United Waste of America | Bleader

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

United Waste of America

Posted By on 02.06.07 at 12:20 PM

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Treehugger isn't all gadgets and gizmos. This graphic depiction of where our energy comes from and goes to isn't new, but its message rarely gets through: Over half of the energy produced in the U.S. does no useful work.

Unfortunately the author of the post fails to mention that residential, commercial, and industrial waste is a small proportion of the total waste. I'm thinking about plugging holes and insulating, but that's clearly not where the big-picture action is. By far the most energy is wasted transmitting electricity over long distances and, somehow, in transportation.

I don't understand how transportation "waste" is defined here. Obviously it's not the example that leaps to mind -- the off-road-capable SUV carrying one passenger through the narrow residential streets of Chicago. So what is it?

And is the continued presence of these gigantic inefficiencies a sign of a resource foolishly left untapped?

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