The development of new energy sources has had a major
impact on the development of both human societies and the environment.
This course will provide a broad survey of past and current
achievements, along with failures and controversies, regarding the use
of various forms of energy. Understanding of technical terms, physical principles,
creation of resources and trade-offs will be emphasized as a basis for
discussions about energy options. The local and global dimensions of the
economics and politics surrounding the world's energy resources will be
recurring concerns in this course.
The course has five main objectives:
1) To cover the basic
physical, technical and economic issues related to energy use;
2) To cover broadly the history of energy development and use;
3) To introduce students to past debates and current controversies;
4) To memorize and use, without aids, the basic terminology with which
professionals in relevant disciplines communicate their work and
their research findings;
5) To apply a wide range of academic skills in active listening,
note-taking, studying, reading, and test-taking to upper-level
There is no textbook or reading package for this
class. Most of the readings are freely available on the web and links
are provided on the course’s webpage. Suggested readings are not
mandatory, but students who will write term papers on topics covered in
these texts are expected to be familiar with them.
Most of the
suggested readings are freely accessible from anywhere. Some of them,
however, may require you to use a UofT terminal or user code.
Please read the course syllabus before e-mailing a question or expect a
one line answer telling you to look it up if the answer is already there.
Always use your University of Toronto e-mail address (@utoronto.ca) for
all course-related communications. E-mails from other domains (e.g.,
hotmail, Rogers, gmail, yahoo, etc.) may be filtered as spam and will at
any rate be ignored. Always include the course code (e.g., GGR333) as
part of your subject line, along with your full name and student number
in the body of the e-mail. E-mails will be answered during office hours
as promptly as possible. Please note that I do not open attachments and
will not answer during week-ends.
The first person that you should e-mail concerning department- or
program-related queries or to submit documentation regarding a missed
assignment, quiz, or test is the Academic Counsellor for Geography/Environment,
Sabrina Ferrari (email@example.com).
E-mail should NOT be viewed as an alternative to meeting with the TA or
professor during office hours. Nor should e-mail be used as a mechanism
to receive private tutorials (especially prior to tests) or to explain
material that was covered in missed lectures. Not receiving replies to
e-mails from the TA or professor, or not receiving them in time, will
not be an acceptable excuse for pleas for extensions to assignment or
Students are advised to consult
www.enough.utoronto.ca for information on university policy
concerning the appropriate use of information and communication
% OF GRADE
1) Proposal for Term Paper
2) Term Test
3) Term Paper
4) Final Exam
November 27, 5PM December 17 - 13:00 - 15:00 - DV Gym C
As per the University Grading Practices
Policy, please note that "after the methods of evaluation
have been made known, the instructor may not change them or
their relative weight without the consent of at least a
simple majority of the students enrolled in the course. Any
changes shall be reported to the division or the department."
How to Query or Challenge a Mark
Please note that you have two weeks from the date an
item is returned in class to ask for the item to be remarked.
Contact the Course Instructor for all queries about course
marks, or if you wish to challenge a mark. Absolutely no
item will be remarked after the two-week period has passed.
Material submitted for remarking must be accompanied by a
brief written explanation detailing your reasons for
dissatisfaction with the original mark (such as an addition
error or something you think the marker may have missed). A
request for a remark without a written explanation will not
be acted upon.
Please note that you are allowed two questions where you and
the instructor can agree to disagree (meaning you believe
that you are entitled to a higher mark, but your instructor
disagrees) without penalty. Beginning with the third
question where you and your instructor disagree, one point
will be taken off your final mark by question for which a
revised mark was requested by you and denied by the
A set of questions will be given in advance. Students
will be asked to answer a number of these during the test. Other
multiple choice questions will test your knowledge of basic concepts
discussed in the lectures. One or a few essay-type questions will test
your ability to synthesize and expand upon relevant information
discussed in class or provided on your test sheet.
Note that PowerPoint slides presented during the lectures WILL NOT be
posted online. No documentation is allowed during the tests.
