Category Archives: Resources

We’ll use this category to detail additional resources that you may find useful in crafting your writing for this course, or in learning more about the course topics.

Read and Respond Writing Assignment

Read and Response assignment due on Saturday, April 23rd This is the second (and final) read and respond assignment for the semester. Read each of the two articles listed below.  Choose one article and write a response on the blog. … Continue reading

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Suggestions for Blogpost 4

For the final blog post I am not providing a specific theme.  You can ‘zoom in’ and address a local issue, or ‘zoom out’ and consider the national or global picture. In the final section of the course, following the … Continue reading

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Theme and suggestions for blog post 3

“Blogging Themes” resources are suggestions for overall themes or broad questions to pursue in each blog assignment. There is no requirement that you follow the suggested themes – if you have a better idea that meets the assessment criteria, go … Continue reading

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Read and Respond Writing Assignment

Read and Response assignment due on Friday, March 4th This is the first of two  read and response assignments for the semester.  These assignments provide  an opportunity to directly engage  arguments that are critical of practices that are associated with sustainability … Continue reading

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The changing economics of rooftop solar

Hi all, There is an interesting article in today’s New York Times about the changing economics rooftop solar.  There are many interesting issues related to rooftop solar that could be explored in a blog post: How do federal and state subsidies … Continue reading

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Theme and suggestions for post 2

“Blogging Themes” resources are suggestions for overall themes or broad questions to pursue in each blog assignment.  There is no requirement that you follow the suggested themes – if you have a better idea that meets the assessment criteria, go … Continue reading

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Peer Review Sample

This is a sample peer review for Connor McCole’s  draft blogpost “Better options than fracking“.  You should read Connor’s post before reading this review. I also would like to thank Connor for allowing me to post this review as an … Continue reading

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Sample Post: Do compact fluorescent lights do more harm than good?

When the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 was signed into law, setting minimum energy efficiency standards for general purpose lighting, many worried about being forced to rely on the most widely available alternative, compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs). Fluorescent lamps emit light from … Continue reading

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Writing Assignment Week 2: Bibliography 1

“Blogging Themes” resources are suggestions for overall themes or broad questions to pursue in each blog assignment.  As mentioned in class, there is no requirement that you follow the suggested themes – you may write a post on any topic … Continue reading

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Course Goal for Mathematics for Sustainability

John Roe posted the following excellent description of the course goal for Math 33 in his welcome for the Fall 2015 semester.  I am reprinting his description in its entirety.  As noted by a student in today’s class, the course … Continue reading

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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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Pennsylvania Climate Change Report

The updated Pennsylvania Climate Change Assessment has been in the news this week. The report forecasts an increase of (3 ^circ)C ((5.4 ^circ)F) in average temperatures in Pennsylvania by the year 2050 over temperatures in the year 2000. State Impact … Continue reading

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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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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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