Almost everything in modern life is designed to waste energy. The biggest culprit is how we get to and from work. Our houses are too far from our job, so we have to drive a lot. All those cars on the road cause traffic jams that waste fuel. Then there are the traffic lights, toll booths, and other obstacles that waste the inertia you build up while driving. It’s all possible because the whole system evolved on a false premise that petroleum is cheap and plentiful and will be that way forever.
The awesome Lisa Margonelli, author of Oil on The Brain and a fellow at the New America Foundation, talks us through the design of a world that completely disregards the perils of oil consumption and how new designs are meant to make us all more content with the mess we’ve made.
Here’s a great talk Lisa gave at the TEDxOilSpill summit that took place in June 2010. The bit about the gas pumps inspired me to talk to her for this program.