Students will be asked to write a 15 page essay on a
topic of their choice. The essay can also be a 15 page review essay of a
book dealing with topics covered in class. The choice of topic or book
must be approved by the instructor. Team work is allowed for term
papers, but not for book reviews. Papers should follow one of the
The papers are
due by November 27, 5 PM. There will be a drop-off box in front of Room
Your choice of topic or book must be approved by the
instructor before turning in your proposal. Those of you who would like
to submit a book suggestion are asked to provide a link to the
publisher's webpage devoted to the book or, if no such thing exists, to
the Amazon or another large bookseller webpage devoted to the book.
Please note that you do not need to submit your proposal or the
appendixes of your term paper through turnitin.com.
Normally, students will be required to submit their course essays
to Turnitin.com for a review of textual similarity and detection of
possible plagiarism. In doing so, students will allow their essays to be
included as source documents in the Turnitin.com reference database,
where they will be used solely for the purpose of detecting plagiarism.
The terms that apply to the University's use of the Turnitin.com
service are described on the Turnitin.com web site.
> Full legal statement
Students are permitted, under our conditions of use, to opt-out of using
Turnitin. If a student chooses not to submit an assignment through
Turnitin, the instructor will need to find alternative arrangements to
check their work as rigorously. Students will not be penalized for
choosing to opt out, but they will be asked to have a short meeting with
the instructor and be asked questions about their research methodology
You are required to submit a hard copy of the assignment as
instructed in the syllabus for the TAs to grade and annotate Electronic
copies will be submitted by students through Turnitin.
Please note that submitting your paper through
Turnitin.com or making alternative arrangements before the deadline with
your professor is not optional. Failure to do so will result in a grade
of 0 for your term paper. Failure to submit your paper on turnitin.com
before the deadline will result in the same late penalty as if you had
not submitted your hard copy.
Department of Geography Late assignment/Missed
This is the departmental policy for late assignments and
missed tests. Please note that the penalty related to your
proposal is different. In this particular case, I apply my own
policy as specified on the syllabus.
In-class Tests: Students CANNOT petition to re-write a
test once the test has begun. If you are feeling ill, please leave the
room before starting your test and seek medical attention
immediately. You must have a physician fill out a U of T Student Medical
Certificate and submit a request via the online Special Consideration
Request form @
illnessverification.utoronto.ca within 24 hours.
Missed Term Work (Assignment/Lab - as per Department of Geography
Late assignments will be subject to a late penalty of 10% per day (including
weekends) of the total marks for the assignment. Assignments submitted
five calendar days beyond the due date will be assigned a grade of zero.
Academic accommodation can be made when an assignment is late or a
student is unable to write a term test/quiz for University.
Missed Term Work (Quiz/Test - as per Department of Geography policy):
In courses with final exams, there will be no re-writes or make-ups for
term tests/quizzes missed for University-accepted, verifiable reasons.
Instead, the final exam will be re-weighted by the value of the term
Informing Your Professor and Submitting Appropriate
Documentation: The following steps must be completed in order
to be considered for academic accommodation for any course work such
as missed tests or late assignments.
1. Students must inform their professor in writing
(e-mail is acceptable) within 24 hours of a test date/assignment due
date of any circumstances that prevent them from writing a test or
submitting an assignment on time.
2. Students must complete an online Special Consideration Request @
illnessverification.utoronto.ca. Students who miss
a test due to circumstances beyond their control (e.g. illness or an
accident) can request that the Department grant them special
consideration. You must present your case to the Department (not the
Instructor). Note: The system only supports Microsoft Internet
Explorer and Firefox for the time being.
3. Original supporting documentation (e.g. a medical certificate,
accident report) MUST BE SUBMITTED to the DROP BOX (labeled "Environment
and Geography Petition Documentation") located outside Room 3282,
Davis Building. Note: ROSI declarations are not accepted as
supporting documentation. You have up to one (1) week from the date
of the missed test to submit your request and supporting
documentation (late requests will NOT be considered without a "letter
of explanation" as to why the request is late).
