We typically only write about bicycles here but today's post is a bit more general, it's about energy. Energy is the lifeblood of today's world. We use many types of energy everyday for various purposes: to heat & cool our homes, to keep our lights and gadgets running, to manufacture everything we consume, to transport our goods, and to fly us around the world, just to name a few.
The U.S. is massive consumer of energy; we gobble up about a quarter of the world's energy with less than 5% of the world populaion. Oil in particular is becoming a scarcer commodity. That's one reason the U.S. has been on a fracking binge the last handful of years, and has made tremendous gains but certainly not without a cost to water and air quality. Collectively the world burns about 1000 barrels of oil every second, so it's no wonder that companies are willing to frack anywhere they can, explore the deepest oceans and mine tar sands to get any oil that's available.
Well, there's also human energy. Bicycling is a healthy and fun way to reduce your energy consumption, and every day you ride your bicycle you are a small part of the active transportation movement.
We got a tip from the Post Carbon Institute about a new campaign to help bring awareness to the energy issues. The campaign's an art-based approach called the Public Energy Art Kit (P.E.A.K.). Through a series of 15 works, artists are bringing attention to our energy reality.
This piece below is titled 'The Energy Train'. It brings light to the embodied energy that's present in everything man made. Everything we own takes energy to be created, packaged, shipped, and ultimately recycled or trashed. Even those things that we think of as environmentally friendly products like bicycles have an embodied energy that we should't take for granted. The takeaway: a used bicycle embodies less energy.
The other artwork looks at other aspects of energy, including speed, greed, consumption, fracking, politics, wind, solar, community, planning, the future, and our power as individuals. So take a look and pass it on. This is our energy reality...and bicycles do play a role.