Amsterdam Schiphol Airport
Photograph ©2014 by Brian Cohen.

Have We Become Too Dependent on Energy?

lectrical outlets were at a premium at the E gates of Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam, where I spent the day with a fellow member of FlyerTalk who lives in the southern part of the city.

As I had a couple of hours before my flight of approximately ten hours departs for Seoul, I thought I would get on the Internet with my laptop computer. Assuming that there are no outlets available aboard the airplane — remember, I am flying as a passenger in the economy class cabin throughout my unintentional trip around the world — I knew I would not be able to work for much of the time during the long flight.

Other than the banks of electrical outlets — such as the one shown below; and all were out of service as several people were roaming the E gates at this airport in search of that invaluable power source, attempting in vain to get some work done…

Photograph ©2014 by Brian Cohen.
Photograph ©2014 by Brian Cohen.

…there are absolutely no electrical outlets in the E gate areas except for behind what appears to be some kind of fire extinguisher, shown in the photograph below:

Schiphol Airport Fire Extinguisher
Photograph ©2014 by Brian Cohen.

I actually found one of these fire extinguisher things with seats nearby in a quiet area near a food concession area; but as I approached it, a mouse scurried across the floor and into a hole at the base of it. Great. Now I have someone to keep me company.

Not that I did not realize it before — but it is more apparent to me that we have become a world more dependent upon electricity than ever before. Just the fact that you are reading this article assumes that you are using electricity — or, at least, battery power. We do not even think about plugging in a device these days — we just do it as though it were second nature…

…but when electrical outlets are at a premium, the realization seems to set in on just how dependent we are on available power sources which are operable.

At one time, reading did not require electricity. Whip out a book or a newspaper if you wanted to read something. Today, electricity is practically imperative to read. I hope that more reliable sources of energy will continue to be developed to keep feeding the need to connect to a power source simply in order for many of us to go about our everyday lives — as well as ensure that there are enough places to go around where we can plug in our devices…

…but being plugged in was only part of the problem: the Internet Wi-Fi service here at Schiphol Airport is painfully slow — practically at a standstill…

…and yet it is amazing what we can accomplish these days with the click of a button — communicate with millions of people around the world in ways better than what only established media could do only 20 years ago — but I digress.

Do you believe that we as a society have become too dependent on energy in general? What are your thoughts?

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