Energy is a huge topic. We use energy to heat our homes, power our TVs, get us from point A to B, etc. In the movie "The Watchmen" they can stave off the threat of nuclear war if only they could find a way to produce unlimited amounts of free energy. But because we can't always see energy, it often gets confused and misunderstood.
For instance, in the 2008 presidential elections, when the candidates were asked how America could ween itself off oil, they both mentioned using nuclear power; which is fine as long as they meant converting our cars to battery or hydrogen power and using nuclear to produce hydrogen or charge the battery....but I don't think that's what they meant. I'm guessing they didn't know that only a small percentage of oil is used to create electricity (1.6 % as of 2007); which is the only way we use Nuclear (aside from a few submarines).
If the most powerful person in the world has trouble grasping the complexities of how we generate, transport, and use energy, how is the average Joe/Jane supposed to grasp it?
Enter the mind map.
I've been using mind maps for a little over a year to help me organize my thoughts and visualize complex subject like energy. I use a website, Mind Meister, that lets you create a few mind maps for free before they start charging you. There are many mind mapping software or websites out there, but you can also make one the old fashioned way with a pencil. I'm showing a mind map of "Energy Saving climate change tips for your school" in my post on Top Energy Saving Tips.
The picture at the top is the massive mind map I'm working on for Energy. If you click on it a new window will appear with a bigger version of the picture that you can zoom in on. I'm attempting to break down Energy into basic components, then expand out from there. My goal is to help demonstrate how we produce, transport, and consume energy. I also want to help you visualize the big picture pertaining to Energy (I'm also working on a Sustainability mind map, which is much more involved). I eventually would like to go more in depth into each process, or at least link each node to a blog I've written on the topic.
This is a work in progress and by no means complete! Your thoughts and opinions would be much appreciated. Please comment with some input!