Ever wish you were affluent enough to hire some help? Well,
looking at in terms of how much energy the average American uses, each one of
us enjoys the services of 147 energy slaves working 24/7 (*). Looked at in that way, we are all incredibly affluent.
That affluence is dependent upon the burning of fossil
fuels, which provides approximately 80% of the world's energy (**). That burning
releases the gases that are trapping ever more heat, leading to the climate
changes seen across the globe. The scientific consensus and the world's nations agree that the
global community should limit warming to 2°C; we've already raised global
average temperatures 1°C.
According to the International Energy Agency (2012) the
climate goal of limiting warming to 2°C is becoming more difficult and costly
with each year that passes. If action is not taken before 2017, all the
allowable carbon dioxide emissions would be locked-in by energy infrastructure existing in
Shifting away from fossil fuel use just might be the biggest
challenge facing the global community. Check out our "What You Can Do” page
and consider getting involved in organizations working to change energy policy.
CEJS supports faculty member Henry Louie in his research to
develop techniques for forecasting the amount of electricity used when
re-charging electric vehicles. Student Patrick Berg is investigating the
utilization of wind power to charge electric vehicles during off-peak hours. SU students recently installed a generator on a waterwheel in order to supply
renewable energy to Chirundu, a town along the Zambezi River in Zambia.
+ IEA World Energy Outlook 2012 Executive Summary