One of my last projects at AEI was writing and producing, with my frequent writing partner Ken Green (who nailed it on The News Hour last night), a series of short videos on basic energy literacy. One of the biggest problems for office holders, the media, and the public alike is that energy seems simple. Why not? you plug things in or throw a switch, and voila!–it works! But in fact energy is not so simple, nor is it one thing. (Quick: give me a one-sentence definition of “energy.” If you say “oil, gas, and nuclear,” you flunk the quiz.) The distinction between wire-conveyed electricity and portable liquid fuel energy is one basic distinction that gets lost in the shuffle, for example, which is why you hear politicians say “let’s build more windmills to reduce our dependency on foreign oil.” Most people, I joke, think “British Thermal Unit” is a new underwear line from Calvin Klein. The lack of basic energy literacy is one reason why dumb ideas like wind and solar, or “energy independence,” are so persistent in our public discourse.
Anyway, here’s the first video in the series, which we call “Energy 101,” “Everything You Know About Energy Is Wrong”:
I’ll post the rest in due course. Unless you just can’t wait, in which case you can go here for the whole series.