href="https://flowcharts.llnl.gov/content/energy/energy_archive/energy_flow_2009/LLNL_US_Energy_Flow_2009.png">LLNL_US_Energy_Flow_2009.png 3000�2000 pixels

Geo: Just to be clear: is the rejected' energy the waste lost in
> the stream? It's a bit over half the total. I wonder how much could
> be recovered/ not wasted?

"Rejected energy" is energy that does not do useful work. It is a
gross measure of efficiency. The percentages are 57% waste to 43%
work. Transportation being the most inefficient and electrical
generation following. Electrical efficiency, according to Thomas Casten in 2008, peaked in 1960 in the US and has been falling since 2000. There's quite a lot of that which could be recovered and used
but outdated regulation and infrastructure gets in the way. Casten
says he could do industrial and commercial cogeneration profitably to
a much greater extent with the change of regulations and some laws.
> And then there's all the waste from using a big car to transport one
> person, heating a large leaky building, -- and making weapons, like
> bombs that are gone in an instant and damage someone else's energy
> economy-- to say the least.
These are all issues that this gross analysis does not cover. Amory
Lovins and others talk about 90% of everything going into the dump
after 6 months of use. Second Law Economics could identify many more
opportunities for efficiency without going into the "moral" questions
of SUVs for one, McMansions, and war. We are surrounded by
insurmountable opportunities and, in energy, most of the conversation
is about the magic solar crystal which is too expensive, the bird-
killing eyesore of wind farms, and the putative safety of nuclear
power. Efficiency and waste, resource conservation and elegant
frugality are an afterthought, if mentioned at all.
> Makes you wonder how little we could get by with if we acted
> rationally.

We are not rational creatures though we like to pretend we are.