Welcome to the diary of our creative process for issue 022 of GOOD. We hope you'll want to collaborate with us in this open process.
For starters, it's the world's largest industry by a longshot, and the global economy was built on the the traditional fossil fuels that have powered us since the Industrial Revolution. And yet most of us don't think twice about what it means when we flip a light switch, turn up the thermostat, reach into supermarket cooler, or turn the key on our hatchback. But energy is part of nearly everything we do: It's not just the current running through a light bulb or the oil burning in the furnace, but it's also in every bite of food, in every cross-country flight or five-minute walk to the store, and it's embedded in everything we've ever bought.
It's the root cause of (and potential solution to) our greatest environmental challenges—and so many of our economic, health, and social challenges as well. And let's not forget that energy makes all of our lives a lot better, too. If we can solve the energy conundrum—if we can figure out how to provide for all of humanity's energy needs without ruining our air, land, water, and atmosphere—we solve a heck of a lot of the most pressing problems in the world.
We know we're not the first to devote an issue to energy. National Geographic had a wonderful issue last year about it, and our friends at Dwell brought the energy issue home, spotlighting the most exciting innovations in how we interface with energy every day.
So what should we cover?
We want to look at the realistic potential for a massive transition to clean energy sources, here in the United States and globally. We want to have reasonable people disagreeing about the merits of nuclear power. We want to discuss cap and trade—and its alternatives. And we want to check in on Haiti.
What of the race to develop the clean energy solutions of the 21st Century—like Andy Revkin's Energy Quest or Tom Friedman's E.T. (Energy Technology) revolution—which will almost certainly determine the next economic superpowers? (Ahem, China.) Energy policy is interesting, of course, but there's serious debate about whether it's best to put a price on pollution or spend, spend, spend on energy innovation. Because every hour, the Earth is bathed in enough sunlight to power all of civilization for a year. We want to know why, if that is true, we are still devastating communities by digging rocks out of the ground that warm the planet when we burn them.
So, yeah: We've got lots of ideas about energy. But we want more. What would you like to know? Or what do you have to share? What cool new energy innovations are on your radar? Do you know of any communities that are off-the-grid or leapfrogging right over traditional, centralized power? What are you doing to make your home or life more energy efficient?
Let us know in the comments.