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Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Meaning of Life, Part 32

If the U.S. government and its citizens decided to launch a new energy system and have it in place within twenty years, not only would the energy system be built, but the rest of the world would be forced to follow along. Instead, American policymakers are too paralyzed to act, terrified that to change U.S. energy patterns would threaten the nation's economy and geopolitical status--not to mention outrage tens of millions of American voters....

Critics place much of the blame on a political system corrupted by big energy interests--companies desperate to protect billions of dollars in existing energy technologies and infrastructure. An equal measure of blame, however, must fall on the "average" American consumer, who each year seems to know less, and care less, about how much energy he or she uses, where it comes from, or what its true costs are. Americans, it seems, suffer profoundly from what may soon be known as energy illiteracy: most of us understand so little about our energy economy that we have no idea that it has begun to fall apart. p. 15-6

Paul Roberts, The End of Oil: On the Edge of a Perilous New World
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