4. Medical Certificates or Doctor's Notes MUST include the statement
"This Student was unable to write the test on date(s) for medical
reasons". Documentation MUST show that the physician was consulted
within ONE day of the test date. A statement merely confirming a
report of illness made by the student is NOT acceptable (such as,
"This patient tells me that he was feeling ill on that day.").
Please note that the written explanation and documentation that
you submit represents an appeal from you, requesting the
opportunity to account for that portion of your grade in some
other manner. If an appeal is not received, or if the appeal is
deemed unacceptable, you will receive a grade of zero for the
item you missed. If the appeal is granted - that is, your reason
for missing the item is considered acceptable by the committee -
then a mechanism for accounting for the grade value of the
missed item will be discussed.
A Departmental committee evaluates each request. Decisions
will be communicated by email within two weeks of receipt of all
completed documents. Note: It is your responsibility to
ensure your email account is working and able to receive emails.
Claims that a Departmental decision was not received will NOT be
considered as a reason for further consideration. Contact
Sabrina Ferrari (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Academic Counselor, should you NOT receive notification of your
decision within 2 weeks of submission.
Note that holidays and pre-purchased plane tickets, family plans
(unless critical, such as death of an immediate family member),
your friend's wedding, lack of preparation, or too many other
tests are not acceptable excuses for missing a quiz, a test, or
an item of term work.
Extension of Time
Students MUST submit a request for extension in ADVANCE of the
deadline in order to receive a decision.
If you require more time to complete an assignment you will be
required to make your request directly to the Department by
completing an on-line Special Consideration Request @
illnessverification.utoronto.ca. You will be
required to provide supporting documentation.
Original supporting documentation (e.g. a medical certificate,
accident report, etc) MUST BE SUBMITTED to the DROP BOX (labeled
"Environment and Geography Petition Documentation") located
outside Room 3282, Davis Building. Note: ROSI declarations
are not accepted as supporting documentation. You are expected
to submit your request to the Department before the due date of
the assignment, unless demonstrably serious reasons prevent you
from doing so. In the event of an illness, if you are seeking a
one-day extension, University of Toronto Medical Certificates must
confirm that you were ill on the due date of the assignment; if
you are requesting a longer extension, your documentation must
specify exactly the length of the period during which you were
unable to carry out your academic work. For extensions of time
beyond the examination period you must submit a petition through
the Office of the Registrar.
A Departmental committee evaluates each request for an extension
of time. Decisions will be communicated by email within two
weeks of receipt of all completed documents. Please note that
students are required to submit their assignment/lab as soon as
they are able and they should NOT wait for the decision of the
committee. Note: It is your responsibility to ensure your
email account is working and able to receive emails. Claims that
a Departmental decision was not received will NOT be considered
as a reason for further consideration. Contact Sabrina Ferrari (email@example.com)
Academic Counselor, should you NOT receive notification of your
decision within 2 weeks of submission.
It is your responsibility to follow the appropriate procedures
and submit requests for special consideration on time. Failure
to do so may result in the committee denying your request.
Should you require further information regarding Special
Considerations, please contact the Academic Counselor, Sabrina
Undergraduate Academic Counselor
Room 3282, Davis Building, Telephone: 905-828-5465
Expectations/Classroom Behaviour/Behaviour in
the Academic Setting
Our expectation of you is that you will show respect to the
Course Instructor, TAs, other faculty, staff, and fellow
students. This includes arriving on time and staying for the
entire class (so you don't disturb others by your late entry or
early departure); listening quietly (so you don't disturb others
by your chatting or online activities); approaching your course
work with an open, honest spirit and enthusiasm; and otherwise
adhering to the Code.
In turn, you can expect the Course Instructor, staff, and TAs to
show respect to you and your fellow students; to deliver the
best course that they possibly can; to communicate their
enthusiasm for the material; to maintain fairness in all aspects
of course delivery and assessment; and otherwise to adhere to
the University's Code of Behaviour on Academic Matters.
