EBF 200
Introduction to Energy and Earth Sciences Economics


Lesson 11 Overview


This week's lesson involves an examination of a couple of current issues in energy and resource economics: the idea that we are running out of natural resources, and the idea that we should try to avoid importing energy-based commodities and only consume domestically-sourced energy. We will look at the history of environmental pessimism, and then contrast this with what has actually happened over the past 200 years. We will look at some reasons why we might want to avoid using imported crude oil, and why we have failed at this goal, even though it is so frequently talked about by politicians. We will wrap up by looking at some possible alternatives to oil, given the fact that we may choose to not consume it for one reason or another.

What will we learn?

By the end of this lesson, you should be able to:

  • list and describe the key points of Lester Brown's views on resource depletion;
  • list and describe the key points of Julian Simon's views on cornucopianism;
  • define what we mean by the term "Malthusian;"
  • list and describe the main arguments for and against "energy independence;"
  • list and describe the alternatives to crude oil importation.

What is due for Lesson 11?

This lesson will take us one week to complete. Please refer to Canvas for specific time frames and due dates. There are a number of required activities in this lesson. The chart below provides an overview of those activities that must be submitted for this lesson. For assignment details, refer to the lesson page noted.

Requirements and Submissions for Lesson 11
Requirements Submitting Your Work
Reading: There are several reading assignments hyperlinked in this lesson. Please read all that are shown as required. Not submitted
Lesson 11 Quiz and Homework Submitted in Canvas