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University of Toronto Mississauga • Department of Geography • WINTER 2019

GGR 333H5F Energy and Society


 Instructor: Pierre Desrochers


 Lectures: Tuesday, 7-9 PM


 Phone: (905) 828-5206

 Office: Davis Building, room 3273


 Lecture room: CC 2130





Course Description
Course Objectives
> Assignments
> Contacting the Instructor
> Tests
> Written Assignments
> Department of Geography Late Assignment/Missed Test Policy
> Equity Statement and Academic Rights
Expectations/Classroom Behaviour/Behaviour in the Academic Setting
> Academic Integrity/Honesty or Academic Offenses
> Accessibility
> Accommodations for Religious Observances
> Recommendations & Suggestions
> Lecture Schedule

Week 1 (January 8): Introduction
> Week 2 (January 15): Concepts and the Big Picture
> Week 3 (January 22): Carbon-Fuelled Civilizations 1
> Week 4 (January 29): Carbon-Fuelled Civilizations 2
> Week 5 (February 5): Carbon-Fuelled Civilizations 3
> Week 6 (February 12): Term test
> Week 7 (February 19): Reading Week
Week 8 (February 26): Electricity (Hydro and Nuclear)
> Week 9 (March 5): Electricity (Alternatives) and Biomass
> Week 10 (March 12): The Perennial Energy Debate
> Week 11 (March 19): The Curse of Natural Resources
> Week 12 (March 26): The Future of the Automobile
> Week 13 (April 2): Guest Lecture on Ontario electricity dilemma: TBA
> Suggested Readings


Course Description

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.


Course Objectives

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 university courses.


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.




1) Written Assignment 1
2) Term Test
3) Written Assignment 2
4) Written Assignment 3
5) Final Exam


January 29
February 12
April 2
April 2
April 13 (17:00 to 19:00 / IB 120)

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 instructor.

Contacting the instructor

Office hours are Tuesday 5:30-7:00 PM, Davis 3273. You can contact me at

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 ( 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 (

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 exam deadlines.

Students are advised to consult for information on university policy concerning the appropriate use of information and communication technology.

© PhD Comics


A set of questions will be given in advance. Students will be asked to answer a number of these during the test. Note that PowerPoint slides presented during the lectures WILL NOT be posted online. No documentation is allowed during the tests. UTM Final Exam Schedule


Written Assignments

What is the point of these assignments?
• To acquire more in-depth learning about a topic discussed in this course and its relevance to broader policy discussions
• To develop your writing skills
• To learn to think critically
• To learn the basics of scholarly and policy work

Useful links to help you write your assignments
The University of Toronto Library staff has compiled several links on researching and writing term papers and other types of work. Please look them up, along with the various university resources available to you:
• Writing (University of Toronto Mississauga Library)
• Writing at the University of Toronto
• Robert Gillespie Academic Skills Centre
• University of Toronto Library Research Guides: Geography
• University of Toronto Mississauga Library liaison librarian Andrew Nicholson

Citation styles
Please look up the University of Toronto Library webpage devoted to citing sources and creating your bibliography.
For written assignments 1 and 2 your are free to follow any of the Standard Documentation Formats, but I insist you use endnotes in assignment #2 (try to mimick the Ottawa documents as closely as possible).
For assignment 3 no citations are expected.

Students unfamiliar with Turnitin are directed to the Turnitin guide from the University of Toronto's Centre for Teaching Support and Innovation.
Normally, students will be required to submit written assignments to for a review of textual similarity and detection of possible plagiarism. In doing so, students will allow their assignments to be included as source documents in the 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 service are described on the web site ( If you have an objection to the use of Turnitin for the submission of your work, please make an appointment to speak personally with the Course Instructor to discuss alternative arrangements.

Please note that submitting your paper through or making alternative arrangements with your professor before the relevant deadlines is not optional. Failure to do so will result in a grade of 0 for your assignment. The late penalties describe in this syllabus will apply. course ID: 19824919
The Turnitin key (password) will be given in class and through Quercus.

Details of the written assignments
Written assignment #1 (10% of your final mark)
Please choose your topic for this assignment carefully as it will apply to all your written assignments this semester. [Hint: I strongly encourage you to look at the relevant required readings for each potential subject so that you select the one that is of greatest interest to you.]

Write a 2-3 page reflection on ONE of the following questions. The choice is yours. Please use the relevant required readings of the lectures listed in parenthesis as a basis for your reflection. Cite these relevant readings in your paper. You may cite additional sources if you want to, but this is not required for this assignment.

1. What is the fossil fuel divestment movement about? Is the University of Toronto's administration current stance on the issue the right one? (Weeks 3-5 and "Resources on the Fossil Fuel Divestment Controversy"

2. Why did the Canadian government buy Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain pipeline system? Was the decision well advised? (Weeks 3-5)

3. What is the Gasland / FrackNation controversy about? Who is more right in your opinion? (Weeks 3-5 and "Gasland Controversy")

4. What is Germany's Energiewende? Does it provide a model for other countries? (Week 9, including suggested readings Germany's Energiewende)

In short, what your professor wants to know is 1) what is the topic about (i.e., define the concept and summarize the relevant controversy if applicable)? 2) What do you think of the debate/controversy on this topic based on your preliminary readings? 

• Text should be written in full sentences and paragraphs organized in a clear and coherent fashion.
• The reflection should be written from a first-person perspective (i.e., you can use "I", "me", and "my" in this assignment).
• Text should be 11-12 point font and 1.5-2.0 line spacing on all pages. If applicable, block quotes and bibliography should use 1.0 line spacing.
• Pages should have regular 1 inch (2.54 cm) margins.

• Monday, January 29th @ 23:59 (week 4) via Turnitin

Written assignment #2 (20% of your final mark)
The goal of this assignment is to write a document similar to the "In Brief" notes produced by the Library of Parliament's Information and Research Service (Ottawa).
Here are links to a few "In Brief" notes:
• Barnes, Andre. 2010. In Brief: Youth Voter Turnout in Canada: 1. Trends and Issues. Publication No. 2010-19-E. Parliamentary Information and Research Service. Ottawa: Library of Parliament. 

• Heminthavong, Khamla. 2015. In Brief: Canada's Supply Management System (PDF). Publication No. 2015-138-E. Parliamentary Information and Research Service. Ottawa: Library of Parliament.

• McGlashan, Lindsay. 2015. In Brief: Public-Private Partnerships: Are Canadians Getting the Full Picture? (PDF) Publication No. 2015-50-E. Parliamentary Information and Research Service. Ottawa: Library of Parliament.

As specified on the Library of Parliament's website, their publications aim to "provide analysis to parliamentarians, parliamentary committees and parliamentary associations on current and emerging key issues, legislation and major public policy topics. The publications provide non-partisan, reliable and timely information on subjects that are relevant to parliamentary and constituency work (my emphasis)."

Your goal is to follow the spirit of these "In Brief" notes and produce a short document for busy people that presents all aspects of a particular problem in a non-partisan way. You must present and define the issue or problem, provide some background or context, explain why it is important and list all arguments for and against the problem or issue discussed. You can use bullet points, graphs or maps, but each claim or piece of evidence must be supported through an endnote.

• Cover page. Must include subject title, first and last name, student number, course number and year
• Table of contents
• Between 6 and 9 pages of text, excluding cover page, table of contents and endnotes
• Text should be 11-12 point font; 1.0 line spacing on all pages, including cover page, block quotes, and endnotes
• Pages should have regular 1.0 inch margins
• Reference/Citation style: Endnotes. Format of your choice, but you must be consistent

• Tuesday, April 2nd @ 23:59 (last day of class) via Turnitin

Written assignment #3 (15% of your final mark)
An op-ed (originally short for "opposite the editorial page") is a written prose piece which presents a specific opinion as opposed to a balanced perspective.

