Given a moment to think about it, nearly everyone agrees that the United States needs to make some decisions about how to insure that we have safe, clean, reliable, affordable energy for the future. If we keep postponing these decisions, we’ll be putting our economy, our environment, and our way of life at risk.
But you certainly wouldn’t know that from all the posturing and sloganeering that seems to dominate the national discussion of energy and environmental issues. To make matters worse, many Americans are deeply confused by the expert and leadership sparring. Four in ten Americans cannot even name a “fossil fuel” when asked to do so. More than half think nuclear power contributes to global warming. How can we help the public confront and understand the problems our country faces? How can we help typical citizens think through the pros and cons of the choices before us?
We’ll do what we can to explain the country’s energy and environmental choices, and we’ll do it as clearly and succinctly as we can. We’ll avoid the expert lingo and try to help people understand what these choices really mean for their communities and their own personal lives. And we’ll serve up some advice for experts, leaders, and the media on what they need to do to advance public’s learning curve and get Americans talking about what it will take to solve this problem for the long term.
Enough with the hand-wringing—it’s time to talk about what we need to do.