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The Sciences

'What You Need to Know About Energy'

The IntersectionBy Sheril KirshenbaumJanuary 21, 2010 8:05 PM

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Last week I participated in a three-day course on energy taught by Michael Webber at UTAustin. Very shortly, I'll have more to say on the subject, but in the meantime, it's a good opportunity to highlight an interesting new website from the National Academies called What You Need to Know About Energy. It's a means to help visitors understand the ways we use energy, where it comes from, and how energy efficiency and alternative sources can figure into our energy future. The more we know, the better equipped we'll be to engage in the ongoing debate about energy policy. Here are the details:

The site provides balanced and reliable information about our energy sources, uses, and options for the future. Take a quiz to see what you already know about energy. Explore "Our Energy System" for a quick and clear overview of the energy sources we depend on in the United States and how they are used, including what each source contributes to carbon dioxide emissions. Learn compelling facts about oil, coal, natural gas, nuclear energy, and renewable sources, such as solar and wind, including the pros and cons of each source. Compare a few cars and household appliances in "Understanding Efficiency" to see which use energy more effectively. Then rely on your new understanding of the energy situation as you make decisions about energy in your daily life, or participate in discussions about our nation’s energy options for the future.

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