Author Archives: John Roe

Textbook to be published soon

We hope to submit the final manuscript for the book Mathematics for Sustainability to Springer in a couple of weeks.   There is a web site linked to the book: https://math-for-sustainability.com

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Useful numbers about water

Here is some information about global water stocks and flows.  The source of the data is the appendix to John Harte’s Consider a Spherical Cow. Stocks of water on earth Oceans: ( 1.5 times 10^{21} ) kilograms Ice: (3 times … Continue reading

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How to insert a table in your blog post

The text editor provided with PSU’s WordPress installation can do many things well, but it has no built-in support for constructing tables.  Since tables are a helpful way to display numerical information, you may want to use them in some … Continue reading

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Penn State is a Cool School

PSU has been recognized as a 2015 “Cool School” by the Sierra Club for its sustainability efforts.  You can read more about what went into this award in this article from the PSU Sustainability web site: http://sustainability.psu.edu/spotlight/penn-state-recognized-sierra-club-%E2%80%9Ccool-school%E2%80%9D-sustainability-efforts  

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How to receive blog postings in your email

If you want to “follow” the blog (receiving a regular update whenever a new message is posted) I’ve made an option available for you to do that.

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How to add an image to your post

One picture is said to be worth a thousand words, and this is certainly true when dealing with quantitative data: a well-designed chart can convey information more clearly than many sentences. So we require you to include images (photographs, charts, … Continue reading

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Editing and updating a post

You can edit or update your posts any time you want.  To edit a post, proceed as follows.

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How to make a post on the blog

To start with, you need to go to the course web site, http://sites.psu.edu/math033fa15.  I guess you know how to do that (otherwise, how are you reading this post?)

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Nuclear Energy and the Fossil Fuels

Later in the course we will talk about the idea of “peak oil”.  The fundamental paper in this area, Hubbert’s 1956 Nuclear Energy and the Fossil Fuels, is easy enough to read (you can ignore the few references to calculus … Continue reading

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Investing in Energy Efficiency Pays Off

From the New York Times.   Lots of math to dig out here: http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/02/06/investing-in-energy-efficiency-pays-off The idea that money is available for the taking defies economic logic. But sometimes it’s true. That’s the case with a vast opportunity that’s routinely overlooked by … Continue reading

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“Environmental Issues” by McConnell and Abel

Apart from the online notes, there is no “textbook” for this course.  However, if there was a textbook, then “Environmental Issues” by McConnell and Abel would probably be it.  It uses simple mathematical ideas (mostly those that we will discuss … Continue reading

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How to write math expressions on the blog

To write mathematical expressions in your blog posts, you can use a piece of software called MathJax.  To write a MathJax formula in your post, you enclose it within special parentheses: for inline formulas (those that appear in the same … Continue reading

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Sustainable Energy Without The Hot Air

From the preface: “This is a straight-talking book about numbers… I’m concerned about cutting emissions of twaddle – twaddle about sustainable energy”.  (This is a British book, so you will need to think about how his examples translate to the … Continue reading

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