Fixing the World- Energy and Water: The Science of Solutions
Two of the most daunting challenges the world faces (or will face) is how to provide for both its growing energy needs and potable drinking water. Regular news events include climate change, droughts, flooding, and petroleum struggles. Human nature often requires a severe crisis before it responds. This course will investigate the historical science driving the use of energy since the Industial Revolution to convert energy resources into work, including the steam engine, the electric motor, and the internal combustion engine. It will also consider alternative energy options to fossil fuels, such as solar, wind, geothermal, and ocean power. Along the way we will consider the evidence for Global Warming and Climate Change. We will look into human nature, simple life styles, conspiracy theories, and the influence of those in power to shape human opinion. We will also consider how our water supply is provided and where it goes after being used. What options do developing countries or drought racked areas have to remedy their water needs? Although the course pursues a scientific understanding of these issues, the mathematics used will be gentle, and a larger emphasis will be placed on the intuitive appreciation of these concerns.