"Choices" - David Nye


Post comments


In "Choices" David Nye talks about how the United States has made energy decisions in the past and how those decisions have made it such a prosperous country. He tells of how the pioneers used domesticated animals, muscle power, locomotives, and steam powered engines in order to alter the landscape and create farmland. He then tells of how people began looking more at fossil fuels and natural gases rather than coal for energy. He states that the United States is now prosperous due to its energy decisions in the past. He also declares that science is now creating cleaner burning sources of energy, but how the US is reluctant to change due to the costs being so high. I think that if the United States switching to a different source of energy would throw the economy out of place. Our country can't afford to lose such powerful industries.

In “Choices” by David Nye I think it is interesting how Nye shows us how throughout history humans have always been fascinated with new technologies and want to expand on it and make it better. From people expanding on technology back then is how we have our technology now. Nye gives us an example of this with Lewis Mumford’s discerned of three epochs over the stretch of a millennium; from 1000-1750 AD wind and water prime movers and wood was the basic material. Then from 1750-1890 coal was center fuel, steam engines were prime movers, and iron replaced wood. 1890-1930 and beyond, electricity became the prime mover. It’s also interesting how Nye shows that technology and culture have sort of shaped each other over the years, and how our choices about technology made it what it is today and how choices now will shape technology and our culture in the future.

In "Choices" by David Nye I found the most significant information from the paragraph about consumer demand. Consumer demand has been continually rising since the colonial age. The more humans invent and create, the more we think we need. Energy is being consumed at exponential rates. We often take advantage of the fact that we have so many sources of entertainment that we don't stop to think of their origin. Everything in our modern day society has to be fueled by energy. Without that energy we wouldn't have the capabilities to control almost all of our world today. When I stopped to think about this concept I was really taken back by the fact that we rely so heavily on our energy consumption. Every single day we take advantage of it as if it's no big deal. Sooner or later there will be enormous consequences if we don't take precautions. I took time to think about my own day to day life and I found that there are several small steps that would make a huge difference. A few examples of this include things such as unplugging phone chargers, tv cords, lights, etc while I'm away and not using them. These all seem like small tasks, but they add up very quickly because there are so many of them. I think consumer demand for energy is the first issue we need to address in order to fix the issue. If no one breaks through to the consumers then we're just going to keep digging ourselves into a hole.

Choices by David Nye is a factual passage about human's infatuation with technology. It is a cool time-line like reading that shows how humans have advanced over the years. We are always striving to become better, more advanced, and bettering ourselves. We create so many new things but don't remember how they came out. We want convenience without thinking of the consequences. Each new item needs a source of energy and we are in limited energy supply. It is expressed that we need to find a new energy source and yes this will effect our economy. I feel that we will find a way to evolve to become better than ever if we find a new renewable energy source. We are advancing so fast that we should be able to find a new alternative that is environmentally friendly. We need to do this before we run out of the energy we are using today like fossil fuels, etc.

While reading “Choices” by David Nye, I found each of the energy systems very interesting. The one that caught my attention the most was the 3rd energy system. I never knew that the water turbine doubles the power of the traditional water wheel. It makes complete sense now that I think of them both. The water turbine is more high tech and was created later, making it more efficient. I have never read that much, or even known that much about energy. So reading the different energy systems and different ways we create energy is very amusing. It was in the 20th century that Americans energy choices affected every area of production and consumption. This was the time in which Americans started to not use the power and help of animals; they traded them for other technology. Which brings us to where we are today, using tractors and automobiles.

In "Choices" I think that it was pretty interesting to see the advances in technology and how we use this to better ourselves and make our lives easier. Some of the technology that we use now, we most likely can't imagine what our lives would be like without them now. I think that we do have an infatuation and obsession with technology and it shows in our everyday lives. I think that humans fascination with technology and the expansion of it that was talked about in the article shows with all the new technology that comes out every couple of months, whether it be phones, iPads, music devices, computers and the software that goes in cars. Humans fascination with technology stems back years and years, but with that consumption and demand for these technologies have risen significantly as well as energy consumption. This all goes back to what we use and how we use it and how much that we use it. I thought that this was a pretty interesting article.

