All-Consuming Myths

Blog-Icon-MI.jpgAnyone reading this article and, indeed, every single person you see today, has used some kind of energy. If you work at home, you have probably boiled water for coffee or tea and have turned on your computer to read this blog. If you commute to work, your car, bus or subway uses energy and so does the elevator in your office building. Typing these words uses energy. Energy is what makes our modern economy tick.

So you’d think that everyone would know a lot about energy, wouldn’t you? In fact, most Americans are in the dark about it and a new study from The Manhattan Institute shows just how ignorant many are about this important part of everyday life and our hi-tech industrial economy.

Partnered with Zogby International, the Manhattan Institute polled 1,000 Americans on topics from the sources of U.S. energy supply to environmental impacts of energy use. The result is Energy and the Environment: Myths and Facts, authored by Max Schulz. One of the big myths, according to the report, is the belief that the U.S. economy is based on oil. In fact, the report points out that 60 percent of all U.S. energy comes from non-oil sources such as natural gas, coal and nuclear power. Here is a sampling from this fascinating report:

  • Myth: 55% say Saudi Arabia is the largest oil exporter to the U.S. when in FACT, Canada sells us more foreign oil than any other country.
  • 80% said the accident at Three Mile Island was fatal while the FACT is that no one died from that nuclear power plant incident almost 30 years ago.
  • 60% believe the Kyoto Protocol requires all countries to cut emissions, while in FACT, China and India and other large emitters are exempted and the cost to the US economy has been estimated between $13 billion and $397 billion in 2010.
  • The report’s author notes appropriately that we won’t have the right policies in place if the data underlying today’s energy use is misunderstood. Read the news story from The Examiner, by clicking here.