The National Academies: What You Need To Know About Energy

The National Academies

What You Need To Know About Energy

The Cost of Energy

Energy use carries a hefty price tag—and not just in dollars. The cost to our environment and to our national security is steep. What factors should we consider as we make decisions about energy options for the future?

Environmental Impact

Average global temperatures will likely rise at least another 2°F, and possibly more than 11°F, over the next 100 years.

Our understanding of climate change and how it has varied over time is advancing rapidly as scientists acquire more and more data and employ new instruments and methods for their analysis. Get an overview of what we know now.

More about environmental impact

Security

Two-thirds of our oil supplies, as well as many other resources, come from foreign sources.

Many planners argue that our dependence on foreign oil threatens both our economy and our national security. What are their main concerns and what strategies might address them?

More about security

Sustainability

We are using fossil fuels many times faster than they are formed, a situation that cannot continue indefinitely.

The total contribution of renewable sources to our energy supply is projected to remain small unless we take aggressive steps toward accelerating their development. What are the consequences of continuing to depend on fossil fuels for our energy?

More about sustainability

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Energy Videos

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America's Energy Future

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Energy Hands-on

What do you know about energy?

Which of the following sources do experts expect will provide us with the “silver bullet” solution to our energy needs?

  • Sorry, that’s incorrect.

    There is no silver bullet. Tomorrow’s energy, like today’s, will come from a variety of sources.

  • Sorry, that’s incorrect.

    There is no silver bullet. Tomorrow’s energy, like today’s, will come from a variety of sources.

  • Sorry, that’s incorrect.

    There is no silver bullet. Tomorrow’s energy, like today’s, will come from a variety of sources.

  • Correct!

    There is no silver bullet. Tomorrow’s energy, like today’s, will come from a variety of sources.

Energy Defined

Particulate Matter

Extremely small particles of solid or liquid droplets suspended in either a liquid or gas. Particulate matter is a common emission from the combustion of fossil fuels and can increase the risk of health problems. Examples include dust, smoke, aerosols, and other fine particles.

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National Academies Press

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