A History of the Transitions in Energy Service Demand

Even in the face of catastrophic climate and health damage, why is it so hard for us to break our energy consumption habits? To better understand why it is so hard to reduce energy consumption, this talk explores how the demand for energy services has grown and changed over time. Charting the transitions in energy consumption to meet our needs for heat, transportation and light since the Industrial Revolution, this talk shows dramatic increases in net benefits to consumers associated with the transformations in society and lifestyles that mobility and illumination provided between 1850 and 1950. These past transformations highlight the challenges of reducing energy consumption, given that they threaten modern lifestyles.