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?

5 thoughts on “Have We Become Too Dependent on Energy?”

  1. Darth Chocolate says:

    Irony Alert!!!
    Someone who is flying around the world is wondering whether we have become too dependent upon energy.
    Pray tell, how do you think a plane flies?

    1. Brian Cohen says:


      Yes, I know, Darth Chocolate…but most people are not required to travel around the world — intentionally or not…

      …but many of us do rely heavily on electronics to do the same things we used to do not too long ago.

      Let us put it another way: that mouse was scavenging for food; I and a few others were scavenging for a working electrical outlet.

      I felt like I was in some kind of futuristic movie…

  2. Left Handed Passenger says:

    What part of addiction to flying isn’t overly dependent on energy?

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      I agree, Left Handed Passenger

      …but as I posted in response to Darth Chocolate, flying on airplanes is not required for many people. As many frequent fliers as there are on this planet, we are but a tiny subset of the population at large.

      By the way — as I reported not too long ago – technology could further reduce our dependency on oil where commercial airplanes could be powered by electricity in as few as 30 years…


      …and greater than a year ago, I posted that solar energy could one day power commercial airplanes:


      I have always believed that we should have more mainstream energy options than energy whose source is fossil fuels…

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