Human Dimensions of Global Warming

Reading Assignment


This week, we've been looking at the emissions from our stationary energy and transportation needs. The reading assignments for this week offer some insight into the solutions and challenges to achieving them in each of these sectors.  Understanding the opportunities for emissions reductions as well as the roadblocks to realizing them is crucial in addressing the climate crisis.

The electricity-related readings provide a snapshot into where we are and where we need to be.  The two transportation-related readings offer a juxtaposition between our latest scientific understanding of the role of transportation emissions in our overall reduction goals coupled with current policy initiatives related to the transport sector.  As you'll see - they don't align very nicely.

Reading Assignment

When reading these articles, think carefully about:
  • Where Germany and California stand in comparison to other parts of the world.  If they're already doing so much and struggling with this sector, what does this mean for the rest of the world in its various goals to achieve aggressive emissions reductions?
  • Note:  The Wired article quotes someone named Denes Csala who claims that for electric cars to really reduce emissions, they need to be charged with renewable power-generated electricity.  This is not necessarily true.  See's Reducing Pollution with Electric Vehicles for more information about this.

*Students who register for this Penn State course gain access to assignments, all readings, and instructor feedback, and earn academic credit. Information about registering for this Penn State course is available through the Energy and Sustainability Policy Program Office.