"The glory of God is man fully alive, and the life of man is the vision of God." -St Irenaeus of Lyon

Recreating the same problems

In thinking about American cultural insanity, few issues feature the insanity of necessity like energy.  Energy enables me to sit at my computer at an inane hour to write some thoughts about how we use energy resources.  We have no questions about our needs for energy: to work, to communicate, to prepare our food.  There is something basic about energy.  We all need it.

But then we read stories about the great oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.  If you have not heard about this environmental disaster, then you have been living under a rock of some descriptor.  An incredible amount of oil seeps out of a well, affecting a vast region.  Deep-shore drilling is just one potential answer to our questions about energy.

Yet I think we would be doing well to ask about consumption of energy resources on a micro-, meso- and macro-scale.  Managing our energy diet towards a sustainable rate means more than just changing our light bulbs.  We can think creatively about building and community design.  And we can adjust national priorities, which always proves to be incredibly difficult.

America is a country working foremost in a consumptive paradigm.  Until we can think differently about standards of living, then we are going to recreate the same problems.  But I think a different economic paradigm is still very far removed as it requires a significant leap in economic, political, and sociological thinking.


5 responses

  1. I’m absolutely with you on building and community design, as you probably knew.

    24 May 2010 at 7:37 am

    • I think improvements in building design (micro), shifts in community design (meso), and the policies that support development and adoption of better practices (meso) are the way to make significant strides in reducing our energy “want” to the place of energy “need.” Rethinking our reliance on all things electronic (macro) and the consumer economy (macro) are bigger issues.

      24 May 2010 at 8:14 am

  2. Pingback: A City the Devil Built « Tipsy Teetotaler

  3. Chelsea Frew

    You should check out the Story of Stuff…The author discusses some of the same principles.

    26 May 2010 at 10:57 pm

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