Chapter 1
Introduction PUBLIC ACCESS


This Energy Choices fact book is intended to supply the reader with basic information on sources of energy. It attempts to describe each source of energy, identify the infrastructure needed for its use, identify the positives and negatives associated with each source of energy, comment on impacts and potential future contributions of the respective sources, and suggest references for further study.

John Maynard Keynes once noted “It is better to be roughly right than precisely wrong.” Some may want to debate the energy perspectives or absolute values of the numbers in this booklet. That's not the point. Individual readers are encouraged to take a close look at the facts in context and then form their own unique but informed perspectives and opinions. After all, as the late Senator Daniel P. Moynihan once said “You are entitled to your own opinion. You're just not entitled to your own facts”.

This booklet is intended to give the reader some information to better understand the complexities of the energy world and its ongoing evolution. It provides a context for our total energy future — as we know it today. Energy Choices: A Guide to Facts and Perspectives is the result of the efforts of numerous members and associates of the ASME who have unique professional and technical backgrounds that are directly relevant to this undertaking. Their inputs are intended to provide an overview of energy issues at a relatively non-technical level. It is directed at the general public and other stakeholders who want more knowledge of energy sources, energy conversion, and energy end use and their challenges and limitations. While we hope this book serves as an information tool that will be utilized for educational purposes, it is also the sincere hope of the contributors to this document that it will be used to create informed opinions and perspectives on energy choices.

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