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As a child, Goodnight Moon held a special place in my heart. On the surface, it is an extremely simple story of an omniscient voice guiding a young rabbit in saying goodnight to all the the different parts of his or her life around him – to mittens, to socks, to the old lady in the rocking chair – and, of course, to the moon.
Now, as an adult, the depth of the children’s story reveals itself not in its plot but in its tone. The repetition of phrases and methodical inclusion of all the different objects in the child’s room feels like a meditation and, more importantly, an appreciation. To take the time each night to be mindful of all those things in your life that you rely on, make you happy, or something else.
We are at a crossroads as a society when we must decide if and how we will show this same appreciation for the planet that has given us everything. It is not a matter of if we will have a future (although this may still be a concern due to other issues), but what our future will look like! Will we continue to drill in the farthest untouched corners of Earth’s crust without committing time, money, and action to understanding the consequences, or will we decide to promote a culture of appreciation for the planet and begin developing technology and policy that reflects this. It is this sentiment that is the soul of this blog.
As a scientist studying computational models of new energy materials, my career will hopefully allow me to be involved with improving the efficiency and usefulness of renewable and clean energy technology. As this is my burgeoning area of expertise, much of the focus in this blog will be discussing topics such as where our energy comes from, what the implications are of using each energy source in terms of planetary changes, as well as the newest and most promising next-generation clean energy technologies.
These technologies will be bringing us into a new era of a changing relationship with the planet. It’s exciting stuff! And it is important for us as citizens of the Earth to at least understand a little bit about this area so we can make informed decisions about agreeing or disagreeing with policy decisions, legislation, and consumer choices related to energy. As I will discuss in an early post, money is truly just a societal representation of energy – so how you spend and invest your money directly relates to how we continue extracting energy from the planet.
Beyond this harder science focus,the other prong of this blog will be looking at the beliefs in different societies regarding a new relationship with the planet and embracing a new energy policy. These belief systems that push people in one direction or another regarding attitudes toward new policy or energy choices (which can often be related to liberalism or conservatism, but doesn’t have to, I argue!) are central to creating a united movement that supports the science and technology. So, the other theme I hope to explore here is new research about belief systems, religious or otherwise, and how this relates to energy policy, climate change, and the like.
One final note: notice that my emphasis here is on RESEARCH into new energy and beliefs within our society about new energy, oil, and energy policy. This is a core tenet of any scientist’s pursue of knowledge in his or her region of expertise, but it is also important to only discuss issues with appropriate evidence (found by doing research!) so that our discussions do not involve fantastical things such as unicorns and dragons. This disregard of fact-based reporting and investigative reporting is probably the single most frustrating point about watching mainstream news media, in which ideas are given the same value without considering the evidence behind each. We must always keeps this in mind when learning new information and integrating with what we know to form new belief systems.
Thank you for stopping by! I’m excited to journey with you in learning about and discussing all we know about energy in our universe, within our planet, and how we may live sustainably with this big, beautiful piece of rock!