From an essay by Roger Malpas in Scientific American (September):
As populations expand and strive for ever better standards of living, global energy consumption is on the rise. But the ever increasing demand for energy services creates a paradox as daunting as that confronting Adam and Eve. As humans, we need more of the fruit that energy bears, yet we have begun to fear the environmental effects of eating that fruit. We have also begun to worry about the tree's ability to continue bearing fruit or to produce it an acceptable price. How, then, can we ensure there is sufficient energy to sustain national growth, meet the needs of the poor and protect the global environment?
The solution to our paradox, fortunately, is simple, but it demands that we become engaged in the battle for greater energy efficiency. Is it not more logical to save a barrel of oil by insulating our homes than to waste that valuable resource by letting heat leak through the walls? Is it not senseless to light commercial buildings at night if no one is there? Is not an automobile that travels 24 miles on a gallon of gasoline better than one that travels half that distance on the same amount of fuel? Energy efficiency must be transformed into a significant global force, supported by people and governments everywhere.
How can I promote such a theme when most of my professional career has been spent working for a major oil company? If one thinks efficiency goes hand in hand with a reduction in oil consumption, then my suggestions might indeed be perceived as a major threat to the petroleum industry. But crude oil supplies are finite, and regional shortages are imminent. There are other reasons, too, besides supply to promote efficiency. The shift to updated technologies promises a new range of business opportunities ... .