Science of Sustainability|
Spring 2015 not offered
What is sustainability? It most certainly is not switching light bulbs or "buying organic," although perhaps those activities contribute to sustainability. The task for our course will be to undertake a scientific inquiry into the conditions for an enduring human presence on Earth. To do so, we must begin with physical principles, examining both what humans require and demand from the world and what the world is capable of providing. Our inquiry will broaden to include chemical and ecological principles, ultimately asking what the social sciences can do to illuminate the problem without violating the physical constraints nature imposes.
Students should bring a familiarity with quantitative and algebraic concepts and above all a desire to incorporate quantitative thinking into verbal discourse. Writing is also a core element of the course with weekly writing assignments in various formats.
||Gen Ed Area Dept:
|Course Format: Seminar||Grading Mode: Graded|
||Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (CEC)(CES)(ENVS)
David MacKay, SUSTAINABLE ENERGY WITHOUT THE HOT AIR
Lester Brown, WORLD ON THE EDGE
Hall & Klitgaard, ENERGY AND THE WEALTH OF NATIONS
|Examination and Assignments: |
Problem sets, writing assignments, lots of reading