Media Literacy

Contributed by: Penny Greer and Sarah Hall

Topic: Local/Regional Energy Issues

Course Type: Template for generating discussion/action among members of the general public, high school students, or college students on community or regional energy uses.


We have developed a set of specific questions/themes for individual municipalities/regions to answer to be used for community information (media clarity, forums, education). These questions are organized in four major categories: Energy Budget, Resources, Alternative Energy, Policy/Legislation.

Energy Budget:
How much energy does our community (size/boundaries) use?
What does the average household use?
What are our community's industrial uses?
What are the additional energy uses in our community (agriculture, transportation, public?)

What are our local energy resources (coal, water?)
What positive (jobs) and negative (environmental) impacts do these resources have on our community?
Is this a renewable energy source? If not, how many years (at the current usage rates) will we be able to sustain this resource?

Alternative Energy:
Why should we think about alternative energy sources?
What type of alternative energy sources are viable in our region? How might they be combined with what we have now?
What positive (jobs) and negative (environmental) impacts might these alternative sources have on our community?

What energy policy currently exists in our community?
What energy policy is currently discussed for the future?
What other current policy indirectly influences our community's energy issues?

Our Society:
How do our energy uses shape our society today (landscape, economy, etc?)
What might our society look like in ~30years if our uses/generation continues as they are right now?
What might our society look like with new, alternative, or renewable resource introduction?
How can we make personal and community decisions about energy issues to positively impact our community?


Community members should be able to do the following:
1) Understand what resources are available to them in order to make informed societal decisions.
2) Develop discussion groups, community forums or workshops to have accurate, relevant, and timely discussions about their energy
3) Implement lifestyle changes on a personal scale.


Not relevant - this is a guide for a group discussion.


References, websites or other resources that would be useful for this activity.