Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Harvard online course on Energy

I was contacted recently by Colin Fredericks, as per below. Here are my thoughts. My expectations (it will be well thought out) were communicated in a reply to the original comment:


I'm working with David Keith at Harvard to help him create an online course about energy and the environment. It doesn't concentrate on his geoengineering work, but I thought that perhaps your blog readers might be interested in knowing that the course exists. We'd love if you posted a link to this course on your blog.

Here's a link to the course info page. Let me know if you have any questions about it.


The syllabus looks interesting, and, importantly, comprehensive. It includes a review of fossil fuel use (and impact), renewables, with a strong focus on solar and nuclear power. The course will put energy usage in the context of economics and the politics of climate change. Knowing David, it’ll be a high quality, well taught and stimulating course. If I were signing up for it I’d also ask the following questions:

(1)   There seems to be a focus on electricity. Hydraulic fracturing has revolutionised the energy sector in the US, is that covered at all?

(2)   The UK government developed an energy mix calculator (the brainchild of the late David Mackay). Will we use something similar (given the course aims) here?

(3)   How much contact will there be with David himself (he’s really busy)


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