As long as decision makers, engineers, chemists, physicists, economists, investors, law makers, politicians, civil servants and energy users from childhood to old age are not fully aware of the fatal impacts energy production, transport and use can have on the health, safety, environment, economics, peace and global climate , the world will further suffer and might deteriorate to a point of no-return.
Therefore education at all levels is playing a crucial role world-wide in future energy scenarios.
It is not only the education of the intellect , i.e. the knowledge that counts, but even more so the character education, i.e. the human behavior and ethics determining the fate of the future energy economy and environment, as outlined in the Global Energy Charter for Sustainable Development.
In future every child shall be growing up in full awareness of his or her personal impact on the environment by energy wastage . The educational task lies here with the parents, kindergarden caretakers and teachers. The spreading computer mania might also influence this awareness. Computer games can also be useful, if they promote environmentally proper behavior of our youngsters. Instead of war and car racing games, magical games dealing with biodiversity, nature cycle balances and positive environmental activism might become a blessing for humankind.
Primary and secondary school curricula shall include enough lessons in environmental geology, geography, biology and energy systems, highlighting their external, social cost and impacts.
Trade schools, colleges, universities and permanent adult education shall include mandatory lessons about environmental ethics and behavioral psychology to make graduates of every discipline aware of their professional responsibility for future energy systems and applications.
Scientists and engineers shall be educated to be able to fully recognize and quantify the side- effects and after-effects of their inventions. Examples: nuclear energy was not thought all the way through the end, with its risks from predictable inherent problems or unpredictable outside influences and waste disposal dilemma. When petroleum, gas and coal applications were invented, the fatal consequences of pollution and depletion were not sufficiently considered by automotive, petroleum and power engineers. Biologists and the medical profession are often not consulted during R&D. Scientists and engineers must now get an appropriate education which is not embedded with the conventional concepts that have caused the present energy related problems, but rather use a new approach allowing the provision of energy services to everyone in a sustainable way.
Decision makers, investors and bankers were often unaware of the consequences of their activities and investments. They shall be educated about the importance of the environmental and social components, to avoid harmful investments and unsustainable industrial activities in future.
Lawmakers, politicians and civil servants shall also be continuously educated about their environmental responsibility, especially as regards the consequences of wrong energy policies.
Efficient educational means and didactic methodologies, including modern tele-learning must be considered for this world-wide task to make it as efficient and effective as possible on a broad base.
More detailed rules for better energy education are dealt with in the ISEO educational committee headed by Professor Joaquim Corominas, Barcelona, who will disseminate further educational guidelines and learning materials.
More information from
the "Blueprint for the Clean, Sustainable Energy Age" - order form
The ISEO working groups will add more information.