24 June, 2020

Energy and the Literature of Moral Dilemmas

This is a video of the webinar on 24 June 2020: Energy and the Literature of Moral Dilemmas.

In this talk David Aberbach, Helen Gavin, and Antonella Mazzone explored the moral issues surrounding energy use, using literature as a tool and a source of insight that can help us understand and explore current problems and the human factor, when sometimes bare facts and science cannot.

David talked about literary views on the uses of energy. Energy can be construed as part of the age-old battle between good and evil, and this is a central and consistent theme in literature, particularly during the Industrial Revolution. David used two English classics, John Milton’s ‘Paradise Lost’, and William Blake’s poem, ‘The Tiger’, to show how energy is a force both of creativity and destruction, then and now.

Helen gave an overview of contemporary energy issues, the use of different resources over time, progress since the industrial revolution and modern dilemmas such as energy access, climate change, and the move towards renewable energy sources.

Antonella drew upon her work with people and communities in the Brazilian Amazon, her artwork that illustrated some of their mythology, and expressed the benefits of hearing and incorporating indigenous literature and oral myths into energy discussions.

There was a short Q&A at the end.