Remembering the past.
An interdisciplinary Energy and Society program will emphasize understanding the history of energy use, especially since the modernization of Western societies. In a topic with as many complex variables as societal energy consumption, it is vital to first recognize past generations’ trends of resource reliance and the emergence of new energy sources.
Understanding the present.
Today’s society consumes far more energy than any other time in human history, and our energy use is only continuing to grow further. While growth in energy consumption has correlated with an increase in quality of life in the past, our current energy use patterns have serious problems: climate change, an addiction to foreign oil, and an unwillingness to invest in future, smarter technologies.
Envisioning the future.
By better understanding the mistakes of our past and technologies for the future, students in Energy and Society courses will be better prepared for the challenges of our energy future, which is still very much undecided. The only certainty is that the role of energy in society will change in the future, and Allegheny students will be ready for that change.