PPOL 441/541: Energy, Climate, and Society

Energy systems are inextricably bound to both micro and macro level social systems. Culture has both shaped and is shaped by the use of energy. This system of positive and negative feedback is at the heart of understanding the complex relationship between energy and society. Energy systems also play a role in creating and maintaining social inequalities, an issue that will be strongly examined in this course. That examination will emphasize the role of energy in critical social issues, including but not limited to: domestic and international conflict, poverty, political disenfranchisement and marginalization, social change, intergenerational inequality, and environmental justice. We also look at the evolution of energy use through history, and the role that it has played in shaping social behavior and relevant institutions.