SO245_Lesson3.docx - Lesson 3 Energy We are facing a...

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Lesson 3: Energy We are facing a formidable energy crisis. Massive amounts of energy are essential to economic growth and human well-being. And yet, as the global demand for energy is increasing, so are human populations. According to a scientific consensus, Earth’s human population is already exceeding the resources of the biosphere. Across the planet, fresh water and viable soils are becoming painfully scarce, thus hampering food production. At the heart of this dilemma is hard reality. Our primary sources of energy come from burning carbon-based fossil fuels, coal, petroleum, and natural gas. That presents us with two problems. First, sooner or later, although coal reserves remain plentiful, we are running out of easily extracted petroleum and natural gas deposits. Second, and more important, our ever-increasing use of fossil fuels is pouring ever- increasing greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, chief among these being carbon dioxide. Can we greatly increase energy production from renewable sources such as wind and solar before the global environment becomes increasingly hostile to life on Earth? Learning Objectives Upon completion of Lesson 3, you should be able to: Explain, describe, and define the concept of energy. Explain how energy is measured. Explain how the efficiency of energy systems is determined. Discuss the pros and cons of utilizing non-renewable energy sources. Describe the pros and cons of the various sources of renewable energy. What To Do Next Reading Assignments Click on the Reading Assignments link above to access your textbook reading assignments and lecture notes. Assessment After you have completed the reading assignments for this lesson and feel comfortable with the material presented, go to the Exams & Quizzes tool on the left navigation panel and complete Online Exam 3 . Congratulations! Once you have completed these items, and have received a passing score on the assessment, you are ready to move on to your next lesson! Reading Assignments Text Readings There is no textbook for this course.
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Additional Readings DIRECTIONS: To access ProQuest articles, you MUST first open a Web browser window to the ProQuest Library; otherwise, you will be denied access to the articles when you click the links. Once your browser is open to ProQuest, simply click on the link for the article you need to read. For detailed instructions on how to access ProQuest, click here . For non-ProQuest articles, use the provided Internet link to access the Required Readings material. Required Readings Internet Links The Sun is Our Only Truly Renewable Energy Source The Politics of the Solar Age: 1975 to 2015 Lecture Notes Basic Terms and Concepts What Is Energy? In physics, energy is the capacity to do work, which doesn’t tell us much. So, energy might be better thought of as the “engine” that drives the universe. That idea captures our imagination but it doesn’t help us visualize this “thing” called energy. It can’t. By definition, work requires energy.
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