Your task in assignment #3 is to your write your own commentary on the question you have researched in assignments 1 and 2. Present and support your one-sided position with ideas and facts learned while researching your previous assignments and in other lectures and readings during the semester.

Your op-ed should be between 650-750 words, excluding your name, course number and student number. This assignment does not require a cover page, but it requires you to write the word count of your piece at the end of your assignments (e.g., word count: 673 words.)

Keep in mind that your audience is the general reading public, meaning people who are likely not familiar with your topic and who may not have had a post-secondary education. You must therefore draw their interest by using a catchy title and, ideally, a "hook" at the beginning of your story (e.g., "poachers have killed government officials in a nature preserve"; "ruins of a gigantic city have been discovered in the Amazon"). Explain your position using simple language, do your best to persuade and do not simply make assertions (e.g., "every expert agrees with me").

Keep in mind that your word count is low and that you might have to use only your BEST arguments, not all the arguments that support your position.

The University of Toronto offers the following guidelines to write an effective op-ed piece:
• Focus on one main idea or a single theme in your op-ed.
• Have a clear editorial viewpoint. State that point in your first paragraph, and then proceed to back up your opinion or prove your thesis.
• Look for opportunities to wed your specific area of expertise or interest with news developments.
• If you can, be controversial in your opinion.
• Always write for the lay reader. Be clear and straightforward. Use simple words, short declarative sentences. Even the brainiest of readers will lose interest if your submission is replete with long, complex sentences and paragraphs.
• Make your submission as argumentative as possible. It should not appear driven by anger and it should follow methodological reasoning.
• Express a strong call to action. Write with passion and "fire in your gut."
• Take pains to educate the reader with your insight, but don't condescend or preach.

See also the op-ed guidelines of Carleton College.

Op-ed links
• New York Times op-ed page

• Tuesday, April 2nd @ 23:59 (last day of class) via Turnitin

Department of Geography Late assignment/Missed Test Policy

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 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 test/quiz. Accommodations due to late registration into the course will NOT be approved.

In-class or Online QUIZ/TESTS: Students CANNOT petition to re-write a quiz/test once the test has begun. If you are feeling ill, please do not start the online or in-class 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 @ within 24 hours.

Online Submissions for Term Work: It is every student’s responsibility to ensure that their online submission is submitted successfully by the due date. Accommodations will not be made for unsuccessful submissions due to, but not limited to, i) the system timing out ii) submitting the incorrect document(s) iii) poor internet connection / no internet connection etc.

Missed Term Work (Assignment/Lab - as per Department of Geography policy):
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. For accommodations on late/missed assignments please see section on "Extension of Time".

Missed Term Work (Quiz/Test - as per Department of Geography policy):
Requesting Academic Accommodation using the Online Special Consideration Request Application:
In Geography and Environment courses, professors cannot grant extensions on term work or allow makeups for missed items. If you ask for and receive an extension or a makeup date directly from a professor, without following the appropriate steps as outlined in this document, it will be invalid and may be revoked at any time by the departmental petitions committee.

Students are responsible in ensuring strong reliable internet connection. Special consideration requests due to poor internet connection (ie. unable to complete online quiz / unable to submit assignment before deadline) will not be accepted.

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 @ 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 inform your instructor within 24 hours and you have up to one (1) week from the date of the missed test to submit your online request (late requests will NOT be considered without a "letter of explanation" as to why the request is late). 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. Verification of Student Illness or Injury form, accident report, etc) MUST BE SUBMITTED to the DROP BOX (labeled "Environment and Geography Petition Documentation") located outside Room 3282, Davis Building. Supporting documentation is required within 48 hours of submitting your online request.
Please Note: If you missed your test for a reason connected to your registered disability, please be advised that the department will accept documentation supplied by the UTM AccessAbility Resource Centre.
Note: (i) ROSI declarations are not accepted as supporting documentation.
(ii) If your reason for absence is due to a last minute flight due to a family emergency (illness/death etc.) you must provide your flight itinerary INCLUDING the date the flight was purchased as well as boarding passes in addition to proof of death/illness/accident.
4. Verification of Student Illness or Injury forms: 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.”). Verification of Student Illness or Injury forms can be found on the Office of the Registrar's webpage (

Note that holidays and pre-purchased plane tickets, family plans, your friend’s wedding, lack of preparation, or too many other tests/assignments are not acceptable excuses for missing a quiz, a test, an item of term work, or requesting an extension of time.

Extension of Time

**Students are expected to back up their work at all times. As such, extension requests due to computer issues (stolen, crashed, damaged etc.) will not be considered.

**Extension of time will NOT be approved for Group Assignments

The following steps must be completed in order to be considered for academic accommodation for any assignment extensions. Please note that assignments handed in AFTER the work has been returned to the class cannot be marked for credit and accommodations due to late registration into the course will NOT be approved.

1. Students must inform their professor in writing (e-mail is acceptable) IN ADVANCE of an assignment due date of any circumstances that prevent them from submitting their assignment on time.
2. Students must complete an online Special Consideration Request @ IN ADVANCE of the assignment due date. Note: The system only supports Microsoft Internet Explorer and Firefox for the time being.
3. Original supporting documentation (e.g. Verification of Student Illness or Injury form, accident report, etc) MUST BE SUBMITTED to the DROP BOX (labeled "Environment and Geography Petition Documentation") located outside Room 3282, Davis Building. Supporting documentation is required within one (1) week of submitting your online request.
4. Verification of Student Illness or Injury forms: Documentation MUST show that the physician was consulted within ONE day of the assignment due 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."). Verification of Student Illness or Injury forms can be found on the Office of the Registrar's webpage (

Original supporting documentation (e.g. Verification of Student Illness or Injury form, accident report, etc) MUST BE SUBMITTED to the DROP BOX (labeled "Environment and Geography Petition Documentation") located outside Room 3282, Davis Building. Note: ROSI/ACORN 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, Verification of Student Illness or Injury forms 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.

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 ( Academic Counselor, should you NOT receive notification of your decision within 2 weeks of submission.

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 ( Academic Counsellor, 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 Ferrari
Undergraduate Academic Counselor
Room 3282, Davis Building, Telephone: 905-828-5465

Equity Statement and Academic Rights

The University of Toronto is committed to equity and respect for diversity. All members of the learning environment in this course should strive to create an atmosphere of mutual respect. As a course instructor, I will neither condone nor tolerate behaviour that undermines the dignity or self-esteem of any individual in this course and wish to be alerted to any attempt to create an intimidating or hostile environment. It is our collective responsibility to create a space that is inclusive and welcomes discussion. Discrimination, harassment and hate speech will not be tolerated. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns you may contact the UTM Equity and Diversity officer at or the University of Toronto Mississauga Students' Union Vice President Equity at

Academic Rights

You, as a student at UTM, have the right to:
- Receive a syllabus by the first day of class.
- Rely upon a syllabus once a course is started. An instructor may only change marks' assignments by following the University Assessment and Grading Practices Policy provision 1.3.
- Refuse to use (you must be offered an alternative form of submission).
- Have access to your instructor for consultation during a course or follow up with the department chair if the instructor is unavailable.
- Ask the person who marked your term work for a re-evaluation if you feel it was not fairly graded. You have up to one month from the date of return of the item to inquire about the mark. If you are not satisfied with a re-evaluation, you may appeal to the instructor in charge of the course if the instructor did not mark the work. If your work is remarked, you must accept the resulting mark. You may only appeal a mark beyond the instructor if the term work was worth at least 20% of the course mark.
- Receive at least one significant mark (15% for H courses, 25% for Y courses) before the last day you can drop a course for H courses, and the last day of classes in the first week of January for Y courses taught in the Fall/Winter terms.
- Submit handwritten essays so long as they are neatly written.
- Have no assignment worth 100% of your final grade.
- Not have a term test worth 25% or more in the last two weeks of class.
- Retain intellectual property rights to your research.
- Receive all your assignments once graded.
- View your final exams. To see a final exam, you must submit an online Exam Reproduction Request within 6 months of the exam. There is a small non-refundable fee.
- Privacy of your final grades.
- Arrange for representation from Downtown Legal Services (DLS), a representative from the UTM Students' Union (UTMSU), and/or other forms of support if you are charged with an academic offence.

