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Energy, the Environment, and Our Future

Pennsylvania State University via Coursera

3 Reviews 178 students interested

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Overview

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Join internationally-acclaimed researcher and award-winning educator Richard Alley in an exploration of the role of energy in our environment and our future. Energy use has done great good for humans by giving those in the developed world the equivalent of 100 energy "serfs" to do our bidding, making up roughly 10% of the economy, and powering most of the economy.  However, the unintended consequences of energy use are affecting people around the world and changing the climate in ways that will make life much harder.  Numerous options exist for development of a sustainable energy system that provides a stronger economy, more jobs, and greater security that is more consistent with ethical principles.  The course explores these issues.
 
“Energy, the Environment, and Our Future” will combine student-centered instructional materials and film clips from the PBS TV series Earth: The Operators' Manual, also hosted by Richard Alley, to tell the history, present, and possible futures of human energy use. 

Syllabus

(Subject to change before course begins)

●    Lesson 1. Sustainability: Why Energy Matters (and Money)  
●    Lesson 2. What is Energy—Units and Such; What we use, and how much good it does  
●    Lesson 3. Oil, Coal and Natural Gas, Drilling and Fracking and Reserves  
●    Lesson 4. Global Warming I—Physics 
●    Lesson 5. Global Warming II—History  and Impacts 
●    Lesson 6. Options: Solar, Wind
●    Lesson 7. Options: Geothermal, Waves, Tides, Nukes
●    Lesson 8. Options: Conservation
●    Lesson 9. Options: Geo-Engineering
●    Lesson 10. Economics
●    Lesson 11. Policy Options
●    Lesson 12. Ethical issues 

Taught by

Richard B. Alley

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Reviews for Coursera's Energy, the Environment, and Our Future
4.3 Based on 3 reviews

  • 5 star 33%
  • 4 stars 67%
  • 3 star 0%
  • 2 star 0%
  • 1 star 0%

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  • 1
Antoaneta L
4.0 5 years ago
Antoaneta completed this course.
Energy, the Environment and Our Future is a masterful mix of physics, technology, economy, law, politics and ethics with focus on climate change and human behavior. Really complex and complicated issues are presented in a friendly, well illustrated way. All the material is supported with good graphics, nice pictures and videos and referrals to other tools. The activities are well designed to deepen the understanding of the topic and the discussion fora are a safe place to express opinion. The quizzes assist one's own assessment on how well the topic is mastered. I really enjoyed the experience and have been recommending the course since its beginning 9 weeks ago. Well done and thank you very much to the authors! You are very generous human beings!
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Laurachurcher L
4.0 5 years ago
Laurachurcher completed this course, spending 2 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be easy.
This was a course that covered a broad range of topics on energy usage and climate change. It requires little or no scientific background and was very collaborative - most of the grading was based on discussions and activities.
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Anonymous
5.0 a year ago
Anonymous completed this course.
Great course. Richard Alley is a fantastic, deep thinking and fun teacher. A republican, but an honest researcher. Superbe course.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
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