When I read the article "Choices" by David Nye, I realized how much English settlers influenced American culture. At one point in the reading, Nye talks about how Americans were still using mills and the British started to use steam powered mechanisms. It befuddles me as to why we are the biggest consumers when British people started up all this new energy by their steam powered machines. As I sit and ponder this dilemma more, it makes sense that American citizens consume more. We are a big country compared to Great Britain, but they were the ones who colonized the United States. This fact implies that indirectly it is the British that are consuming all the goods sold in this world.
Nevertheless, the on-going issue of not having enough energy still resides in the neglect of humans. We try to be eco-friendly, but it does not work out. Especially, when Nye states that, "Access to energy had become an inalienable right..", it makes it hard for us to break that so-called right. With that being said, Nye brought about complex issues that really made think about how much energy I consume. It takes a lot for all of us to realize what we are doing to the Earth.

Reading "Choices" by David Nye gave me a different look on how we use energy. Energy is huge part of everyones every life. It almost goes unnoticed on how much energy we use every day. The amount of energy we use is always going up and that means the supply also has to go up. Clean energy is becoming more and more popular and I think that this type of supply is the most important. Wind turbines and hydroelectricity are becoming more and more popular for supplying areas for energy. Where I live the amount of turbines has increased by a significantly noticeable amount. The developing rate in the United states for energy rate is doing well. Even though we haven't found the perfect renewable recourse yet, we are always making progress. Money will always be an obstacle with the U.S. Until the U.S. is willing to take a loss in money, innovation in renewable energy will never be able to increase to its full potential.

Although it may seem obvious, I never knew that the United States was the largest consumer of energy. David Nye’s chapter “Choices,” states that Americans see having access to energy as a right, due to each person seeing power sources as a necessity (Nye, 251). Most Americans realize how lucky they are, but they just accept that they have it. It’s not like children who happen to be born in America deserve to use energy more than a baby who was born in a “developing” country that happens to have less access to energy. According to The World Bank, 20% of our world’s population doesn’t have electricity, 500 million of which are from Africa and 400 million from India. Obviously energy is more than electricity, but it just doesn’t seem fair. It will take a long time for “developing” countries to reach the “developed” level, and it’s not like very “developed” countries such as the United States can spare tens of billions of dollars in order to provide universal electricity, while its already trillions of dollars in debt.

Americans have long had access to energy and all that it provides for the people of our country. Energy has always been ideal in that it boosts the economy for productive manufacturing of many of the luxuries we have today. Essentially technology is a matter of our choices. Example: farmers chose to abandon horses and oxen for tractors. Civilians chose to keep advancing technology of what they use and how much of it. I find it interesting that Nye says, "Americans subscribe to the idea of good insulation and energy-saving architecture, yet they show little inclination to take a logical step in this direction..." This seems like a typical indecisive American to me. In the fact that we want something that will benefit us in the long run but we aren't willing to take any steps to further our desires; we just continue living the way we do, not necessarily worrying about its future impacts. American's have built energy dependence into every aspect of their lives. As a result, they find it natural to demand as much energy as they think they need without taking in to consideration the needs of the rest of the world and the total supply of energy. Nobody really knows what's in store for the world's future if we continue to use energy as frequently and in the manners that we currently do. With the creations of new energy techniques, we could sustain a long lasting world, possibly with fewer consequences.


In choices by David Nye he talks about the usa and its energy tecniques starting from in the past. He explains that the pioneers used animals, man power, and some engine power to create the land. but theses people also started looking for the fossil fuels and other ways to create energy without using something so dangerous to the earth like burning coal.Today the United States is the number one ranked consumer of energy in the world. it is important that because of this we continue to grow in natural energy such as the wind turbines. In Idaho wind turbines are very popular and you see thousands in one drive out in the country. the more energy we use every day the higher demand we need to have into creating cleaner energy and natural sources.

In the article of “Choices”, David Nye explained the history of the energy and the changes from the Ancient time till now. People today used to relying on electricity, and we are using energy everywhere. It was too common to let people think about how we get the electricity or other energy. Nye said, “The United States had an abundance of wood that competed with coal and was later found to have an abundance of coal that competed with oil.” Back to the old time, when people find a new resources, they would tries as hard as possible to explore more that resources; however, resources were limited, so they had to keep exploring more other new resources. We only considered the current and did not think about the consequences or think about the future until we realized we are losing these resources. I think it’s important for people to understand how we get this energy and try not to waste the energy we are using. Even we are having water power, solar, and other new resources of power, we still need to be cautious about those limited resources and find solution to deal with the situation we are facing toady.