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 Matters.

This means, first and foremost, that you should read them carefully.

  • The Code of Student Conduct is available from the U of T Mississauga website (Registrar > Academic Calendar > Codes and Policies) or in your print version of the Academic Calendar.

  • The Code of Behaviour on Academic Matters is available from the U of T Mississauga website (Registrar > Academic Calendar > Codes and Policies) or in your print version of the Academic Calendar.

Another helpful document that you should read is How Not to Plagiarize, by M. Procter.

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 Academic Calendar

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 expectations.


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 needs.

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 the application.

For more information please contact the centre at:
Room 2047, South Bldg.
Tel/TTY: 905-569-4699

For students who would like to help

Please note that the AccessAbility Resource Centre is looking for a volunteer note-taker to take notes on behalf of students with a disability registered in this class. Volunteer note-takers are responsible for submitting their notes to AccessAbility every week. The notes can be submitted online or scanned at the Centre. (The form can be downloaded at

Volunteer note-takers will receive a certificate of recognition and reference letter at the end of the year. If you are interested in this opportunity, please take a volunteer form and follow the instructions provided. If you have any questions, please call 905-828-5422, email, or drop by the Centre (room 2047, Davis Building).

Accomodations for Religious Observances

As noted in the the Policy on Scheduling of Classes and Examinations and Other Accommodations for Religious Observances, the following provisions are included:

"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 considered sufficient.

More information and some dates of potential relevance for the U of T community are available at

As with any academic accommodation request, students must submit an on-line Special Consideration Request @

Recommandations & Suggestions

Suggested Scholarly Sources
Suggested Websites
Suggested Scholarly journals
Suggested Blogs

Week Schedule

Week 1 (January 8): Introduction
Week 2 (January 15): Concepts and the Big Picture
Week 3 (January 22): Carbon-Fuelled Civilizations 1
Week 4 (January 29): Carbon-Fuelled Civilizations 2 (Deadline for Written Assignment 1)
Week 5 (February 5): Carbon-Fuelled Civilizations 3
Week 6 (February 12): Term test Questions
Week 7 February 19: Reading Week
Week 8 (February 26): Electricity (Hydro and Nuclear)
Week 9 (March 5): Electricity (Alternatives) and Biomass
Week 10 (March 12): The Perennial Energy Debate
Week 11 (November 19): The Curse of Natural Resources
Week 12 (March 26): The Future of the Automobile
Week 13 (April 2): Guest Lecture: TBA on Ontario electricity dilemma (Deadline for written assignments 2 and 3)
Final exam: April 13 (17:00 to 19:00 / IB 120) Questions

Week 1 (January 8): Introduction

Required videos


The Guardian. 2015. Why Fossil Fuels need to Stay in the Ground - A Video Explainer

Simplifilm. 2014. The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels by Alex Epstein Official Book Trailer

GatesNotes. 2014. Bjorn Lomborg: Fighting Poverty with Fossil Fuels (June 25). 

Norberg, Johan. 2015. Power to the People. Free to Choose Network (available either here or here).

Required readings


• Conflicting Visions
- Restrictionists/Green

Monbiot, George. 2011. "Let's face it: none of our environmental fixes break the planet-wrecking project." The Guardian, May 3.

McKibben, Bill. 2012. "Global Warming Terrifying New Math." Rolling Stone (July 19).

The Leap Manifesto

Le Billon, Philippe and Berit Kristoffersen. 2018. "Climate Change Talks Need to Address Fossil Fuel Supplies." Policy Options (December 12).

Montgomery, L. Scott. 2018. "Cheap Oil is Blocking Progress on Climate Change." The Conversation (December 12).

- Expansionists/Free-Market
Bradley Jr, Robert. 2010. "A Free Market Energy Vision." MasterResource, July 16.

O'Neill, Brendan (2014/2009). "Hands off the Human Footprint!" Spiked! (December 17).

Epstein, Alex. 2015. "Carbon Week: The G7's Immoral No-carbon Pledge." National Post (June 16). 

Green, Kenneth. 2014. "Anti-Energy Activists Don't Want to Talk About Energy Poverty." Huffington Post (July 30).

- Middle Ground
Smil, V. 2011. "Global Energy: The Latest Infatuations." American Scientist 99:212-219.

Suggested readings & links

Week 2 (January 15): Concepts and the Big Picture

Required videos


American Museum of Natural History. 2016. Human Population Through Time

International Energy Agency. 2017. Energy Access 2017

British Pathι - Power: Constructing a Car Engine (1930-1939).

Student Energy
- Energy units 101 

Required readings

• Big picture
Zhang, Sarah. 2017. "A Grand New Theory of Life's Evolution on Earth. A series of energy revolutions - some natural, some technological - built upon one another to give us our rich, diverse biosphere." The Atlantic (May 19) 2017 (original essay here).

BP 2018. BP Statistical Review of World Energy: A Year in World Energy Markets

Exxon Mobil. 2016. "ExxonMobil's Energy Outlook Projects Population, Economic Growth to Drive Energy Demand." (December 16).

Plumer, Brad. 2014. "11 Maps that Explain the US Energy System." Vox

Montreal Economic Institute. 2014. Canada's Energy Profile in 40 Questions.

• Basic concepts

Familiarize yourself with energy glossaries and energy conversion tables

Canadian Geographic. Energy IQ. Canada's Energy Education Resource (Browse).

Bradley, Robert L and Richard W. Fulmer. Energy: The Master Resource, Kendall Hunt Publishing Company, 2004, Chapter 1: The Basics and Chapter 3: Efficiency - Technical and Economic.

Huber, Peter. 2004. "The Virtue Of Waste." Forbes, December 13.

Huber, Peter. 2005. "Thermodynamics and Money." Forbes, May 31.

• Energy transitions
EIA. 2013. "Energy Sources have Changed throughout the History of the United States." Today in Energy (July 3).

Bryce, Robert. 2010. "Wood to Coal to Oil to Natural Gas and Nuclear: The Slow Pace of Energy Transitions." Energy Tribune, August 16.

Wrigley, Tony. 2011. "Opening Pandora’s box: A new look at the industrial revolution. " VOX, 22 July.

Forbes, Viv. 2015. "Climate Alarmists Turn Back the Clock." American Thinker (January 6). 

Ausubel, Jesse. 2000. "Where is Energy Going?," The Industrial Physicist 6(1): 16-19.

Smil, Vaclav. 2016. "Examining Energy Transitions: A dozen insights based on performance." Energy Research & Social Science 22: 194-197.

Connelly, Quinn. 2018. "Energy Transitions? Not So Fast." Real Clear Energy (April 18).

