Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Why it is important to use numbers in planning and policy debate?

Planning and policy debate is basically attached to the numbers and often questions can make a better explanation by numbers. When people are not aware of the amount of energy they use in a day the influence of using extra energy in the community will be harder to recognize for them. In addition by numbers they will have a better view of the amount of the each energy source in surrounding and the cost of it. One of our goals is decrease energy consumption in the world and to achieve this target it is better to use simple and acceptable numbers.

Simple numbers are more understandable, memorable and easier to compare information together. Apply the adjective instead of numbers will confuse public about reality. For example use “huge” as an alternative of actual amount. Using the acceptable number is as important as using simple numbers. Employ a huge number especially when it is not necessarily can be meaningless to the public. For example “American buys 2.6 billion napkin boxes per year” is not inform people but “Switching your gas and electricity supplier could save you up to $340 a year” is more real and practical.

Since sometimes numbers are selected to impress, change the fact, arguments or scare people instead of educating them using number when it is not a need can bring distrust to community. For instance in a climate when public don’t pay attention to numbers mass communication media such as news papers, radio and companies can provide wrong information.

Different questions about renewable energy, climate change, dioxide pollution and energy crisis are easier to explain with numbers. Some questions are: can people make a difference in the energy crisis by biking or walking instead of driving a car? How much energy efficiency will increase by using fluorescent lighting and LED lighting (Light Emitting Diode) instead of regular lighting? How much carbon dioxide pollution will reduce by changing our life style to advanced technology like hybrid car?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm glad somone besides me sees this...