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ACTIVITY: The Appetite for Energy


Gaining a sense of how much and what types of energy we use today helps us understand how much things have really changed over the last 500 years. It also helps us think about how our energy consumption impacts the Earth, and what this might mean for the future.
"Oil platform P-51 (Brazil)" by Divulgação Petrobras / ABr - Agência Brasil [1]. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0-br via Wikimedia Commons


How do we know that life is different today from what it was 500 or 1,000 years ago? One way to answer this question is to look at how humans’ lives have changed from then to now, specifically in one area where dramatic change has taken place: energy use.
List the top three energy-consuming activities that you have taken part in in the last 24 hours. Energy consumption might be in the form of electric energy, energy from food, or fuel for transportation, to name a few.

For Further Discussion

Once you’ve listed your top three energy-consuming activities, share them—in the Questions Area below. Then, look at someone else’s top three activities and comment on whether or not energy was used for those same things 100 years ago, and how this helps you think about rising energy consumption in the last 100 years.

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