Paunio, Mikko. 2018. Kicking Away the Energy Ladder. How environmentalism destroys hope for the poorest. Global Warming Policy Foundation. GWPF Briefing 30 (Read Executive Summary).

Berkow, Jameson. 2012. "Transportation fuel shift stuck in slow lane." National Post (April 2).

• On Forecasting
Bailey, Ronald. 2018. "Master Resource Reprises My Takedown of the National Academy of Sciences' Energy Projections - How is America's Energy Future looking nine years after I first panned it? Not so good." Reason (January 19). 

Mills, Mark P. 2018. "Can't See For Miles. The perils of technology forecasting, particularly regarding energy." City Journal (May 6).

Suggested readings & links

Weeks 3-4-5 (January 22 - February 5): Carbon-Fuelled Civilizations I-II-III

Required videos

Week 4 (January 29) Deadline for Written Assignment 1

Tragedy of Open Access
The Place. 2015. "Tragedy of the Commons or The Problem with Open Access."

Carbon Fuels
- Overview
Alex Epstein. 2015. "Why You Should Love Fossil Fuels." PragerU (April 20). 

GatesNotes. 2014. Bjorn Lomborg: Saving Lives with Fossil Fuels (June 25).

Oil Sands Action. 2016. "Life Without Oil and Petroleum Products? Not so simple...

What If. 2018. "What If No More Oil?"

American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM). 2016. "Petrochemicals: The Building Blocks of Modern Life." 

Heritage Foundation. 2018. "Who Is Reducing Its Greenhouse Gas Emissions the Most?"

- Technical aspects
Student Energy 
- Fossil fuels 101 
- Coal 
- Oil
- Natural gas 
- Hydraulic fracturing
- Liquefied natural gas (LNG) 101 
- In Situ Oil Sands production 

The American Petroleum Institute. 2017 An Overview of the Refining Process.

Making Coal Gas and Coke circa 1920s (Bray Pictures).

Huntley Film Archives. Gasworks, 1930's - Film 381

Mihir Naskar. 2014. "Tata Steel Coke, Sinter and Iron Making Process." (0:20-4:00). 

Movie: There Will be Blood (2007)  - "Gusher" scene.

Exxon Mobil. "Hydraulic Fracturing : How it Works."

Stossel, John. 2016. Myths on Fracking (fire).

- Canada
CN. Undated. "From Mine to Ship - The CN Coal Supply Chain." 

Glenbow Museum. 1953. "Underground East."

Suncor. 2012. How Suncor Energy Gets Oil from Sand.

Cenovus Energy. 2011. Understanding Steam-Assisted Gravity Drainage.

CN. Undated. "Frac Sand."

MacDonald-Laurier Institute. 2018. "Why Trudeau spent $4.5 billion to nationalize an oil pipeline." 

CBC News - Power & Politics. 2018. "Will More Rail Cars Solve Alberta's Oil Crisis?" (November 30).

CBC. 2012. "The Oil Farmer." The National (October 22).

The Weekly with Wendy Mesley (January 29, 2019) The American money behind the anti-pipeline fight.

Required readings


• World
- Global Picture
Ritchie, Hannah and Max Roser. 2018. "Fossil Fuels." 

NIPCC (Non-governmental panel on climate change). 2018. Climate Change Reconsidered II: Fossil Fuels (Summary for Policy Makers).

Driessen, Paul. 2018. "Give Thanks That We No Longer Live on the Precipice." (November 24).

Tupy, Marian. 2016. "Celebrate the Industrial Revolution - and the fossil fuels which drove it." CapX (October 28).

- Deforestation, reforestation, biomass burning and indoor air pollution

Morrison, Sara. 2018. "Undercooked: An Expensive Push to Save Lives and Protect the Planet Falls Short." ProPublica (July 12).

Matt. 2018. "Neolithic Farmers Cut Europe's Forests In Half." History Orbit (January 26).

Cowen, Richard. Essays on Geology, History and People. (Under contract with Johns Hopkins University Press), Ch. 3 ("Fire and Metals"), Ch. 4 ("The Bronze Age") and Ch. 11 (“Timber Crisis”).

McKenna, Philip. 2013. "Inside North Korea's Environmental Collapse." Nova Next (March 6).

Breyer, Melissa. 2015. "Global Forest Loss Reversed, despite Large-scale Deforestation in the Tropics." Tree Hugger (March 31).

Hammond, Alexander C. R. 2018. "The Deforestation Myth." CapX (May 24).

- From Whale Oil to Manufactured Gas
“Whale Oil” on the Oil History Website by Samuel T. Pees.

“Fossil Fuels.” Environmental Literacy Council.

Ostrom, Elinor. 2010. "Tragedy of the Commons." The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics Online.

- Coal
“Coal.” Environmental Literacy Council.

Solomon, Lawrence. 2017. "Singing the Praises of Coal - the virtuous stone that liberated humanity." Financial Post (August 25).

Belzile, Germain. 2017. "Opinion: Abandoning Coal would Betray the Poor." Toronto Sun (November 25).

BP. 2018. Statistical Review of World Energy 2018. "Coal"

Rujivanarom, Pratch. 2018. "Surge in Coal Use Scuttling Climate Change Effort." The Nation (August 20).

PTI. 2018. "Coal is Still King in Global Power Production." Money Control (November 30).

Mann, Charles C. 2014. "Renewables aren't Enough. Clean Coal is the Future." Wired (March 25).

Sharma, Sadhvi. 2015. "India is Right : Coal Makes the World Go Round." Spiked! (December 3).

• Crude Oil
- Conventional Oil
- The Classification of Petroleum
- API Gravity
- Sweet Vs Sour Crude Oil
- Benchmark Oils

“Petroleum.” Environmental Literacy Council.

"Petroleum (Oil)." Institute for Energy Research.

BP. 2018. Statistical Review of World Energy 2018. "Oil." 

“Petroleum and Petrochemical Technologies Greatest Engineering Achievements of the 20th Century. National Academy of Engineering. 2000.

"The unsung masters of the oil industry." The Economist, July 21, 2012.

- Tight Oil
Wile, Rob. 2012. "The Most Profitable Oil Field In The World Is Right Here In America." Business Insider, December 4.

Mills, Mark. P. 2016. "After the Carnage, Shale will Rise Again - Vast swaths of shale will be profitable with oil at about $40 a barrel, and the nimble industry is ready." The Wall Street Journal (January 16) (Access it through the UofT library website).

- Condensate and Gas Liquids
Kemp, John. 2014. "New Definitions Needed for Condensate and Gas Liquids." Reuters Commodities (October 10). 

- Oil Transport
Ward, Peter. Undated. "The History of the Oil Tanker." EniDay

Chakraborty, Soumya. 2017. "Understanding Design of Oil Tanker Ships." Marine Insight (September 30). 

"Tanker Types." 

Stena Bulk. Type of Vessels

Chris Baraniuk, Chris. 2016. "Cheap Oil is Taking Shipping Routes Back to the 1800s." (March 4).

Land "Pipeline Transport"

EIA. 2015. "EIA's Mapping System Highlights Energy Infrastructure across the United States." Today in Energy (June 16). 

Furchtgott-Roth, Diana. 2013. "Pipelines are Safest for Transportation of Oil and Gas." Manhattan Institute Issue Brief No. 23 (June).

Resource Works. "Ten Reasons Why You should Support Pipelines." 

- Refining and Petrochemicals
Refineries 101.

American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers. "Petrochemicals."

Jeff. 2016. "What can be Made from One Barrel of Oil?" Visual Capitalist (September 26).

