Remembering September 11: How America Has Changed

"Nothing will ever be the same" was our constant refrain after the terrorist attacks. But how different are we today, really?

By Reader's Digest Editors from original and

9/11Brian Stauffer for Reader’s Digest

We want to achieve energy independence more than ever.
From 2001 to early 2009, most Americans favored conservation over more energy production — but with the continuing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and revolutions sweeping the Middle East, we’ve reversed our priorities. Although 87 percent of Americans believe the Gulf of Mexico hasn’t fully recovered from the 2010 oil spill, 69 percent favor increased offshore drilling. And while nearly two out of three Americans want more alternative energy development, 47 percent said (even right after the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant meltdown) that nuclear power’s benefits outweigh its risks, compared with the 38 percent who disagreed.

But we’ve made little progress. While we are buying more fuel-efficient cars and we’ve discovered huge new domestic gas and oil fields, “the United States has not become more energy independent in the past decade,” says Charles Ebinger, director of the Energy Security Initiative at the Brookings Institution. “We’re still importing about 50 percent of our oil, and that’s likely to increase.”

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  • Your Comments

    • bekasair

      the most greatest war starter of all. god bless america?

    • commonsense@apl.com

      The USA is the largest police state in world history, far outpacing Nazi germany.
      We are complacent sheep, drones watched by drones.

    • mtj3134

      After 9/11 we all lost out…. Invading the wrong country, the Patriot Act, Homeland Securtiy and the TSA..
      All ways in which to inhibit our freedom and all ways that the bad guys will find a way around.