The Energy Story

  Energy Is Born
  Energy Types
  Energy Changes
  Energy Generation

The Energy Problem

  Conservation of Energy
  Aging of Energy
  Finite Resources
  The Oil "Crisis"
  Energy Pollution
  Discussion Topics

The Energy Solution

  Conserving Electricity
  Appliance Efficiency
  Heating Conservation
  Renewable Energy

Web Links

Teacher Guide

About the Author

Secret Lives Title - The Energy Problem

Discussion Topics

Energy is necessary for our modern factories and homes. Where we get our energy, how we produce it, and how we use it have profound effects on our lives. This is due both to the cost of energy and the pollution that it creates. There are a number of thorny questions or decisions concerning energy that countries have had to grapple with more and more as we have entered the 21st century. This section will list a number of these sometimes controversial questions, and assist you in discussing the pros and cons so that you can make intelligent choices about our future.

Discussion Format

The class should be broken up into groups of two, three, or four, depending on the size of the class. Two groups will be assigned to each controversial question below, one group for the pro and another for the con. The class will spend a period in the media center or out of class time researching the pro or con of their question. During another class period or periods each question will be discussed, with the pro and con groups for that question leading the discussion. The pro and con groups will give five minute summaries or an overview of a case for their side. The two groups will then lead a class discussion, answering questions by being prepared with overheads, graphs, data, or other information from their research. The period will end with a vote on the class position on the issue. The teacher's role is to help guide the discussion and keep the class on track.

Below are a set of questions. You can find a more detailed statement of the question by clicking on the numbers below. This includes a sample list of pros and cons, sample questions for the final class vote, and a few websites to get the research started.

List of Energy Related Topics
Should our country legislate increased miles per gallon requirements for new automobiles?
Should our country restrict drilling for oil in the arctic and national parks?
Should our country stop or ban further construction of nuclear power plants due to radioactive waste and danger of reactor accidents?
Should Americans reduce their energy use, considering how much more energy they use than people in other countries?
Should our country legislate reductions in carbon dioxide emissions in power plants to avert global warming?