Sunday, March 29, 2009

Conserve vs. Consume

As we discussed in class, Americans are addicted to both fossil fuels and technology. Fossil fuels provide a convenient source of energy, which we love, but we know that sources are steadily depleting. Rather than simply using less energy, our first inclination is to turn to another convenient source of energy in order to continue living in consumerism. We get excited about alternative energy saviors and ignore personal responsibility. We are accustomed to getting what we want as long as we are willing and able to spend the money. Will a technological solution solve the problem, or will it simply postpone future energy shortage and perpetuate the American addiction? Overpopulation and increasing energy demand make energy shortage inevitable, and technology can only slow it down.

I know I don’t speak for everyone, especially those in Dr. Webber’s class. It also seems, at least from the front end, that Obama’s stimulus package may in fact aid in shifting the American mentality. A Georgian newspaper reports that the energy conservation industry is surging as a result of the stimulus. John Sibley, program director for the Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance, states, “We have an unprecedented opportunity to build a market for energy efficiency and help consumers manage their energy bills.” Could this be a new dawn in American thought?

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