Who cares about energy?

21 Jan

I’m sitting in my studio/cell, as usual, working on the book, mired in one of those necessary periods where in order to write the next bit I have to do a lot of reading and thinking. Always good to learn more, but also frustrating because it seem unproductive, even thought it’s not.

During these times my mind often turns to big picture things, like who’s going to be interested in this book. This speaks to an even larger question: namely, who care about energy?

To a degree, everyone cares. Energy is universal, ubiquitous. We all use it and can’t live without it. But energy is so deeply engrained into the fabric of modern existence that, outside of those who don’t have access to modern types of energy (which describes many people, actually), we normally don’t think about it or care how it works or where it comes from. We only care that it’s available on demand at prices we can reasonably afford.

Now, this does not describe everyone. For hundreds of millions of people living in poor or developing countries, energy is a constant, in-your-face problem.  Too many unfortunate souls are all too aware of the importance of reliable power, due mainly to the fact that they lack it.

So I certainly don’t mean to complain about the easy access to reliable power enjoyed by those of us fortunate enough to live in industrialized and post-industrial countries. I don’t want to have to worry or think too hard about where my power comes from. I just want to flick on the light, power up my iPhone, and watch stuff on Hulu whenever I want, no questions asked.

But still, we’re at a moment when energy has become more visible for more people, for a variety of reasons. Climate change, national security, the recent BP oil spill — the list goes on. These things are in the air and seem to matter to an every wider group of people.

And yet it’s hard (for me, at least) to gauge just how wide that circle is, at to what extent the average person really wants to know more about how energy works and why it matters. I care about this in general, because I think it’s important, but also for professional reasons. I want people to buy and read my book, after all, and part of making that happen is figuring out how to let people know about it and get them excited.  Most of the people who read about energy and follow energy blogs and the like tend to be industry insiders and/or environmental types.  Most of what’s written about energy is either very technical or very business oriented. There’s almost nothing along the lines of what I’m doing, which is trying to provide some context and place renewable energy issues in a larger narrative and historical context. In a way, that’s good. I’m doing something new. But in a way it’s worrisome because I don’t want my readership to be limited to a small audience of techies and industry players.

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One Response to “Who cares about energy?”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Who Cares About Energy? | AllWest Energy | Solar & Wind Electric Systems - June 4, 2011

    […] Original Article on ReNEWable access […]

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