Vaclav Smil on American Energy Consumption

This is the question I’m asking: Do Americans live twice as long because they consume twice as much energy as Europeans? Are you people twice as smart as the average Frenchman? Do you enjoy life twice as much as the average Danish guy?

What have we gotten for consuming twice as much energy as Europe? What have we gotten in return?

The always interesting Vaclav Smil being interviewed by Jeffrey Ball.

 

 

 

 

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One thought on “Vaclav Smil on American Energy Consumption”

  1. One goal of (white) Americans’ energy consumption could be racial segregation. For instance, America has more urban sprawl than other countries*, but why does it have such sprawl? One reason is “white flight,” the attempt to fight integration through suburbanization.

    Moving people over larger distances inherently requires more energy, all else being equal. One way to mitigate this is through public transportation. But once again, racism (and also classism) makes this difficult, because whites don’t want to be near “those people” and are afraid of “thugs” assaulting or robbing them.

    I think racism is not the only cause but an exacerbating factor. The US is a large and sparsely populated country, which makes urban sprawl possible. If you add racism, which encourages urban sprawl and car use, then energy use should increase.

    *http://www.demographia.com/db-intlua-area2000.htm

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