Ranken Energy Corporation. Products made from Petroleum

AAAS (American Association for the Advancement of Science) and American Petroleum Institute. Science Net Links: Technology and Oil
- Oil Refining: A Closer Look

- Crude Oil and Refined Petroleum Markets, including Subsidies
- What Drives Crude Oil Prices?
- Petroleum and other liquids: Data (browse)
- Crude oil and other spot prices

Zycher, Benjamin. 2017. "Wasteful subsidies for me and thee, not for that fossil guy behind the tree." Washington Examiner (August 3). 

Lynch, Michael. 2015. "The Real Numbers on Energy Subsidies." Forbes (December 2).

- Natural (Conventional and Unconventional) Gas
BP. 2018. Statistical Review of World Energy 2018. "Natural Gas."
- Overview of Natural Gas
- Background
- History
- Uses
- Residential uses
- Commercial uses 
- Uses in industry 
- Transport
- Focus on LNG
- Focus on shale
- Shale wells
- Shale shock
- Water requirements
- Water disposal issues
- Shale and greenhouse emissions

FracFocus Chemical Disclosure Registry

Ridley, Matt. 2013. "The Five Myths about Fracking." Rational Optimist (August 16).

Nordhaus, Ted, Alex Trembath, Michael Shellenberger, Max Luke. 2013. "Coal Killer : How Natural Gas Fuels the Clean Energy Revolution." The Breakthrough (June 25). 

- Historical perspective
Thomas Paine. 1819. The Political and Miscellaneous Works of Thomas Paine, volume II. R. Carlile, p. 181.

Waldie, Paul. 2014. "How Fracking weakens Gazprom, the Bedrock beneath Putin's Feet." The Globe and Mail (February 18).


Sarnoff, Nancy. 2013. "Oil Giant, Developer George Mitchell Dies at 94." Houston Chronicle (July 26).

Gertner, Jon 2013. "George Mitchell : He Fracked Until It Paid Off." New York Times (December 21).

Koch, Wendy. 2014. "Exxon and Chevron Trailing in U.S. Fracking Boom." USA Today (May 4).

Epstein, Alex. 2015. "Four Fallacies that Fracktivists Use to Scare You." Forbes (October 15).

Bailey, Ronald. 2013. "The Promised Land of Fracking.", January 8.

Fitzgerald, Tim. 2014. "Frackonomics : The Economics behind America's Shale Revolution." PERC Report 33 (2) (Fall/Winter).

Carlyle, Ryan. 2014. "Fracking Rant." Quora (September 18).

Driessen, Paul. 2014. "What Drives Anti-Fracking Zealots?" (September 21).

DiChristopher, Tom and Javier E. David. 2014. "Oil, Natural Gas Surge makes Philadelphia the New Energy Hotspot." (November 16).

Ravve, Ruth. 2014. "Sand Rush in Midwest, Where Rare Material for Fracking is Mined." (June 26). 

Dews, Fred. 2015. "The Economic Benefits of Fracking." Brookings Now (March 23). 

- Rest of the world
US EIA. 2015. World Shale Resource Assessments (September 24). 

- Environmental Impact(s)

Hand, Eric. 2015. "Thirty Thousand Square Kilometers of Land Lost to Oil and Gas Development." Science (April 23).

Union of Concerned Scientists. 2015. The Climate Deception Dossiers.

Epstein, Alex. 2014. "9 Graphs That Prove Using Fossil Fuels Hasn't Harmed The Planet." Daily Caller (November 13).

Goklany, Indur. 2015. Carbon Dioxide : The Good News. Global Warming Policy Foundation Report 18 (Summary). 

Zubrin, Robert. 2014. "The Carbon Benefits Deniers." National Review (September 26). 

Hirst, Neil, Cheng Seong Khor and Simon Buckle. 2013. Shale Gas and Reduced Carbon Dioxide Emissions. Grantham Institute for Climate Change Briefing Paper No 10 (Executive Summary).

Woudhuysen, James. 2016. "Another Fracking Melodrama. Claims that shale wells poison rivers are not all they seem." Spiked (June 6).

Perry, Mark. 2017. "Q: What Nation on Earth has Reduced its Carbon Emissions More tany Other?" CarpeDiem (AEIdeas) (October 29).

Natural Gas Now Guest Blogger. 2017. "Shale, Not Renewable Energy, Is Reducing Carbon Dioxide Emissions." Institute for Energy Research (November 17).
Moore, Stephen. 2018. "Who's the Cleanest of Them All." Real Clear Politics (August 21). 

Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers. 2018. "Top Oil Exporters: Who's pricing carbon? Of the world's top 10 oil exporting nations, only one has implemented a price on carbon. Can you guess who?" (June 5) (Infographics).

Mintz, Jack M. 2018. "Jack Mintz: Carbon pricing has been fully exposed as just another tax grab." Financial Post (April 10).

Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change. 2018. Climate Change Reconsidered II: Fossil Fuels (Read the Summary for Policy Makers).

Le Billon, Philippe and Berit Kristoffersen. 2018. "Climate Change Talks Need to Address Fossil Fuel Supplies." Policy Options (December 12).

- Others
“Abiotic Theory of Oil Formation.” Environmental Literacy Council.

Bailey, Ronald. 2010. "Oil Without Dinos? New energy sources." Reason, January Issue.

Chidsey, Jr, Thomas C. 2012. "Oil Shale vs Shale Oil: What's the Difference?" Utah Geological Survey.

• Canada and Ontario
- Overview
Oil and Gas Infrastructure (Google Earth)
- Canada (browse)

Petroleum Services Association of Canada. Industry Overview

US Energy Information Administration. Country Analysis Brief - Canada

Government of Canada. National Energy Board 
- Crude Oil and Petroleum Products
- Natural Gas
- Natural Gas Liquids
- Canadian Pipeline Transportation System
- Energy Markets
- Canada's Energy Future 

Chassin, Youri. 2014. Is the Canadian Oil Industry Subsidized? Montreal Economic Institute, Economic Note (May). 

Oil Sands Magazine - Products: Western Canadian Select Explained

CAPP. 2017. "Tight Oil: An Emerging Resource Fact Sheet." 

Belzile, Germain. 2017. Canada's Oil and Gas Sector at Risk? How Excessive Taxes and Regulations Undermine Our Competitiveness. Montreal Economic Institute (October) (Read "Highlights").

- Oil and Gas
Historical Perspective
Bott, Robert D. 2004. Evolution of Canada's Oil and Gas Industry. Canadian Center for Energy Information. 

Lambton County Museums
- Oil Museum of Canada 

Stephen Rassenfoss, Stephen. 2017. "Hebron Field Begins Producing 37 Years After Discovery." Journal of Petroleum Technology (December 1).

Current Situation (Production and refining)
National Energy Board (NEB)
- Energy Markets 

Natural Resources Canada (NRC)
- Crude Oil and Petroleum Products Market

Canadian Fuels Association. 2017. "Fill Up on Some Fun Facts about Fuel and Refining." (March 16). 

National Energy Board (NEB). 2017. "Market Snapshot: Canadian tight oil production decreased after 2014 due to less drilling activity." (June 14). 

Bituminous Sands
Government of Alberta - What is Oil Sands?

Palen, Wendy J. et al. 2014. "Energy: Consider the Global Impacts of Oil Pipelines." Nature (June 25). 
CAPP. 2017. "How the Oil Sands Benefit All of Canada."

Taylor, Peter Shawn. 2018. "Canada's Trumpian Tipping Point." C2C (February 28).

