Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Suffering through an energy literacy gap

If only that title were somehow an April Fool's item.

The title is a snippet from an essay on the Year of Science website. April's theme is Celebrate Energy Resources. Of course the knowledge gap is broader than the essay's scope: sources of energy and the consequences of using energy. The problem extends to general scientific illiteracy and mathematical innumeracy.

In my broader rant, I include economics -- the dismal science. The world would not be in its current fix if people (in which category I shall include politicians ;-) ) understood basic econ, nor would governments be so busily making things worse.

And when energy and econ intersect? Then, as the European cap-and-trade experiment shows, things get worse quickly.

Year of Science is all about addressing that galloping illiteracy problem. As Washington busily attempts to rework huge chunks of the American economy -- health care, energy, finance, the auto industry (and who knows what else next week) -- let's hope YoS makes some progress.

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