How does electricity impact society?

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Electricity impacts society in a tremendous number of ways.  Let us examine some of the ways in which it does this:

  • It allows people to live in more places.  In many countries, there are regions where life is not comfortable without air conditioning and/or heating.  Electricity allows people to have...

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Electricity impacts society in a tremendous number of ways.  Let us examine some of the ways in which it does this:

  • It allows people to live in more places.  In many countries, there are regions where life is not comfortable without air conditioning and/or heating.  Electricity allows people to have these things (in particular, air conditioning), thus allowing more people to live in areas (like the American Southwest) that would otherwise be sparsely populated.
  • It allows people to have more leisure time and more leisure activities.  Electricity gives us relatively cheap and safe lighting for our homes.  This allows us to remain awake long after dark, which gives us more time to engage in leisure.  Electricity also runs many of the things that we use for entertainment, like our televisions, computers, and smart phones.
  • It allows industry to be located in more places.  In the past, industries could only be located near sources of power like rivers.  Now that industry is powered by electricity, factories (and other industries that need a lot of power) can be located anywhere.  Electricity is easy to transmit across long distances, freeing up industry to locate in many different places.
  • Finally, electricity has in some ways led to our current situation in which we are so concerned with climate change.  Fossil fuels are not used only to make electricity, but that is a major use for them.  Because we have so many things that run on electricity, and because fossil fuels can be used to generate electricity, we use more fossil fuels than we would if we did not have electricity.  This helps to create one of the major problems facing our societies today.

Electricity impacts our society in all of these ways and more.  It is hard to imagine how different society would be if we could not use electricity to power things.

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