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Energy Consciousness

The Big Idea for Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Thank goodness we all don't have to rub sticks together to start a fire these days. All we have to do is flick a light switch or an oven to get the desired result. However, as Jeremy Shere points out in today's lesson, there is a cost that comes with our easy access to energy. It is invisible. 

Since we don't really think about where most of our energy comes from, we are less inclined to be conscientious when it comes to our energy usage. Shere, the author of Renewable: The World-Changing Power of Alternative Energy, traveled the country with the explicit purpose of making energy visible, in the stories of the people and the places that he studied.

This idea - energy consciousness - can certainly be applied to the way we think about other issues as well. The best analogy might be the cost of war. A relatively small percentage of Americans, for instance, were directly impacted by the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. That meant that many Americans were apt to be complacent about the sacrifices of soldiers - sacrifices that many people simply didn't spend too much time thinking about. 


  1. 1 Making Energy Visible, And Why It Matters
    Jeremy Shere Experts' Corner
  2. 2 Wind Goes Electric
    Jeremy Shere Primary Sources
  3. 3 Your Personal Decisions Don't Affect the Environment
    Daniel Honan Think Tank
  4. 4 The Way We're Fighting Over Fracking is All Fracked Up
    David Ropeik Risk: Reason and Reality

Energy Consciousness

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