Academic Integrity/Honesty or Academic Offenses
It is your responsibility as a student at the University of
Toronto to familiarize yourself with, and adhere to, both the
Code of Student Conduct and the Code of Behaviour on Academic
This means, first and foremost, that you should read them
Code of Student Conduct is available from the U
of T Mississauga website or in your print version of the Academic
Further Thoughts on Academic Honesty:
The Code of Behaviour on Academic Matters states that:
"The University and its members have a
responsibility to ensure that a climate that might encourage, or
conditions that might enable, cheating, misrepresentation or
unfairness not be tolerated. To this end all must acknowledge that
seeking credit or other advantages by fraud or misrepresentation, or
seeking to disadvantage others by disruptive behaviour is
unacceptable, as is any dishonesty or unfairness in dealing with the
work or record of a student." ―University of Toronto Mississauga
This summarizes what we are all trying to
achieve through the implementation of this Code―both students and
faculty. We are trying―together―to create an atmosphere of fairness and
honesty, in which people can learn and receive appropriate credit for
work that they have done. Note that the Code refers specifically
to expectations for faculty members, not just for students. It is my
responsibility, as a member of the faculty of the University of Toronto,
to be familiar with these expectations and adhere to them. There are
many additional academic requirements that we are expected to meet with
regard to the integrity of course materials, returning of marked work to
students, maintenance of student privacy, fairness, grading practices,
and others. My TAs and I will make every possible effort to meet these
U of T Mississauga and the AccessAbility Resource Centre
are committed to the full participation of students with
disabilities in all aspects of campus life. The AccessAbility
Resource Centre provides academic accommodations and services to
students who have a physical, sensory, or learning disability,
mental health condition, acquired brain injury, or chronic
health condition, be it visible or hidden. Students who have
temporary disabilities (e.g., broken dominant arm) are also
eligible to receive services. All interested students must have
an intake interview with an advisor to discuss their individual
Students who require accommodation are advised to visit the
AccessAbility Resource Centre as early as possible to
have their needs assessed, as it may take some time to process
"It is the policy of the University of Toronto to
arrange reasonable accommodation of the needs of students who
observe religious holy days other than those already accommodated by
ordinary scheduling and statutory holidays.
Students have a responsibility to alert members of the teaching
staff in a timely fashion to upcoming religious observances and
anticipated absences. Instructors will make every reasonable effort
to avoid scheduling tests, examinations or other compulsory
activities at these times. If compulsory activities are unavoidable,
every reasonable opportunity should be given to these students to
make up work that they miss, particularly in courses involving
laboratory work. When the scheduling of tests or examinations cannot
be avoided, students should be informed of the procedure to be
followed to arrange to write at an alternate time.
It is most important that no student be seriously disadvantaged
because of her or his religious observances. However, in the
scheduling of academic and other activities, it is also important to
ensure that the accommodation of one group does not seriously
disadvantage other groups within the University community."
With respect to minimum advance notice, the Policy provides that
"Students have a responsibility to alert members of the teaching
staff in a timely fashion to upcoming religious observances and
anticipated absences." Since students would normally be aware of
upcoming religious observances as well as examination schedules
in advance, a minimum of three weeks advance notice will be
Lecture 1 (September 11): Introduction
Lecture 2 (September 18): Concepts and the Big Picture
Lecture 3 (September 25): Carbon-Fuelled Civilizations 1
(Guest lecture by Andrew Nicholson)
(October 2): Ontario's Energy Dilemma (Guest lecture by Tom Adams)
(Deadline for Term Paper proposal)
Lecture 5 (October 9): Carbon-Fuelled Civilizations 2
Lecture 6 (October 16): Electricity (Hydro and Nuclear)
(October 23): Term test
Lecture 8 (October 30): Special guest lecture: Bill Simpkins,
Canadian Fuels Association
Lecture 9 (November 6): Renewables and Alternatives
Lecture 10 (November 13): The Perennial Energy Debate
Lecture 11 (November 20): The Curse of Natural Resources
Lecture 12 (November 27): The Future of the Automobile
December 17 - 13:00 - 15:00 - DV Gym C
Back in the days where I use to give 13
lectures in this course, I used to cover the topics of air
pollution from energy use and energy use and climate change.
I do not anymore, but I have kept a number of links on both
issues for those who might be interested. No questions will
be asked on this material.