** The applicaiton is closed for Green Technologies for Climate Stabilization and Energy Security**
To avoid potentially disastrous global climate change, the world must stabilize emissions of greenhouse gases within the next decade, begin to reduce them shortly thereafter, and largely free ourselves of carbon-emitting energy sources by mid-century. Climate change has been described as the "defining challenge of our age."
If that isn't enough for your generation to worry about, consider the looming dangers associated with oil, which is the most important global energy resource. Most of the world's oil reserves are located in the least stable parts of the globe and the rest of the world's easy to produce, inexpensive resources are quickly being depleted. In this course, we will take the perspective that reducing demand, rather than increasing supplies, is the cheapest, quickest and most environmentally-friendly way to deal with both climate and energy security problems.
While there are no magic, silver bullets that will "solve" these problems, we do have a number of sharp arrows in our quiver. We know how to design better buildings, which, in the U.S. account for almost half of our carbon emissions. We have a new generation of electric-drive vehicles that can help reduce imported oil and increase energy security. And, renewable energy systems, primarily solar and wind, can help cut both carbon emissions and oil dependency. While these are the technologies that we will focus on, we will also briefly touch on others that may (or may not!) help.
Having a portfolio of green technologies is a necessary, but not sufficient, prerequisite to addressing these pressing problems. Without aggressive government policies and a business community committed to finding ways to make profits from these technologies, we face the prospect of an energy and climate future that will no longer be under our control.
We will start Sunday evening with a welcome dinner and introduction to the course. Our morning lectures for the next five days will have the following themes:
We will spend the rest of each day with a combination of field trips, guest speakers, and hands-on experiments. You will be given a choice of a dozen or so experiments to choose from for a mini-research project. We will finish the course with a dinner on Friday evening.