Thinking green


Energy burning plants such as this are under intense scrutiny these days. As part of the Energy Ethics Symposium, speakers will present research that places the U.S. and China at the top of energy consumption in the world. Photo Courtesy of Stock.xchng

Over the last several years, the world has seen a major rise in “green” thinking.

Despite this, energy consumption is still high. Last year alone, the U.S. consumed 2,170 billion tons of oil equivalent, which takes into account not only crude oil usage, but also nuclear energy, coal, natural gas, hydroelectricity, wind and solar power. More astonishing than this total is the fact that America was not the top consumer.

After centuries of being on the top of the energy consumption list, the U.S. has given up its spot to China. Last year, China out-used the U.S. by nearly 4 percent and used 2,252 billion tons of oil equivalent.

Although it was predicted that this change would eventually take place, it happened sooner than many people expected. It has been proposed that this is due in part to the economic recession the U.S. has been experiencing. As the economy slowed and oil use began to decrease, China was able to push forward at a faster rate.

Another hypothesis that has been put forth about this change is based on each nations’ focus on the conservation of energy. Over the period that this data was collected, the U.S. has seen an annual rise of 2.5 percent in the improvement of efficient energy use. China, on the other hand, saw only a 1.7 percent improvement.

“The China focus appears to be something akin to utilizing all the energy necessary to become the world’s economic leader,” said Dr. Elaine Englehardt, distinguished professor of Ethics. “Pollution and consumption have not been taken into account with their energy model.”

This issue of excessive energy use will be addressed during the “Energy Ethics Symposium.” It is scheduled to take place in three parts.

The keynote speech will be given by Carl Mitcham, a professor from the Colorado School of Mines, a prestigious engineering university. One of Mitcham’s main focuses of research has been the conservation of energy sources.

Energy Ethics Symposium
Thursday, Nov. 18
Library Auditorium (LI 120)
Reception 5:45-6pm
Keynote Speaker 6-7pm
Panel Discussion 7-8pm

http://www.cbc.ca/canada/calgary/story/2010/07/19/china-us-energy-consumer.html#ixzz14r9m9dwm
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/38322066/

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