Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Amanda Little

Amanda Little's new book is Power Trip: From Oil Wells to Solar Cells--Our Ride to the Renewable Future.

From her Q & A with Laura Fitzpatrick at Time magazine:

You point out that despite increasing awareness of our dependence on oil, energy still feels like a distant, impersonal issue to a lot of us. Why do you think that is?

The media measures America's energy crisis in terms of megawatts and barrels of oil and pounds of carbon dioxide. This cold, abstract, technical problem is so emotionally immediate in our lives, and we don't tend to recognize that — it's almost too obvious. I spent 10 years or so reporting on energy and the environment: criticizing, analyzing, examining our failure to act on a federal level. And then I began to realize that on a personal level, I was implicated in these problems far more than I ever realized. I took this tour around my office to look at how many fossil-fuel by-products were cluttering my life. It was pretty much everything: what I was wearing, my desk, my keyboard, my cell phone, my corn muffin, my veggie burger, my magazines. Everything in my midst was oil-derived.

That's a pretty overwhelming list. If it's so hard to make a dent in your carbon footprint, is there a risk that people will just throw up their hands?

I was worried that the results of my adventure into the heart of the energy crisis would be despair and defeat. In fact, I ended up feeling overwhelmingly optimistic. We figured...[read on]
Visit Amanda Little's website and blog.

--Marshal Zeringue