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Belief-based Energy Technology Development in the United States: A Comparative Study ...

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Belief-based Energy Technology Development in the United States:


There is a Chinese proverb that may be translated into something like this: “Participants' views are often blocked, but onlookers see the whole game.” I started working on the history of U.S. energy policy as a foreign student with little prior knowledge of U.S. history and culture. I therefore enjoy two special strengths, ignorance and inexperience. First of all, my lack of prior knowledge or predisposition allows me to examine history with an untainted perspective. Furthermore, because I was not even born yet during the Atomic Age, I am free from the prevalent emotions and dominant mode of thinking of that time. The accounts in this book happened decades ago. Many momentous policy decisions were the result of a particular zeitgeist or dominant ideology. They might seem reasonable or even unquestionable at the time of their making, but have become questionable or even peculiar to an outsider now. Temporal and cultural distances allow me to see things from an onlooker's perspective. There were numerous occasions when I asked “why?” and was answered “why do you ask why?” My discoveries may be interesting because I have asked questions that have never been asked before.