Step 1: Inform and educate ourselves

Inform and educate ourselves about the impacts of our energy choices

This is the foundation for all other actions and decisions. It means asking a lot of questions and having the commitment and patience to find the facts and hopefully answers. Where does the concerned citizen go or do to get properly informed? There are, of course, a range of different options. Sometimes it may seem there are too many. How to identify reliable sources of information -- not to mention choosing the right questions to ask?

To help with this effort, CitNet began the project to create a Citizens Guide to Sustainable Energy, to highlight useful links and resources.

Here are some of the questions which have been asked include:

  • What are the impacts of our current ways of producing and consuming energy? What are our energy choices?
  • Where does my electricity come from in my home?
  • Do I have a choice with our utilities?
  • How much energy does my household use per day and year?
  • How much can we conserve by changing current habits and appliances?
  • How much energy do I use to get around?
  • How often do we use public transportation? Walk?
  • What options does my household have to conserve energy?
  • How can we minimize the impacts of our household's energy consumption?
  • What is the energy footprint of my community?
  • What is the energy footprint of the United States in comparison with other countries?
  • What are the impacts of America's energy use on the rest of the world?
  • What are some of the alternatives open to us? What are the viable options?
  • What is cap and trade? Isn't it a mistake to allow companies to buy pollution rights?
  • Is ethanol a solution or a scam?
  • Are all biofuels essentially the same?
  • How much will a sustainable energy plan cost -- and how much would it cost without one?
  • Do windmills threaten birds?
  • Can nuclear power ever be truly safe?
  • Given limited funds, is it better to invest in making cars and fuels more efficient or in a more effective public transportation system?
  • What kind of leadership can we realistically expect from our federal and state governments?



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