The Culture of Energy
The culture of the modern world involves a sizeable and continuous use of energy. The story of energy as a part of modernity begins in the early 19th Century with hard work, experiments and the establishment of local energy systems. The natural conditions made certain by the alternation between light and dark, between warmth and cold, was gradually suspended by the introduction of electric lighting and heating into the home.
The welfare state has significantly hastened this development to the degree that notions such as wellness and individual well-being have become natural elements of our consumer culture and our daily life. In most parts of the world we have light whenever we desire it, and the homes maintain a comfortable temperature of 21 degrees Celsius by use of either heating or of air-conditioning.
In The Culture of Energy historians, social scientists and architects focus on various aspects of the energy culture in Western Europe, the United States, India and former Soviet Union, and examine subjects such as the history of lighting, street lighting, heating and central heating, household uses of energy, the debate on nuclear power, energy conservation and environmental perspectives on energy.
Mogens Rüdiger is an associate professor in the Department of History, International and Social Studies at Aalborg University, Denmark.His research is focused on energy policy, regulation and the natural gas sector but also includes the role of energy in the way of living after WW II.
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