There are 110 million families and 27 million small businesses in the United States whose collective energy use is a national problem. James Hansen, one of the early scientists who sounded the alarm to congress in 1988 made a point of saying "the biggest worry isn't what we put in our cars, but what we put in our power plants". It is consumers ... who use the electricity that these plants create and account for the majority of the waste.
There are two articles which compliment this introduction. The first speaks to changing our attitude on energy efficiency (what we feel) and the second to our awareness on energy efficiency (what we know) - in particular knowledge of energy efficiency, energy conservation and energy waste.
Our attitude to energy efficiency will determine the decisions we make and the actions we take over the next years. For example, if we feel energy efficiency is important, we will think about energy efficiency and will be more likely to invest our money in an electric car.
Caring about energy and thinking that an electric car will save energy may result in you wanting an electric car. But wanting an electric car does not make an electric car the correct vehicle for you to buy. Without accurate knowledge (awareness) on electric cars , the availability of charging stations, battery life, commuter profile etc. you will be vulnerable to sharp sales people and making decisions that may feel right to you, but will not be right for you.
Accurate knowledge is critical to making good choices. A wrong decision is does not become a good decision because it feels good! I can easily imagine a situation where we all correctly think (attitude) that there is a serious energy crisis. But have no useful knowledge (awareness) of what need be done about it. Investigative journalism is at an all time low. While media marketing and hype is at an all time high. As a well known author said a few years ago "we have lost the ability to read" - and because we do not know, we are easily deceived.
On a lighter note, as I encourage you to reflect on your energy attitude, and your energy awareness, I was reading a posting on a friends web site in which she comments "As a mother of two, I have guilt that keeps me up pretty much every night of my life for things I could have done or said better, a class I should have them enrolled in ... The truth is that I’m tired of feeling guilty about what I’m not doing. So today, I’m going to give myself a little pat on the back for the things that I am doing to try to make a difference.
It is good to be reminded that life is a process of progress rather than perfection. I encourage you to give yourself a "break" for the things that you have not done. Let go of the past and look towards the future with hope!
To those being energy efficient every day. Please remain persistent for your efforts do make a difference.
Get Smart about Energy™