Thinking about Energy

  • David J. Rose
Part of the Modern Perspectives in Energy book series (MPIE)


Solving the energy problem is very different from solving problems in energy. The latter—solving problems in energy—consists of calculations, such as imparting to an assistant secretary of energy of mass x kg an upward acceleration of y m/s2 in a gravitational field of g m/s2, then asking at some later time t about the secretary’s kinetic and potential energies. The former—the energy problem itself—is much more, and involves additional questions such as: “Was it a good idea?” and “Compared to what?” It is a sociotechnological condition that we did not want but brought upon ourselves nevertheless; having it, we hope to ameliorate it. But amelioration to some people means enhancing supply; to others, reducing demand. To some it means national independence; to others, reducing global tensions via international interdependence. To some it means environmental consequences of overuse; to others, economic consequences of doing without.


Technology Assessment Energy Policy Energy Problem Hydro Conversion Apply System Analysis 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • David J. Rose
    • 1
  1. 1.Massachusetts Institute of TechnologyCambridgeUSA

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