Pipeline Politics and Economics
Baker, Nathan. 2018. "Pipelines in Canada." The Canadian Encyclopedia

Canadian Fuels Association. 2017. "Canada/U.S. Trade: Refining sector and product movement important to both countries." (September 7). 

NEB. 2018. Western Canadian Crude Oil Supply, Markets, and Pipeline Capacity (December) (Browse). 

Alini, Erica. 2018. "Trans Mountain pipeline: Some of the main arguments for and against it." Global News (April 30).

Canadian Energy Pipeline Association (CEPA)
- About Pipelines (browse)
- Interactive Maps (browse)

Committee for a Study of Pipeline Transportation of Diluted Bitumen et al. 2013. TRB Special Report 311: Effects of Diluted Bitumen on Crude Oil Transmission Pipelines - Overview. National Academies Press.

Levine, Steve. 2014. "Canada doesn't need a Pipeline to the US to Exploit its Oil Sands." Quartz (January 31).

Smil, Vaclav. 2011. "Obama's Indefensible Pipeline Punt." The American (November 15).

TransCanada Energy - East Pipeline project

Leach, Andrew. 2013. "Energy Security and the Energy East Pipeline." MacLean's (August 25).

Minardi, Jean-Franηois. 2013. "The Economic Benefits of Pipeline Projects to Eastern Canada." Montreal Economic Institute (Economic Note, September).

Mintz:, Jack. 2013."A Quashed Keystone XL would Cost Canadians $1.7-billion a Year." Financial Post (October 28).

Green, Ken.2014. "New Brunswick Derailment Highlights: Rail Vs Pipeline Tradeoffs." Fraser Forum (Spring): 14-15.
Green, Kenneth and Taylor Jackson. 2015. "Rail is Quite Safe, but Pipelines are the Safest Way to Transport Oil and Gas." Financial Post (August 14). 

Scharper, Stephen B. 2016. "Moving Away from a Pipeline Economy: Scharper. " Toronto Star (February 1).

Cattaneo, Claudia, Geoffrey Morgan and Jesse Snyder. 2018. "Arrested Development. How a new breed of activist is damaging economic growth, one project at a time." Financial Post.

Orland, Kevin. 2018. "$20 oil? Welcome to Canada, Where Crude Prices Haven't Recovered." Financial Post (October 12).

Hopper, Tristan. 2018. "Why has Canada Spent Billions of Dollars buying Saudi Arabian Oil?" Financial Post (August 8).

Hopper, Tristin. 2018. "Why Canada shouldn't refine the oil it exports." National Post (May 11).

Morgan, Gwyn. 2019. "Killing the 'Tar Sands' with American Money and Canadian Saboteurs." C2C (March 23).

- Refining
Nikiforuk, Andrew. 2011. "Yes, Refine Oil Sands Crude Right Here." The Tyee (September 22).

Cross, Philip. 2013. "Oil Industry Confound Critics." National Post (October 2).

Crowley, Brian Lee. 2013. "Market Hunger for Bitumen, not Refined Oil." The Globe and Mail (October 4).

Canadian Fuels Association. 2017. "A Graphic View: Today's refining capacity across Canada." (April 6).

- Ontario
Ontario Petroleum Institute
- History
- Oil
- Natural Gas
- Storage
- Publications
- Links

- Fossil Fuel Divestment Controversy
Rusbridger, Alan. 2015. "The Argument for Divesting from Fossil Fuels is becoming Overwhelming." The Guardian (March 16).
Epstein, Alex. 2015. "The Moral Case for Investing, not Divesting, in Fossil Fuels." Forbes (February 11).

"Resources on the Fossil Fuel Divestment Controversy."

-The Gasland Controversy
Watch these two videos
- Gasland (2010 documentary by Josh Fox) (Full documentary) See also here and here.
- FrackNation (2013 documentary featuring Phelim McAleer) (Full documentary).

Overview of the controversy
Read Todd Myers (WSJ); Sean Higgins (Washington Examiner); GreenWorld.

Details of the controversy
Hicks, David Eugene, "Imaging and Imagining the Future: Rhetorical Visions of Environmental Discourse in Gasland." (2012). Communication Graduate Theses & Dissertations (University of Colorado).

"Overview." The Guardian (2015).

"Debunking GasLand," "ICYMI – Longtime NYT Editor, Columnist on GasLand," "Fact and Fiction - No Hot Air," "Gasland director hides full facts," "Truthland," "Fracking The Movie(s)," "The Facts about Gasland" (; FrackNation.

Epstein, Alex. 2013. "Gasland II's Luddite Slander of Fracking is the Latest Technophobe Attack on Progress." Forbes (July 19).

Everley, Steve. 2013. "Debunking Gasland, Part II." Energy in Depth (April 25). 

McAleer, Phelim. 2013. "Ten Big Fat Lies about Fracking." Spiked! (August 22).

"Water OK in 'Gasland' fracking town, EPA says,", May 11, 2012.

Suggested readings & links

Week 6 (February 12): Term Test


Week 7 (February 19): Reading Week


Week 8 (February 26): Electricity (Hydro and Nuclear)

Required Videos

CHMnanoed. 2010. "Magnetism: Motors and Generators."
Enerdynamics. 2012. "Direct and Alternating Current." 

General Electric Company. 1915. The Home Electrical.

Buyout Footage Historic Film Archive. (Undated). HD Historic Stock Footage - Farm Family Life Without Electricity.

Student Energy 
- Electricity 101 
- Hydropower 101 
- Electrical Grid 101

Required readings

• General
“Electrification Greatest Engineering Achievements of the 20th Century. National Academy of Engineering. 2000.

Bradley, Robert L and Richard W. Fulmer. Energy: The Master Resource, Kendall Hunt Publishing Company, 2004, Chapter 2: Using Energy, pp. 19-20, 25-29, 30-31, 45-48.

Environmental Literacy Council Website.
“Electric Current and Power Transmission
“Electric Power Grids and Blackouts

Lomborg, Bjψrn. 2013. "Blinded by the Light." Project Syndicate (March 13).

EIA. 2015. "EIA's Mapping System Highlights Energy Infrastructure across the United States." Today in Energy (June 16).

Ritchie, Hannah and Max Roser. 2019. "Energy Production & Changing Energy Sources." Our World in Data  (Read the following)
- Access to Electricity 
- Per Capita Electricity Consumption

• Hydroelectric
-Water power before electricity
Bryce, Robert. 2016. "Fossilized Thinking [Review of Fossil Capital: The Rise of Steam Power and the Roots of Global Warming, by Andreas Malm (Verso)]." City Journal (Winter).

Resolute Reader. 2015. "Review of Fossil Capital: The Rise of Steam Power and the Roots of Global Warming, by Andreas Malm (Verso)." (December 16). 

-Hydroelectric Power
International Hydropower Association 
- "A Brief History of Hydropower
- "Types of Hydropower

The Canadian Encyclopedia
- Hydroelectricity

• Nuclear
The Canadian Encyclopedia 
- "Nuclear Energy
- "Nuclear Power Plants
- "Nuclear Research Establishments

Portney, Paul R. "Nuclear Power: Clean, Costly, and Controversial." Resources (Navigating Energy Choices in the 21st Century), Winter 2005, Issue 156, pp. 28-30.

Smil, Vaclav. 2016. "Nuclear Electricity: A Successful Failure." IEEE Spectrum (October): 24.

>Chernobhyl and Fukushima

Bailey, Ronald. 2011. "Nuclear Disaster in Japan Does it show a way forward for nuclear power?" Reason Magazine, March 15.

