EM SC 240N
Energy and Sustainability in Contemporary Culture

Summary and Final Tasks



Another week of content in the books! Before you relax, make sure you complete the two required assignments listed at the beginning of this lesson. This week, we went over some of the fundamental considerations that underlie sustainability. You should be able to do the following after completing the Lesson 2 activities:

  • differentiate between positive externalities, negative externalities, and non-external impacts;
  • explain how externalities impact sustainability;
  • analyze the impact of the social cost of carbon on economic decisions;
  • identify elements of the ecological footprint;
  • compare the impacts of various lifestyle choices on ecological footprint;
  • analyze how ecological footprint relates to sustainability;
  • differentiate between the different quality of life metrics;
  • differentiate between energy return on energy invested (EROI), embodied energy, and net energy;
  • examine benefits and limitations of EROI values;
  • characterize the difference between growth and development;
  • define steady state economy;
  • analyze how establishing a steady state economy can impact sustainability;
  • identify approaches to achieving a steady state economy;
  • explain how Gross Domestic Product relates to development;
  • identify the relationship between sustainability and various quality of life metrics;
  • theorize what factors lead to a high quality of life;
  • define social and environmental justice; and
  • identify examples of social and environmental injustice.

The Language of Sustainability

We went over a lot of fairly heavy concepts this week. Hopefully, this list will help spark some memories of the content, both now and as we move forward:

  • externalities, positive externality, negative externality, private utility, private cost, price, profit, OECD, the social cost of carbon
  • ecological footprint, ecological deficit, biocapacity, overshoot, and collapse
  • energy return on energy invested, net energy, embodied energy, peer-reviewed research
  • sustainable growth, GDP, GNP, GDP/capita, growth, development, Herman Daly, Steady State Economy, qualitative vs. quantitative, free market environmentalism
  • development, quality of life, World Bank, quality of life metrics, development indices, Human Development Index (HDI), Inequality-Adjusted HDI, United Nations, Happiness Index, Multidimensional Poverty Index, Happy Planet Index
  • social justice, environmental justice, economic rights and opportunities, political rights and opportunities, social rights and opportunities

Reminder - Complete all of the lesson tasks!

You have finished Lesson 2. Check the list of requirements on the first page of this lesson and the syllabus to make sure you have completed all of the activities listed before the due date. Once you've ensured that you've completed everything, you can begin reviewing Lesson 3 (or take a break!).

Complete all activities in Lesson 2. The quiz may include a variety of question types, such as multiple choice, multiple select, ordering, matching, true/false and "essay" (in some cases these require independent research and may be quantitative). Be sure to read each question carefully.

Unless specifically instructed otherwise, the answers to all questions come from the material presented in the course lesson. Do NOT go "Googling around" to find an answer. To complete the Activity successfully, you will need to read the lesson, and all required readings, fully and carefully.

Each week, a few questions may involve research beyond the material presented in the course lesson. This "research" requirement will be made clear in the question instructions. Be sure to allow yourself time for this! You will be graded on the correctness and quality of your answers. Make your answers as orderly and clear as possible. Help me understand what you are thinking and include data where relevant.

For any other assignments (e.g., journal or discussion board), it will be helpful to look at the rubric before answering. You will see a button that allows you to view it below the assignment.

These activities are to be done individually and are to represent YOUR OWN WORK. (See Academic Integrity and Research Ethics for a full description of the College's policy related to Academic Integrity and penalties for violation.)

The activities are not timed but do close at 11:59 pm EST on the due date as shown on the Course Calendar.

If you have questions about the assignment, please post them to the "HAVE A QUESTION?" Discussion Forum. I am happy to provide clarification and guidance to help you understand the material and questions. Of course, it is best to ask early.