There are plenty of sensible, cheap energy choices that we can make every minute of our lives. They require no new technology at all and impose no or little additional cost.
In terms of personal transport, if you drive a car, you should investigate the various driver training programmes available that provide substantial (20% to 50%) reductions in fuel use; with no penalty at all how long it takes you to get anywhere. Smart driving skills often result in you being able to get to you destination more quickly as well. This does require more than simply being a passenger at the wheel, and to begin the journey through planning, before you even start the car. It’s much harder than simply buying an economical car; but more effective and it works “immediately” while being substantially cheaper than a new car.
Smart energy choices have to be made by infrastructure providers in better roads, such as smooth pavement surfaces, optimising traffic conditions for flow instead of obstruction and more attractive public transport in densely-populated areas.
Being smart about energy means keeping a sense of proportion of how much energy is needed to do things. Like comparing how much it takes to boil a kettle compared to watching TV or using a computer. Unfortuntately, a great many people don’t seem to have any idea of what energy and power mean. Why wouldn’t they have been taught this by the age of 15 or 16 in developed nations?
Energy is one of the basic currencies of the natural world. We must have an appreciation of its value so that we can all make smart choices.
(Originally published on Facebook 2010-01-02)