Fumento, Michael. 2005. "Exorcising the Demons of Chernobyl." Scripps Howard News Service (September 15).

Brown, Anthony. 2002. "'Myth' of Chernobyl suffering exposed." The Observer, January 6.

"Chernobyl Death Toll Grossly Underestimated." Greenpeace, April 18, 2006.

Smil, Vaclav. 2011. "Japan's Crisis: Context and Outlook" The American, April 16.

Shellenberger, Michael. 2019. "It Sounds Crazy, But Fukushima, Chernobyl, And Three Mile Island Show Why Nuclear Is Inherently Safe." Forbes (March 11).

Shellenberger, Michael. 2019, "MIT Historian Alleges United Nations Scientific Cover-Up Of Death And Disease Toll From Chernobyl." Forbes (March 13). 

Suggested readings & links

Week 9 (March 5): Electricity (Alternatives) and Biomass

Required videos


Manhattan Institute. 2011. "Andrew Klavan: The Green Jobs Answer Man."

Prager University. 2015. "Can We Rely on Wind and Solar Energy?" (Alex Epstein). 

Ask this Old House. 2016. "How to Maintain your Snowblower."

M4GW. 2015. "Where Have All the Eagles Gone?"

Startup Selfie. 2018. "Large Solar Farm Cleaning." 

Channel 4 News. 2018. "Forest in the U.S. Cut Down and Burnt in UK Power Stations."

Gates, Bill. 2018. "Climate Change and the 75% Problem." GatesNotes (October 17). 

Andy Dunau. 2009. "How Wind Turbines Generate Electricity." 

Student Energy 
- Renewable energy 101 
- Wind power 101
- Solar 101
- Tidal power 101
- Biomass 101
- Geothermal 101 
- Energy storage 101 

TEDx Talks. 2019. "Why renewables can't save the planet | Michael Shellenberger" (January 9). 

Required readings

• General Statements
- History
Stephens, W. R. "Review of Powering the Dream: The History and Promise of Green Technology by Alexis Madrigal (De Capo Press, 2011)."
New York Journal of Books.

"Oil vs Ethanol." Wessels Living History Farm. 

Dartnell, Lewis. Undated. "Out of the Ashes. It took a lot of fossil fuels to forge our industrial world. Now they're almost gone. Could we do it again without them?" Aeon.

- Overview
"Renewable and Alternative Fuels Basics 101." Energy Information Administration (read only the general definition).

Lomborg, Bjorn. 2017. "With the all the excitement for solar and wind, keep the perspective." Cool It (November 12). 

Ritchie, Hannah and Max Roser. 2018. "Renewables."

Smil, Vaclav. 2015. "Energy Transitions, Renewables and Rational Energy Use: A Reality Check." OECD Observer (304) (November) : 36-37.

Smil, Vaclav. 2014. "How Green is Europe?" The American (September 30).

BP. 2018. Statistical Review of World Energy - Renewable Energy

- Supporters
Mazzucato, Mariana. 2015. "Toward a Green New Deal." Project Syndicate (December 15).

Staedter, Tracey. 2017. "How 139 Countries Could Be Powered by 100% Renewable Energy by 2050." Live Science (September 20).

Roberts, David. 2019. "The Green New Deal, Explained. An insurgent movement is pushing Democrats to back an ambitious climate change solution." Vox (January 7).

Browne, John. 2018. "Oil and Gas Companies Will Lead the Energy Revolution. The 'supermajors' are already investing in a low-carbon future." Bloomberg (July 11).

- Critics
+ Overview
Bryce, Robert. 2010. "Five myths about green energy." The Washington Post, April 25.

+ Output and Technical Issues
Hayward, Steven. 2017. "A Visual Lesson in Energy Density." PowerLine Blog (November 27). 

Ridley, Matt. 2017. "Wind Turbines are Neither Clean nor Green and they Provide Zero Global Energy." The Spectator (May 13).

Koningstein, Ross & David Fork. 2014. "What It Would Really Take to Reverse Climate Change? Today's renewable energy technologies won't save us. So what will?" IEEE Spectrum (November 18).

Gosselin, P. 2018. "Germany's "Ticking Time Bombs".Technical Experts Say Wind Turbines Posing "Significant Danger" To Environment!" No Tricks Zone (June 22).

Aris, Capell. 2018. A Cheaper, Cleaner Electricity System. Global Warming Policy Foundation (Read the Foreword and Summary).  

+ Environmental Impact
Forbes, Vic. 2015. "Green Energy Plunders the Biosphere." Master Resource (July 20).

Constable, John. 2018. "Renewables and Climate Policy are on a Collision Course." GWPF Energy Comment (September 12).

Bryce, Robert. 2018. "The Antithesis of Green." National Review (January 9). 

+ Costs and Profitability
2014. "Analysis: Solar & Wind Power Costs are Huge Compared to Natural Gas Fired Generation." Watts Up with That? (September 6).

Lomborg, Bjorn. 2016. "Are Wind and Solar Energy already Competitive with Fossil Fuels?" LinkedIn (January 27).

Corcoran, Terence. 2016. "Clean, Green and Catastrophic." Financial Post (April 1).

Shellenberger, Michael. 2018. "Yes, Solar And Wind Really Do Increase Electricity Prices - And For Inherently Physical Reasons." Forbes (April 25). 

Van Doren, Peter. 2018. "Is Green Energy Competitive?" Cato at Liberty (July 24). 

• Biomass
- Wood
"U.S. Wood Pellet Exports Double in 2013 in Response to Growing European Demand." Today in Energy (USA EIA) (May 22, 2014).

"Where are the Wood Pellets Going? A Look at Global Biomass Exports." (December 1, 2014).

Warrick, Joby. 2015. "How Europe's Climate Policies led to More U.S. Trees Being Cut Down." Washington Post (June 2).

Strain, Daniel. 2018. "Think Wood is a Greener Source of Energy than Coal? Think again." Anthropocene (February 5).

- Ethanol and Biodiesel
Lewis, Marlo. 2015. "Food vs. Fuel: Worse than We Thought?" Global Warming Policy Foundation (January 30).

Bryce, Robert. 2015. "End the Ethanol Rip-Off." New York Times (March 10).

Auld, Douglas and Ross McKitrick. 2014. "Money to Burn: Assessing the Costs and Benefits of Canada's Strategy for Vehicle Biofuels." McDonald-Laurier Institute (June) (Executive Summary). 

Wynn, Gerard. 2010. "U.S. corn ethanol "was not a good policy"-Gore." Energy & Oil | Reuters, November 22.

Campbell, Hank. 2018. "Ethanol Is Bad Science And Bad Policy." American Council on Science and Health (October 26). 

Bader, Hans. 2018. "Biofuels Mandates 'Unleashed a Catastrophe' for our Planet." Liberty Unyielding (November 25).  

Suncor - Biofuels

• Wind
Bryce, Robert. 2011. "The Party's Over for Big Wind." The Huffington Post (August 12).

Driessen, Paul. 2013. "Cut Fingers, Cancer, Bats and Birds." (April 6).

Simmons, Randy. 2015. "What's the True Cost of Wind Power?" Newsweek (April 15).
Schleede, Glenn (Guest Blogger). 2010. "Understanding the Limits of Wind Power: Key Industry Terms." MasterResource - A free-market energy blog, March 14.

Nelsen, Arthur. 2015. "Wind Power Generates 140% of Denmark's Electricity Demand." The Guardian (July 10). 

Smil, Vaclav. 2016. "What I See when I see a Wind Turbine." IEEE Spectrum (March): 27.

