Content varies from quarter to quarter.
The world’s energy future is now centered in Asia, above all East Asia. This is true for energy consumption, related pollution, carbon emissions, and energy security, a major concern in the new era of high oil prices and climate change. Since 2010, China has passed the U.S. to become #1 in total energy use, greenhouse gas emissions, and oil imports. Along with Japan and Korea, China is deeply dependent on the Middle East for its oil, a fact with major geopolitical implications. These countries had hoped to reduce such dependence by turning to Russia for new supply. Yet security questions loom large after what has happened in Ukraine this year. Questions arising from the Fukushima nuclear disaster also haunt this region, which is still largely wedded to a nuclear future. What, then, is the state of renewable energy in this region? And what of the many conflicts that exist in this region, in the South and East China seas, which have a strong energy component? This class will examine and discuss all of these realities and the issues they pose not only for East Asia, but the world and its challenge to forge a more sustainable future.
Student learning goals
Identify the world's major energy sources today, and those likely to emerge in the next several decades, and discuss the advantages and limitations to each one.
Describe the current global energy system, its major trends, basic economics, demographic aspects, and security dimensions.
Discuss different ideas of energy sustainability and their relevance to East Asian nations.
Discuss the energy situation in China, Japan, Korea, and Russia, as well as the main energy policies being pursued by each government.
Identify the major energy challenges in East Asia, how these relate to ideas of sustainability, and what their impacts may be on other parts of the world.
General method of instruction
Lecture, discussion, individual or small group presentations
Some familiarity with global politics
Class assignments and grading
Short papers, quizzes, weekly postings on required readings, class projects, final research presentation.
short papers quizzes research paper/presentation class participation