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Why is energy important?

Why is energy important?

Future360 is pleased to present an energy series in conjunction with the Switch Energy Project -- a campaign to educate global citizens about the science of energy. Today we look at the importance of energy. We need energy for everything -- to power our homes, drive our cars, use technology and even to feed and clothe us. Energy underpins modern life and that’s why it’s the issue of our time.

Most of the time, we're too caught up in modern life to realize energy makes it all possible. There are obvious things like our cars, but almost everything else is too. The internet, all phone systems, every appliance, air conditioning and heating, everything in our offices, houses, even while we sleep. We consume energy 24 hours a day.

Every single product we buy, like a pair of blue jeans, requires energy. From the time it's made in a factory, washed, worn and eventually discarded, a pair of blue jeans requires the equivalent of three gallons of gasoline. You might have 50 gallons of gas in your closet from your blue jeans alone. And it's not just jeans. Every product is made somewhere then shipped by train, ship, truck, car, sometimes all four, from the factory to your house. Each of those steps is powered by energy.

Even things we don't think about like food are only made possible by energy. It's planted, harvested, processed, packaged, transported, retailed and bought, using energy all along the way. In your weekly shopping cart, there's the equivalent of 22 gallons of gasoline. And then you have to cook it.

Everything we do in our lives from the time we're born, through every day of every year depends on energy. Every home, every business and every government. Every major issue is underpinned by energy. Which is why energy is the most important issue of our time. For more information, visit