rene van hulst

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This article was written on 04 Aug 2015, and is filled under Actual, Opinion.

Culture & energy transition

Culture is a strange phenomena. It’s the (un-)written rules of how we as society live together. Guess what?! The way we use energy has enormous influence on the way our society and therefore our culture functions! The era of coal energy is closely connected with the industrialisation and mass-production whereby people were functioning as tiny parts of the production process. The era of oil brought unmatched consumption whereby people became consumers and began to see (and judge) themselves in terms of what they bought and possessed.

Historian Barry Lord argues that in the same way, the era of renewable energy will leave its marks on our culture. This era will see the return of the notion of stewardship, of true nature conservation and of conscious human inter-dependence. Supporting the trends for sharing, re-usage instead of disposal. The renewable energy era will also have some moral implications; a bigger aversion to violence and we will finally see each other as truly equal.

This calls for different stories to make the most of the opportunity for fundamental change in our culture. No longer the blockbuster stories of dispair and decay of our planet. We need to start dreaming and telling stories about this better sustainable future! Should this change of culture be one of the fundamental reasons why Obama just now announced the Clean Power Plan? In order to change the culture of the country he is leading?!

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