is when you use economic goods (things you can buy or sell) to satisfy
your wants. One way to help limit consumption is through conservation.
Conservation is when people make a decision to use less, or waste
less. Turning out lights when you leave a room is an example of
important issue related to energy is the consumption of energy by
people. We consume, or use, energy as part of our daily lives. We
use energy to create electricity to run our lights. We use energy
to heat our homes. We use energy to drive our fruits and vegetables
across the country. We use energy to manufacture plastic drink bottles
and the refrigerators that cool those drinks. As a nation, we consume
a lot of energy.
on Energy for Our Wants
energy consumption has been steadily rising ever since we found
fire. Think about your bedroom. How many of your possessions require
batteries? How many things need to be plugged into an outlet (hairdryers,
game stations, alarm clocks). How many clothes did you grow with
wool from your own sheep? Did your bed frame come from a tree that
grew in your backyard? Most everything we touch everyday was not
made by our own hands. These are things that we don't require for
survival we just want them.
do you think?
What should we do? We
want nice things and energy provides those to us. As Americans,
we consume more than the average world citizen, much more.
Are we willing to give any of our wants and desires? Where
do we find the energy that continues to give us those wants?
Where are other people in the world going to get their energy?
1. Cooley, John K. "Trading
with the Enemy: U.S. Refiners Reportedly Buying
Most of Iraq's Oil." ABC
News Online. July 20, 2001.
NewsHour Online Links
it possible to use less energy and still consume the cold air we crave?
See how consumption and efficiency overlap. This PBS NewsHour site
looks at the efficiency of air
conditioning. Air conditioning is a product that few of us like
to live without in the summer.
How does alternative energy
play into conservation? This
site explores the links.
Keeping cool indoors when it is hot outdoors is a problem. Air conditioning
can be expensive to install and operate. But, there are alternatives
to air conditioning.
to Lower Energy Consumption
Landscaping may be the best long-term investment for reducing heating
and cooling costs.
ENERGY STAR is a government-backed program helping businesses and
individuals protect the environment through superior energy efficiency
and by lessening consumption.
Much Energy do your Light Bulbs require?
The typical incandescent light bulb wastes 90 percent of the energy
it uses, producing heat rather than light. A breakthrough in lighting
technology called the compact fluorescent is a more efficient alternative
to the incandescent bulb.