Ever wish you were affluent enough to hire some help? Well, looking at in terms of how much energy the average American uses, each one of us enjoys the services of 147 "energy slaves" working 24/7 (*). Looked at in that way, we are all incredibly affluent.
That affluence is dependent upon the burning of fossil fuels, which provides approximately 80% of the world's energy (**). That burning releases the gases that are trapping ever more heat, leading to the climate changes seen across the globe. The scientific consensus and the world's nations agree that the global community should limit warming to 2°C; we've already raised global average temperatures 1°C.
According to the International Energy Agency (2012) the climate goal of limiting warming to 2°C is becoming more difficult and costly with each year that passes. If action is not taken before 2017, all the allowable carbon dioxide emissions would be locked-in by energy infrastructure existing in 2017(+).
Shifting away from fossil fuel use just might be the biggest challenge facing the global community. Check out our "What You Can Do” page and consider getting involved in organizations working to change energy policy.
Work We Support
CEJS has supported faculty member Henry Louie in his research to develop techniques for forecasting the amount of electricity used when re-charging electric vehicles. Student Patrick Berg investigated the utilization of wind power to charge electric vehicles during off-peak hours. SU students have installed a generator on a waterwheel in order to supply renewable energy to Chirundu, a town along the Zambezi River in Zambia.