Energy Regimes and Environmental Justice
Winter 2018 quarter
Maintaining a reliable energy system is vital to a healthy society and economy. However, energy extraction, production, and transportation practices across the globe have created serious social and environmental harms, and the United States has not escaped these problems. Although existing and emerging renewable energy technologies promise to help alleviate some of these issues by greatly reducing pollution and being conducive to a more democratic energy production system, the existing energy regime holds much economic and political power to influence the capacity and rate of the clean energy transition. This elective will examine the social and environmental justice implications of various energy production systems, including fossil fuels, nuclear, hydroelectric, and renewables. Through the study of historic and contemporary case studies primarily in the United States (but also in Canada), we will identify broad patterns of injustice and power inherent to the current energy regime complex. We will explore issues of justice and resistance in the larger societal shift toward a cleaner energy economy, as well as forces of change and obstruction in the energy transition, including technology, infrastructure, economy, politics, and social movements. We will spend considerable time studying the impacts of energy development on indigenous or native peoples and consider the role of indigenous rights in the energy transition. We will conclude by exploring pathways toward a just energy transition.
Faculty Biography (forthcoming)
Location and Schedule
Wednesday 6-10 pm