Course Detail
Course Components:
Enrollment Information
Course Attribute:
University Connected Learning
We live in a society that is defined and molded by the energy we use--and we use a lot of it--yet most people have little understanding of where it comes from (a plug in the wall? a hose at the gas station?) and how it is used. This class sits at the intersection of science and public policy. It will provide the background you need to understand where energy comes from, how it is used, what the future might hold, how and why the decisions about energy made by legislators will affect our lives. Since this class was last offered, things have changed considerably in the energy world: there are now more people working in solar energy than in coal, for example, and a number of countries have pledged to eliminate coal and nuclear plants altogether. Utah is once again in the middle of serious discussions about whether to accept radioactive waste from elsewhere (Estonia most recently), and making reserves of coal, uranium, tar sands, and oil shale available for extraction has strongly impacted the state's wild country, including being a large part of the rationale for drastically reducing the size of Bears Ears and Escalante-Grand Staircase National Monuments. Take this class to learn answers to some questions, like is "Clean Coal" part of our future or is it an oxymoron? How about wind and solar? What is the grid, and why should I care? Is nuclear energy safe? We will also learn about some important questions for which no comfortable answer has yet emerged.