By Maggie Koerth-Baker
What you want to be aware of now approximately America's power future"Hi, I'm the U.S. and I'm an oil-oholic." now we have an power challenge. and everyone understands it, no matter if we can't all agree on what, in particular, the matter is. emerging expenses, altering weather, peaking oil, international oil, public safety--if the fears are this complex, then the ideas are certain to be much more complicated. Maggie Koerth-Baker--science editor on the award-winning web publication BoingBoing.net--finally makes a few feel out of the insanity. Over the subsequent twenty years, we'll be pressured to chop 20 quadrillion BTU worthy of fossil fuels from our power price range, through losing much less and making an investment in possible choices. To make it paintings, we'll have to transform the power structures that experience formed our lives for a hundred years. And the outcome should be neither business-as-usual, nor a hippie utopia. Koerth-Baker explains what we will be able to do, what we can't do, and why "The Solution" is known as a lot of ideas operating jointly. This isn't approximately planting a tree, paying for a Prius, and proving that you're a very good individual. Economics and social incentives acquired us a rustic filled with gas-guzzling vehicles, lengthy commutes, inefficient homes, and coal-fired strength vegetation out in the course of nowhere, and economics and incentives could be the issues that construct our new global. finally, swap is inevitable.Argues we're not likely to unravel the power challenge by way of convincing all people to reside like it's 1900 simply because that's now not a very good factor. rather than reverting to the previous, we need to construct a destiny the place we get strength from new locations, use it in new methods, and do extra with less.Clean coal? traditional gasoline? Nuclear? electrical vehicles? We'll want all of them. for those who examine the numbers, you'll locate that we'll nonetheless be utilizing fossil fuels, nuclear, and renewables for many years to return. appears to be like at new battery know-how, clever grids, passive structures, decentralized iteration, fresh coal, and carbon sequestration. those are buzzwords now, yet they'll join your international quickly. for plenty of humans, they already are.Written by way of the innovative technology Editor for Boing Boing, one of many ten preferred blogs in the United States
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Additional resources for Before the Lights Go Out: Conquering the Energy Crisis Before It Conquers Us
The process of risk communication is just as important as its content. • The social dynamics of a community significantly influence the perception of risks by the public and the degree to which the risks of hazardous facilities are tolerated. • People confronted with a risk issue generally look for someone to blame, even for such natural risks as floods and earthquakes (with some exceptions: see the case study on radon). • Risk communication aimed at reassuring people is extremely difficult. • If people are very concerned about a risk, it is very difficult to change their minds.
The case study reviews several countries' communication programmes, which depend heavily on the use of health warnings on cigarette packets. A two-pronged approach is recommended: both providing the individual with information and help to give up smoking and promoting healthier attitudes along with restricting opportunities to take up smoking (for example, by banning smoking in public places). The next group of studies all focus on hazardous facilities of various kinds, beginning with the study on the Seveso directive (the European Union directive on the major accident hazards of certain industrial activities).
The cases were selected on the pragmatic criterion that they should cover a range of different environment and health hazards of direct interest to the WHO Regional Office for Europe. The majority of the studies therefore address communication about individual types of hazard. The Seveso directive is included since it is a legal instrument that relates to a specific set of risk sources, namely major industrial hazards. 2); • hazards with effects on different geographical scales: the individual (AIDS and mv infection, smoking), local (incineration, the Seveso directive) and societal (nuclear energy) levels; • voluntary risks over which there is some degree of individual control, such as smoking, and involuntary risks beyond the control of the risk bearer, such as exposure to emissions from a nearby factory; and • potentially catastrophic (nuclear energy) and noncatastrophic (radon gas, food contamination, asbestos) risks.
Before the Lights Go Out: Conquering the Energy Crisis Before It Conquers Us by Maggie Koerth-Baker