Week 1, PSC 320 W2020

Global Energy Consumption Back to PSC 320 Main Website

Monday – we introduced ourselves

Wednesday’s Class (this was supposed to be for Monday’s Class, but I shifted it to Wednesday’s class) Introductions, and discussion. Before Class

  • Read syllabus on main class website. This determines your grade. You may be tested on it this Friday. Know it, OK?
  • Please take this short survey before Monday’s class. It counts as a video.
  • This class will explore some … “challenges” your generation is facing. Then we will explore the solutions we have. AND importantly, we will talk about why society is not choosing these solutions. Please read these three articles before class Monday:
    1. New Climate Book Claims we are far down the path of destruction
    2. UN Climate Talks Collapse in Madrid
    3. MIT article Claims that We Are Closer to the Tipping Point than Most Claim.
  • Read this article that Greta is Time Magazine’s Person of the Year. Make sure you know who Greta Thumberg is. If you haven’t already, please search her name and see a video or two… or ten.
  • Please watch this video: Intro_Energy_Conversion….In order to get credit for the videos, you will have to get a subscription to PlayPosit, which is free. You will be prompted for a password when you click on a video link for the first time. Sign up for the PSC320 Winter 2020. Please make up a password that you will remember, and send it to yourself in an Email or something like that, because retrieving them is hard.
  • I’m giving a talk on our energy research tomorrow, Thursday, UU hour in 53-215. Here’s the .

During Class Introductions Talk about Projects

Friday’s Class : Explain how well-being is coupled to wealth only for the very poor.

Identify different kinds of energy stocks and flows. Recognize 3 different primary energy sources

Make energy transition diagram from primary energy to radiant cooling


Before Class

  • I posted PS#1 on the main class website. It’s due Monday. We can get some of it done in activity section today.
  • We might consider how American society is moving through (Kübler Ross’s) 5 steps of grief… or at least the youth in California. It was also great to hear that the despair isn’t overblown. I’ve heard before, “this is the worst time ever to be graduating.” But I think it’s important to keep things in perspective. How about 1938, right before WW II? Born into slavery and/or war in many parts of the world? We also understand that you have the longest life expectancy ever. Your children will not die of polio, yellow fever, the plague. Very likely we will all die, just as all humans before us, and we will have changes to navigate before we do. However, what’s special now (to me) is we have a global scientific and societal awareness of what’s happening. We understand the effects of our environmental choices on the environment and the choices of other people. Think of how this is in stark contrast with (very shortly ago) when I was a kid and governments could deny having taken military action in Cambodia (for example). You could never get away with that today as we watch military events in real time with social media. Accountability has changed. At Berkeley, I worked with Dan Kammen, director of Berkeley’s Energy and Resource Group (ERG). He became Obama’s energy adviser before Obama won the election. Dan would often say that future generations would look back to today as the time when we as a society figured it out and fixed the climate problem…. or decided not to. And today we see that we are still doing both of these. To me, for this reason, with this global awareness, this must be the most exciting time to be alive there ever was…. and maybe ever will be. This to me is our obligation and opportunity. As the quarter progresses, we will learn some facts, explore opportunities, and make decisions about how each of us wants to be. As the course facilitator, I will pressure you to express a decision. However, I am committed to accept the decision that each of you makes about your direction and priorities.
  • Dropping_Rock_Conversion
  • Happiness_and_Energy_I
  • Rossling_Ignorance
  • Please read this recent NPR article about global carbon (dioxide) emissions
  • give your project some thought. If money is an issue, I have $3000 of funds available in my “Appropriate Technology” IRA (Instructionally Related Activities). Feel free to look at last year’s projects (link on main class website.) but they may not be a good indicator of what we can do. What would you be interested in actually doing, and/or exploring? I also noticed many people are interested in teaching. I have an open invitation to teach an elective Thursdays at 2 PM at Teach Elementary School for five weeks this winter. Maybe a group can come up with and deliver an interesting energy activity for kids to do?
  • Please check out our projects page on the main class website. Send me a list of the three projects you are most interested in.

During Class

  • Talk about Projects
  • First Assessment

After Class, prepare for Friday Activity: Activity for Calculating Heat of Combustion!

Before Activity

During Activity

  • We will make a calorimeter, heating water (in calories) by burning something of known energy content (like candle wax)
  • We will work on PS#1, due Monday in class.

After Activity

  • Review problem set #1 questions