Friday, April 09, 2010


Guinean students study under the lights of the Conakry airport parking lot because they have no light at home.(Rebecca Blackwell/The Associated Press)

Burj Khalifa (Burj Caliph) Tower in Dubai
The recently completed Burj Khalifa Tower in Dubai, United Arab Emirates

In the latest iteration of the always evolving Dot Earth blog, Andrew Revkin is reframing (slightly) the main question of the 21st Century from "Climate Change" (negative) to "Energy Quest" (more positive). Of course, the two are related because development requires energy and both have huge environmental impacts. This, in turn, raises the question of energy scarcity versus energy gluttony, and whether or not the focus on cheap efficient energy carries us away from seeing that such energy is often used in earth damaging ways.

There are no easy answers but I find it poignant (perhaps also useful) to meditate on the two photos above which surely give iconic views of scarcity versus gluttony. At some point "how much is enough, for whom and where are we going?" must become the central questions.

Below is the grand celebration of development in Dubai. No doubt that it is quite a show. It would seem that the Earth displays its catastrophes spectacularly and its harmonies subtly. In the media-driven world of human perception what might be the grand celebration of life in balance?

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