• 4 minutes China 2019 - Orwell was 35 years out
  • 7 minutes Wonders of US Shale: US Shale Benefits: The U.S. leads global petroleum and natural gas production with record growth in 2018
  • 11 minutes Trump will capitulate on the trade war
  • 14 minutes Glory to Hong Kong
  • 3 hours China's Blueprint For Global Power
  • 2 hours Bloomberg: shale slowing. Third wave of shale coming.
  • 8 hours Boring! See Ya Clowns, And Have Fun In Germany
  • 44 mins ABC of Brexit, economy wise, where to find sites, links to articles ?
  • 2 hours Yesterday Angela Merkel stopped Trump technology war on China – the moral of the story is do not eavesdrop on ladies with high ethical standards
  • 7 hours USA Carried Out Secret Cyber Strike On Iran In Wake Of Saudi Oil Attack
  • 13 hours Crazy Stories From Round The World
  • 11 hours the future
  • 8 hours 5 Tweets That Change The World?
  • 7 hours Spain Is On The Edge...Clashes Between Catalonia And "Madrid"
  • 8 hours Leftists crying to make oil patch illegal friendly: 'Broken system' starves U.S. oil boom of immigrant workers: CONGRESS DO YOUR JOBS INSTEAD OF PANDERING!
  • 13 hours Climate Protesters Blocking Roads etc...
Alt Text

Oil Prices Fall After Misleading Trade War Rumors

Oil prices fell significantly on…

Alt Text

Oil Prices Jump On A Lone Piece Of Bullish News

Oil prices rose on Wednesday…

Alt Text

The Biggest Problem For The Aramco IPO

While Saudi Arabia gears up…

Climate Progress

Climate Progress

Joe Romm is a Fellow at American Progress and is the editor of Climate Progress, which New York Times columnist Tom Friedman called "the indispensable…

More Info

Premium Content

The Real Cost of Cheap Energy

Where does your energy come from? Although I live in Colorado now, I grew up in East Tennessee, where many people still assume their power is fairly clean, dominated by 90-year-old hydroelectric plants. In truth, more than 50 percent of my family’s electricity was generated from coal, and still is. I didn’t think about it much.

What price are we paying for energy apathy? What price will our children pay? As a child, I watched coal-seamed mountaintops disappear in the face of an energy crisis. Potentially potable water now goes to the highest bidders for gas and oil extraction, despite record-breaking drought. Last month marked the second anniversary of BP’s Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, and the Gulf Coast ecology and economy are slowly recovering. Deforestation, now contributing more to greenhouse gas emissions than transportation, is increasing in previously protected areas as a result of oil and gas exploration and extraction.

In an age of anthropogenic deforestation and wetlands loss, with only about 61 trees per capita on Earth, can we really afford to pay the price that this industry demands? Can we guarantee that our descendants will inherit a thriving planet? A recent survey says that only 24 percent of Americans are knowledgeable about energy. We know more about Kim Kardashian than about the energy that directly affects us, whether we want to or not.

To overcome energy apathy, the best remedy is knowledge. Understand the evolution of energy and its path from conservation of limited natural fuels such as whale oil, to the height of conspicuous consumption throughout the industrial age, to the innovation of 21st century clean energy, and finally to efficiency—beautifully engineered systems, buildings, cities, and machines.

Humanity's Energy Evolution

Efficiency is yet a relatively untapped energy source—often forgotten in the face of shiny solar arrays and wind farms. RMI’s research for Reinventing Fire reveals $5 trillion (with twelve zeros) in U.S. energy efficiency savings sitting on the table waiting to be claimed—more if we can move more quickly toward efficiency. That’s $3,205 per person in today’s dollars unrealized—a high fiscal price to pay for energy apathy and just the tip of the iceberg.

We can choose not to pay that price.

Energy efficiency is a powerful economic driver in the face of a slow recovery. It has the potential to generate many jobs in a struggling construction sector. Deep energy retrofits increase property values and revitalize neighbourhoods, because this requires a comprehensive approach to reducing energy while improving the owner and occupant experience. Efficiency drives research and innovation, resulting in new technologies with potential for increased American manufacturing and continuous job creation.

Well-engineered, efficient buildings, cities, and systems reflect the highest evolution of energy. They are beautiful and simple, often emulating nature’s own processes and improving quality of life.

Energy efficiency isn’t only about high-tech air conditioners; it’s not just batteries and electrons. It is manifested in living and work spaces turned to the outdoors, walkable cities, bike paths that keep us connected physically and culturally, eating fresh and delicious regional foods, daylight pouring into a workplace where ideas bloom like the trees that shade the building.

Some say energy efficiency isn’t sexy, so it’s a hard sell. I think it’s very exciting, and it’s why I come to work every day. It carries tremendous potential for good things, including the potential to cure the world of energy apathy.

By. Elaine Gallagher

Elaine Gallagher is a Senior Consultant with Rocky Mountain Institute. This piece was originally published at RMI’s Solutions Blog and was reprinted with permission.




Download The Free Oilprice App Today

Back to homepage



Leave a comment

Leave a comment




Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News
Download on the App Store Get it on Google Play