Energy is a versatile tool. It allows us to heat our homes. It allows us do things at night. It allows us to get from place to place. And it allows us to create stuff.
But we are destroying our life-support system with our demand for stuff. This stuff includes everything from modern essentials (eg. electricity and water) to products that aren’t so necessary (eg. junkfood, electronics, and cigarettes).
The bottom line is that there may be too many of us for the Earth to support. And our population is growing. We currently have 7,200,000,000 humans on Earth, but most estimates suggest that we will reach 10,000,000,000 in the next century. The best ways to address this population problem are to educate women, raise standards of living, and increase access to health care. But these solutions require more energy production.
If that wasn’t bad enough, many people currently living on our planet don’t have access to their basic needs like food and clean water. As affluence increases throughout the world, we further increase the amount of energy we need.
To compound things even further, nearly 80% of our energy comes from burning fossil fuels. With the added carbon emissions from human activity, our planet is quickly changing. As we trap more energy in the atmosphere and seas, temperatures are rising. This means: growing more food is harder, some diseases are more prevalent, and local water cycles are changing.
If all the current population lived like Americans, we’d need the natural resources of four planet Earths. It’s therefore pretty obvious that we need to make some drastic changes. Fortunately, with regard to energy, there are several areas ripe with opportunity. First, the biggest consumers will need to reduce their impact through conservation and efficiency. And second, new technologies are being invented that can produce energy while reducing undesirable impacts.
Unfortunately, all energy production has side effects. These side effects range from using toxic chemicals to mining to occupational hazards. Furthermore, popular articles written about energy technology often mislead the reader, omit important factors, or even confuse the concepts of energy and power.
This blog serves to explore all facets of energy conservation, production, and consumption. Its aim is to expose misleading journalism and provide a more accurate picture of our energy landscape both in the US and worldwide.