Without fully realizing it, the deliberation I decided to go to was on energy in Pennsylvania which is the same topic I am covering in my own deliberation. I truly believe that I knew most of the topics because I’ve had to research info for my own deliberation. This group had the same thought process as my own group in picking a topic. Energy is an all-around important topic. We take energy and how much we actually use it for granted. From the lights in our rooms to our laptops and cell phones, humans need to constantly be producing energy in order to continue our life style. Pennsylvania is a large producer of energy through multiple sources. This deliberation focused on our current energy production and also spoke about the large fracking industry and renewable sources. In the end conclusions were to be reached on what is the best future for the world in terms of how to produce energy and where Pennsylvania stood with its own energy production.
This was the first deliberation I attended and it took place on the New Leaf floor. This would have been great however for the fact that there was already another group there doing their deliberation in the private room. We were then situated in the open area on the couches. This wouldn’t have been a problem except other people were working in the space and I couldn’t always hear what people across the circle were saying. The vibe of the entire deliberation was very calm and opening. The students involved did not seem nervous or pressured so I felt comfortable enough to participate.
Even though I could not hear the entire Overview because of others talking, what I did hear I already knew. The people on this team simply were reading off the information sheet they created that was passed out to everyone who attended the deliberation. I was hoping to hear other facts or information because I already read the sheet and was ready to discuss other ideas I did not previously know. The info that they did present was useful though. I received that background information of the energy production in Pennsylvania and which forms of energy we are most popular in producing, coal and natural gas, fracking since it is so popular in the news these days and movement in the direction of renewable.
At first I was a bit confused on what the first approach focused on. I was expecting it to discuss a form of energy production since the other two approaches were fracking and renewable energy. However, it was a deeper discussion on Pennsylvania’s energy production and usage. Although it was not the title of the approach, the discussion focused mainly on our production of fossil fuels. A main theme that was brought up was the fact that we only have a limited supply of fossil fuels. Yes they are easy and accessible now, but in 100 years we could be running low on this coal and natural gas we need to much. This form of energy production, be it any fossil fuel extraction, has created an immensely large amount of employment in our state and should not be overlooked. The discussion focused a lot around the effects of this source of energy including the large amount of pollution it creates and how it effects the human race, other living animals and beings, and our environment as a whole. A general consensus seemed to be reached that we need to continue producing with fossil fuels for now but slowly wean off of this source as we expand the production of other sources.
I was very excited to discuss the next approach because it discussed fracking which was the same approach I was currently doing. There was a large mix on people who knew what fracking was and those who just hear snippets from the news. As a group we all seemed to oppose fracking even though it is such a large part of Pennsylvania. Employment was a positive point that was brought up along with the fact that it has helped Pennsylvania grow to be a leading producer in fracking. However the pros did not outweigh the cons when comparing. Pollution was discussed as well as the many health issues and dangers that have been highlighted in the media. I was very interested when we discussed the media’s involvement in the public’s knowledge of fracking. Many citizens only know what fracking is through what the media tells them which is usually one sided focusing on the negatives. In the end it was decided that education was key for the public to embrace fracking but regulation was a large thing that needed to be managed.
Lastly the deliberation discussed Pennsylvania and our production of renewable resources. This was the form of energy that the group seemed to be most interested in producing. The inefficiency of solar and wind energy was brought up and discussed and the amount of research that would need to be continued in order to fix these inefficiencies. However, the point was brought up that the younger generations being my own and those surrounding me seem to be more interested than older generations in switching our energy production to mainly renewable. Older generations are still stuck on their fossil fuels but they younger generations believes in more research in order to be mostly renewable. I supported this idea because I am a fan of renewable but we understand it will not happen overnight. There needs to be a gradual increase in the research and expansion in the renewable energy department and production around the country.
Even though it was like listening to the same information I’ve been studying for the past several weeks, I am glad I attended this energy deliberation. Not only did it give me an idea of how a deliberation was supposed to work, I am passionate about energy and love to discuss it. In the end I truly agreed with the general consensus of the group in respect to the direction Pennsylvania and the country should move in our energy production. There is no doubt that we need to move from mainly fossil fuels to renewable energy however this will take time. As more time and money is put into research in the renewable field, there will be a slow shift weaning off of fossil fuels so that one day we can be producing mainly renewable energy. Overall, discussions involving energy are a necessity which the government and higher ups need to have more. Changes need to be made in our near future in order to continue producing energy at the same large amount.