With oil prices soaring once more, America’s in for a shock. After all, we use more fossil fuels than any other developed country, using them not just in our cars, but to make, power, and transport nearly everything we buy, observes Amanda Little in the New York Times. This insatiable petroleum appetite, “like our fondness for fast foods, has spawned a kind of obesity epidemic,” Little argues; we need to go on an energy diet.
Which suggests a solution: why not label how much energy went into a product, in much the same way we mark its nutritional value? Suddenly consumers would have a simple, universal measure of how much energy they’ve used each day. Not everyone would use it, but millions would, and that would press manufacturers to be more energy efficient. “What America needs isn’t more cheap oil to feed a gluttonous economy,” Little argues, “but rather better ways to use less.”