This course is made up of online resources, readings, and weekly discussions and assignments. This link is for the weekly discussions.
Week 13 Discussion - Are sustainable Systems Local or Centralized?Last Updated on 2011-07-20 11:52:41Most of the world is living in cities these days. Cities traditionally require more resources since they dont produce their own food, concentrate their pollutants, and require transportation for resources and trade. We have discussed how urban areas allow for some efficiency technology (transportation, housing, etc), but are cities truly sustainable? Are they producing their own goods? The good thing about this class is that some of you are in rural areas and some are in urban areas. Please talk to the extent that you think your area is sustainable and/or what steps or changes are needed to be sustainable. Consider transportation, food and nutrition security, energy security, jobs, education, etc. Remember to elaborate on your postings. I suggest you include questions to the rest of the class so that their responses can also be fully thought out and provocative. More »
Week 12 Discussion - International PolicyLast Updated on 2011-07-20 11:51:09Pick one of the topics and delve into them. Feel free to include in your postings questions prompts for your fellow classmates.
1. Kyoto is passed due, but we can look at the controversy and failures: (a)Developed vs developing responsibilities and abilities (b)Where are the benefits and costs felt? Is it really fair to fence off forests in Africa where people are still dependent on them for food so that we can buy carbon offsets for private transportation and new plastic gadgets that were made cheap in Asia?
2. Tax vs cap – http://climatelab.org/Cap_and_Trade How does a carbon tax or cap and trade scheme work? Here is an article to help. It is all in the details. Where are we counting the carbon (at the production site, the pump, your house, etc.)? You can also look to Europe and Australia for examples of where these policies have been enacted. Please look for balanced pieces. More »
Week 11 Discussion - Framing the IssueLast Updated on 2011-07-20 11:48:45Is climate change an environmental problem? Does that relegate it to a problem for environmentalists? What are examples of other ways of framing environmental problems that would make them more relevant to everyone? Please read chapter 12 as background and do your own research and thoughts. Make sure to support your ideas. Feel free to respond to either this discussion topic or the assignment topic. More »
Week 10 - Mitigation in Other SectorsLast Updated on 2011-07-20 11:47:04This section focuses on other mitigation options. Agriculture is a big sector that could make huge changes for our climate as well as our social structures. Other prompts for this week's discussion are below. It is best to pick one option and explore it in depth rather than to try and answer all of them with little depth.
Architecture 2030 - architecture2030.org– what would be needed to make this happen. Every year that we don’t make this happen is a lost opportunity
Geoengineering (1)Any problems you can identify with some of these ideas? (2)These options are often referred to and justified as last resorts – what does that mean? When are we at the last resort? Consider the time and money it would take to do these projects – would we have those at our disposal if it was time for the last resort measures? More »
Week 9 Discussion - Mitigation and ElectricityLast Updated on 2011-07-20 11:45:22Here are some prompts for this week's discussions.
Nuclear has been in the news with the disaster in Japan. It has caused a lot of disfavorable talk about nuclear power and the safety features involved. Moreover, nucelar is subsidized, has a finite supply to mine, and has a storage issue. Or does it? Remember, think like scientists...can these problems be solved? New energy technologies cannot be based on old ones. This is a video of Bill Gates at a TED talk (I am addicted to these litte TED videos and use them in class to spark imagination). Bill is talking about a whole new type of nuclear energy and the fuel is filtered from the ocean, not mined.
Efficiency and smart grids
According to a recent scorecard NV is #19 for energy efficiency.
What does efficiency mean for the energy grid. Most of... More »
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