After Reading "Choices" by David Nye I got to understand how most Americans back in the day would use animals, steam engines, and muscle powers as energy. I also find it interesting how efficient hydro-power turbines are as it causes less pollution than other different procedures. Knowing that the United States like to find new ways to create energy I believe we should only focus on making renewable energy that would benefit us all.

When I read the reading "Choices" by David Nye it made me think how far America has come having to do with energy and the demand for it. The article starts off how early on the European settlers used animals to clear land for agriculture. This is crazy to think about because now a days we use all machines. It just shows how far technology has come. Also what has helped is the demand for energy. We could not continue to use animals to help clear the land because that would take to long. Progress had to be made so the quickest way possible was used. I just find in interesting how if people were told today we use to use animals for energy and clearing agriculture they would never believe it. The last thing that stuck out to me was the energy need. America had to produce so much energy because everyone uses it and depends on it. It is hard to think about what we would do with out energy. Everyone uses it on a daily basis I do not think anyone could live their lives with out it. It is something we should be thankful and realize that if we over use it, it might just hurt us in the long run.

After reading "Choices" by David Nye I found it very interesting how technology is such a big part of many American's lives. Our society has continuously been fascinated by creating and expanding new technologies and making them better. Throughout the years Americans have become more and more dependent on technology which in return increases consumer demand. Each technology needs a source of energy. While we are using our different forms of entertainment we aren't thinking about the amount energy we are using. Due to creating more and different technology we are in need of more energy. The energy consumption is also increasing drastically. If we don't find an alternative source of energy we will run out. We need to consider taking the time to create a renewable source of energy. I think everyone just needs to take a step back and realize they are using energy without even realizing it. For example keeping phone chargers plugged in or keeping lights on. If we just took a few more minutes out of our day to turn the lights off or unplug things we aren't using, we could conserve some of our energy.

The article "Choices" by David Nye talks about how the US has become the worlds largest consumer of Energy. He talks about how how the European settlers sought to develop the land and make it productive. They used energy as a commodity and tried to use as little as possible. The US, over time had many large-scale transportation projects such as the Railroads and Canals. In those days, energy was not just something that we simply used. It was absolutely necessary. Essentially he goes into describing that energy has switched from a necessity, to being overused. Its understandable to me. In today's world we have more people, more technology, and more strive for innovation. That being said, we do overuse a lot of energy. People leave lights and TV's on, start vehicles early to warm them up and keep them running when not always in use, and use a lot of gasoline and other fossil fuels. When it comes down too it, I say there needs to be a little more work from everyone to use less energy and that we need to meet somewhere in the middle and find a way to be more efficient. That being said, I feel that the US will always be the number consumer of Energy.

After reading the article, I learned that America is the largest consumer of energy. In the beginning, I always thought that China or Japan was the largest energy consumers because of the amount of people that live that area. Then again, I can understand how America is the largest consumer of energy because almost every part of American uses energy of some sorts, but with China and Japan, there are still many rural area's that don't consume energy at all.
From this reading, what I thought was interesting was that America has been thinking of alternative energies from a long time ago. This article showed me how energy consumption has changed drastically over the ages. Some of the different energy sources that were mentioned were wood, steam, coal, oil, etc. As our country became more technical, I can now see how the changes in energy consumption has led to a more advanced and efficient society where living has become much more easier. While reading though, what shocked me was that even though America is in a pursuit to find and establish a more environmentally efficient, there will still be damages to the environment, but just less. I believe that even though there still is damages, its better to lower the damage rather than stick to a higher damaging energy plan.

in choices by David Nye I have a better understanding of the history of how the United States got its power. It started with animals than quickly moved to steamboats and locomotives. Also it was interesting to hear about the water energy and how that really helps the environment. The US needs to take more of a look into creating clean energy but also ways to be the most efficient.

Leave a comment

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Capper Nichols published on November 12, 2013 10:07 AM.

"Introduction" [The Omnivore's Dilemma] - Michael Pollan; "Can We Feed the World & Sustain the Planet?" - Jonathan Foley; "Redefining Agricultural Yields" - E. Cassidy, et al was the previous entry in this blog.

"The Trials of Bidder 70" - Abe Streep; "With Carbon Dioxide Emissions at Record High..." is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.