Waste-to-energy plant to energy Addis Ababa familiesJuli 18, 2023
Renewable Power AlternativesJuli 18, 2023
… I’ve been thinking about energy use all wrong.
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As long as most of our energy still comes from fossil fuels, we’re in kind of a trap. Using less energy is our only real option to slow climate change. So most of us have heard only one message throughout our lives: “Conserve energy. Because terrible things will happen if we don’t.”
That’s true. But I now think of it as “the stick” of climate communication – the way to get people to care about climate change based on fear and desperation.
I think it’s time to talk about “the carrot” – the way to get people to work toward clean energy based on hope and audacious ambition.
This video explains why, with help from my former colleague at Vox, Matt Yglesias. As renewable energy continues to get cheaper, as more and more clean energy technologies become more viable, we have an opportunity to look ahead toward a better future. What would you do with abundant clean energy?
00:00 We’re thinking about energy wrong
01:17 The stick: climate change
02:25 Why you’re taught to conserve energy
03:23 Why we should use more clean energy
04:36 The carrot: energy abundance
05:38 Why poor countries need more energy
06:39 Why everyone needs more energy
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I tell different stories in different places:
You can find me on TikTok here for short, fun tech explainers: https://www.tiktok.com/@cleoabram
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Cleo Abram is an Emmy-nominated video producer and journalist. Cleo produces detailed explainer stories about technology and economics. She wrote the Coding and Diamonds episodes of Vox’s Netflix show, Explained, was the host and a senior producer of Vox’s first ever daily show, Answered, as well as a host and producer of Vox’s YouTube Originals show, Glad You Asked. She now makes her own independent show, Huge If True. Each episode takes on one big technology innovation or idea, explains what it is, and helps people imagine the ways it could improve the world we live in by answering one simple question: If this works, what could go right?
Sources and additional reading:
– “The case for more energy,” Matt Yglesias, Slow Boring: https://www.slowboring.com/p/energy-abundance
– “The world’s energy problem,” Our World In Data: https://ourworldindata.org/worlds-energy-problem
– “How Americans see climate change and the environment in 7 charts,” Pew Research Center: https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2020/04/21/how-americans-see-climate-change-and-the-environment-in-7-charts/
– “How to drive fossil fuels out of the US economy, quickly,” Vox: https://www.vox.com/energy-and-environment/21349200/climate-change-fossil-fuels-rewiring-america-electrify
– “Energy: Key Charts,” Our World In Data: https://ourworldindata.org/energy-key-charts
– “Why nuclear plants are shutting down,” Vox (previous episode I produced on clean energy dynamics): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KC7YD98HixM&t=274s&ab_channel=Vox
Gear I use:
Camera: Sony A7SIII
Lens: Sony 16–35 mm F2.8 GM
Audio: Sennheiser SK AVX and Zoom H4N Pro
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Welcome to the joke down low (an idea 100% in reference to Answer In Progress’ awesome “joke below the fold” – I always scroll down to see them and always wanted to do this myself too):
What do wind turbines think of renewable energy?
They’re big fans.
Find a way to use the word “fan” in a comment to let me know you’re a real one 😉