo and Osaka, operate at different frequencies. This is a legacy from some kind of internal rivalry within Japan.
Will a country as sophisticated and technically savvy as Japan, adopt alternative power delivery, for their basic needs? Although it seems technologically "backwards", solar cooking with box, panel and parabolic cookers is a brilliant paradigm shift that eventually must be embraced. The government in Japan will probably ask people to set their thermostats high this summer, and Tokyo Urbanites could do well to comply and take their cooking to open areas (parks, balconies), creating a lasting cultural change that transcends this current emergency time-frame. Here's wishing them well.
Well said Brad...and may it be a word to the wise.