Do we really have an energy problem?

  • Due Apr 28, 2014 at 9:59pm
  • Points 1
  • Questions 1
  • Time Limit None


A single gallon of gasoline has energy equivalent to hundreds of hours of physical human labor. Energy supports our wonderful way of life. Despite living hundreds of miles from the ocean, my wife Monica and I will walk barefoot on the beach during a long fall weekend every year. In the cool before dawn, we turn on the heat to stay warm. We use smartphones to find an Italian restaurant that the locals like, and then we eat delicious cheese pizza even though tomato season has passed and we're nowhere near a dairy or wheat farm. I'm amazed by the opportunities energy gives me. Given its central role in our lives, we all should know some energy basics: Where does it come from? What do we use it for? How much is there? In this module you will practice thinking about how energy relates to the biggest issues we face and evaluate energy demand and supply.
“We have exactly enough time – starting now” – Donella Meadows
“Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not to their own facts.” - Daniel Patrick Moynihan

“Without Hot Air” Chapters 1, 2

Skim Opportunities and challenges for a sustainable energy future by Steven Chu & Arun Majumdar

Message on the reading


300 years of fossil fuels in 300 seconds 

What does it mean to be a woman in a place without energy?  

For each reading and video assignment, you will tweet your main "epiphany" from the reading/video (it's time to sign up for a twitter account if you don't already have one). This means it will have to be short - but thoughtful! Please do not simply describe one of the readings/videos. Instead, share your #1 insight that was triggered by all of the assigned reading(s) and/or video(s). What had a transformative effect on you? Maybe this is something unexpected, something you will tell your friends, something you can use for your project or in your life, etc... 

Twitter logistics: Please sign up to follow me @leidyklotz to get my tweets. On all of your tweets, add the hashtag "#150tons" at the end so your classmates can find them (and so you can get participation credit). Every time you tweet an epiphany, you should also scan through all of your classmates epiphanies on that topic and retweet your favorite. Your goal is to make your epiphany the one that is retweeted the most! 

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