An essay which received Honorable Mention in the 2007 GRF Essay Competition.
Cosmic acceleration is explained quantitatively, as an apparent effect due to gravitational energy differences that arise in the decoupling of bound systems from the global expansion of the universe. ``Dark energy'' is a misidentification of those aspects of gravitational energy which by virtue of the equivalence principle cannot be localised, namely gradients in the energy due to the expansion of space and spatial curvature variations in an inhomogeneous universe. A new scheme for cosmological averaging is proposed which solves the Sandage-de Vaucouleurs paradox. Concordance parameters fit supernovae luminosity distances, the angular scale of the sound horizon in the CMB anisotropies, and the effective comoving baryon acoustic oscillation scale seen in galaxy clustering statistics. Key observational anomalies are potentially resolved, and unique predictions made, including a quantifiable variance in the Hubble flow below the scale of apparent homogeneity.