One of the main goals of the Communications and Public Engagement program is to create educational resources for people at different levels of familiarity with the climate and energy system. We write blogs that cover new developments in the energy world, social media for quick updates and event information, and formal technical reports, for those who want to dive deeply into the data on one particular area. In 2021, we will roll out a series of primers on key concepts and players in the energy system here in the Northeast. We aim to create materials for a broad audience, including energy professionals, community activists, students, and engaged citizens.

Creating a wide range of materials provides lots of entry points into our work. Energy and climate reports can be full of jargon and acronyms, which can be useful shorthand for those familiar with them but create major barriers to understanding for the wider public who also has a stake in this work. In addition, this jargon creates the illusion that a topic is too complicated for the average person to understand. We aim to provide context and foundational knowledge for these more complex themes, so that you can understand the fundamental dynamics at play.

When people imagine “the energy system”, they often think of the wires, power plants poles, oil refineries – all the infrastructure. But this system did not simply appear: it was built piece by piece through people making decisions. New decisions are being made every day that will shape our future energy system which can lead to either catastrophic climate change or create a clean energy economy. We want you to be able to be involved in these decisions, and we hope that our educational materials give you some of the tools that you need to be engaged. Our goal is to help people understand the complex energy system that we live in, and the levers for change within it.