Fueling the Future course materials

“Fueling the Future” is an interdisciplinary energy resources seminar class I developed for the Global Environment cluster course at UCLA in 2014, and taught again in 2015. I then taught a version for graduate students at the Climate Change Institute, University of Maine in 2019. The syllabus is here and below is the latest version of my reading list.

I got very positive feedback from students on the assigned textbook The Quest by Daniel Yergin. It’s quite readable and his chapters on the scientific discoveries that led to understanding natural and anthropogenic climate change are excellent for the students without that background. However, I’d hesitate to build my course around this book again. Renewable technologies have vastly changed since the 2011 publication date, and Yergin has a real love for telling hero stories that largely focus on white, male scientists. The scientific workforce of the future will be far more collaborative and diverse. The emerging voices and new media that reflect this diversity in climate change science, environmental justice work, and energy innovation are numerous, and worth introducing to students.

Week 1. Introductions

Yergin (2011) The Quest Introduction and Ch 20 “The Urgency of Fuel Choice”

Week 2. Fossil Fuels – How Did We Get Here?

Yergin (1990) The Prize Ch 27 “Hydrocarbon Man”

Jacobson, M.Z. (2009) Review of solutions to global warming, air pollution, and energy security. Energy and Environmental Science 2, 148-173. doi: 10.1039/b809990c

Stokes, L.C. and Breetz, H.L. (2018) Politics in the U.S. energy transition: Case studies of solar, wind, biofuels, and electric vehicles policy. Energy Policy 113, 76-86. doi: 10.1016/j.enpol.2017.10.057

Duncombe, J. and Cartier, K.M.S. (2019) Scientists Praise Urgency, Aggressive Plans in Climate Town Hall. Eos 100, doi: 10.1029/2019EO132403.

Week 3. Coal Extraction and Generation