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Energy Obesity: An appetite for oil

June 5, 2014 | 6:00 PM
Price: $15 ($10, BSA members)
Where: BSA Space, 290 Congress Street, Boston

Energy Obesity: An appetite for oil

“Energy is the most important story in the world, bar none, and nobody has ever told it with more verve than Amanda Little.”
- activist Bill McKibben


Fossil-fuel energy built the American superpower: Our homes are heated by it; our cars are fueled by it; many of our industries—from plastics to computing to our complex food system—rely heavily on it. Today US citizens use far more oil per capita than people in any other developed country, about twice as much, for example, as the average citizen of Great Britain.

In a lively, image-rich presentation, Amanda Little, the author of Power Trip: The Story of America’s Love Affair With Energy, will explain “energy obesity,” a nationwide phenomenon caused by the pervasive use of petrochemicals in nearly every aspect of American life. Little has traveled from deep-sea oil rigs to LEED-platinum skyscrapers to explore America’s evolving energy landscape.

Don’t miss this eye-opening and accessible lecture on how America’s greatest strength—cheap and abundant fossil fuels—has become its greatest vulnerability. The talk will also explore hopeful examples of innovators in energy, transportation, agriculture, and architecture who are cutting the fat from the US-energy diet and building a leaner, stronger, and smarter American economy.

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1.5 LU|HSW

Co-sponsored by Elkus Manfredi Architects

Amanda Little is a writer-in-residence at Vanderbilt University, where she teaches investigative journalism, and is the author of Power Trip: The Story of America’s Love Affair With Energy (HarperCollins, 2009). Little’s articles have appeared in the New York Times Magazine; Vanity Fair; Rolling Stone; Wired; O, The Oprah Magazine; New York; and The Washington Post. Little has blogged for and, and also appeared on leading media channels, including MSNBC, Fox News, and National Public Radio. She lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with her husband and kids.