• Germany's Energiewende
Clean Energy Wire. Undated. Germany's Energiewende - The Easy Guide (browse) (see especially The History of the Energiewende).

Evans, Simon. 2016. "Timeline: The past, present and future of Germany's Energiewende." CarbonBrief (September 21). 

Merdan, Ersin. 2018. "Has Energiewende been Successful since its Inception?" AA Energy (October 9). 

Smil, Vaclav. 2014. "Germany's Energy Goals Backfire." The American (February 14).

Oroschakoff, Kalina. 2018. "Germany's Green Energy Shift is more Fizzle than Sizzle. Despite spending billions, it is falling behind other European countries." Politico (March 23).

Lundseng, Oddvar, Hans Johnsen and Stein Bergsmark. 2018. "Germany's Green Transition has Hit a Brick Wall." CFACT (December 20).

Suggested readings & links

Week 10 (March 12): The Perennial Energy Debate

Required videos


- Overview
American Museum of Natural History. 2016. Human Population through Time.

- Pessimists
New York Times (Retro Report). 2015. The Population Bomb.

National Film Board. 2010. Test Tube (with David Suzuki) (Video).

Edmund Hillary Fellowship. 2018. "The Planetary Boundaries Framework - Johan Rockstrφm."

- Optimists
Learn Liberty. 2011. Are We Running Out of Resources?

Learn Liberty. 2013. Free Market Economics: A Quick History of War, OPEC, and Gas Prices - Learn Liberty. 

FreeThink. 2017. "We're All Gonna Starve!"

Required readings

• Population Growth, Resources and the Environment
Deffeyes, Kenneth, & Peter Huber. 2005. "It's the End of Oil / Oil Is Here to Stay." Time, October 23.

Ellis, Erle C. 2012. "Overpopulation is not the problem." The New York Times (September 13). 

Pearce, Fred. 2010. "The overpopulation myth." Prospect Magazine, March 8.

Ridley, Matt. 2014. "Why Most Resources don't Run Out." Rational Optimist (April 30).

Mann, Charles. 2013. "What if We Never Run Out of Oil?" The Atlantic (May). 

• Jevons Paradox
Encyclopedia of Earth
- Jevons Paradox

Stott, Philip. 2008. "The Jevons’ Paradox." Global Warming Politics, February 12.

Hertwich, Edgar. 2012. "Jevons Paradox or Not? The Myth of Resource Efficiency: The Jevons Paradox by John M. Polimeni, Kozo Mayumi, Mario Giampietro and Blake Alcott Energy Efficiency and Sustainable Consumption edited by Horace Herring and Steve Sorrell." Journal of Industrial Ecology 16 (3) (June): 453-454.

• Pessimists
Quintus Septimius Florens Tertullianus (Tertullian). Approximately 203 AD. "On the Soul." Chapter 30.

Rose, Morgan. 2002. "In Defense of Malthus." Library of Economics and Liberty (September 16).

McLemee, Scott. 2015. "Past Its Peak." Inside Higher Ed (November 4). 

The Oil Drum 
- Three Nails in the Coffin of Peak Oil
- Bardi, Ugo. 2008. "Crude Oil: how high can it go? (19th century whaling as a model for oil depletion and price volatility)." The Oil Drum: Europe, May 15.

Campbell, Colin C. and Jean Laherrère. 1998. “The End of Cheap Oil Scientific American (March): 78-83.

Monbiot, George. 2012. "We were wrong on peak oil. There's enough to fry us all." The Guardian (July 2).

Safina, Carl. 2014. "This Planet Comes with Limits." CNN (May 8).

McDonald, Charlotte. 2015. "How Many Earths do we Need?" BBC News (June 16). 

Ludden, Jennifer. 2016. "Should We Be Having Kids In The Age Of Climate Change?" NPR (August 18). 

Jδrvensivu, Paavo et al. 2018. Global Sustainable Development Report 2019. Group of Independent Scientists - Invited background document on economic transformation (August 14).

• Optimists
- Historical perspective and conceptual issues
George, Henry. 1912/1879. Progress and Poverty: An Inquiry into the Cause of Industrial Depressions and of Increase of Want with Increase of Wealth, The Remedy. Book II: Population and Subsistence. Chapter III: Inferences from Analogy.

Baumol, William J. and Sue Anne Batey Blackman. "Natural Resources," The Concise Encyclopedia of Economics.

Ausubel, Jesse. 1999/2000. "Resources are Elastic," Earth Matters (Winter): 46-47.

Will, George. 2012. "Why doom has not materialized." The Washington Post (August 17).

Bradley, Rob. 2012. "Resourceship: Expanding 'Depletable' Resources." Library of Economics and Liberty (May 7). 

Boudreaux, Donald J. 2018. "There are No Natural Resources." American Institute for Economic Research (November 13). 

Ausubel, Jesse. 2015. "We Must Make Nature Worthless." Real Clear Science (September 18). 

- On Peak Oil
Bailey, Ronald. 2016. "Where Have All the Peak Oilers Gone? Dancing on the grave of "peak oil" - will it stay buried?" Reason (January 21). 

Bradley Jr, Robert. 2018. "Oil Depletion Protocol (Colin Campbell's Falsified Pretense of Knowledge)." Master Resource (July 18).

- Ehrlich-Simon Bet
McClintick, David, and Ross B. Emmett. 2005. "Betting on the Wealth of Nature. The Simon-Ehrlich Wager." PERC Report 23 (3) (Fall). 

Kedrosky, Paul. 2010. "Taking Another Look at Simon vs. Ehrlich on Commodity Prices." Seeking Alpha (February 19).

Tupy, Marian L. 2018. "The Counter-intuitive Truth about the World's Resources." CapX (December 7) (Original study available here).

Bailey, Ronald. 2018. "Resources Are Almost 5 Times as Abundant as They Were in 1980. New Simon Abundance Index elegantly refutes primitive zero-sum intuitions with respect to population and resource availability trends." Reason (December 4).

- Latest trends
Institute for Energy Research. 2018. Technology Revolutionizing the Oil Industry (July 27).

- Latest News
Perry, Mark J. 2017. "From Peak Oil to Energy Abundance. Energy expert now says the Permian Basin is a permanent, near-infinite resource." Carpe Diem (AEIdeas) (August 21).

Australian Associated Press. 2018. "200-400 Years Worth of Shale Gas: Australian Minister Announces Huge Discovery." (September 5). 

Blas, Javier. 2018. "The U.S. Just Became a Net Oil Exporter for the First Time in 75 Years." Bloomberg (December 6). 

MacKinson, Lindsay. 2018. "Celebrating a Record-Shattering 2018 for U.S. Oil & Natural Gas." Energy in Depth (December 20). 

Cohen, Ariel. 2018. "America's Oil And Gas Reserves Double With Massive New Permian Discovery." Forbes (December 21).

Laframboise, Donna. 2019. "UN Targets the Sand People." Big Pic News (May 8). 

Suggested readings & links

Week 11 (March 19): The Curse of Natural Resources

Required Videos

We will watch two videos
- Productive Conversations: Dutch Disease Explained (Financial Post)
- The Devil's Footpath, written and presented by June Arunga.

Required AUDIO

Davies, Viv. 2012. "The Oil Curse: How Petroleum Wealth Shapes the Development of Nations." Vox (April 20) (audio and transcript).

Required readings

• General Statement
Palley, Thomas I. 2003. “Lifting the Natural Resource CurseForeign Service Journal, December.

• Resource Curse (Debate)
Ali, Saleem H. 2010. Beyond The Resource Curse: Minerals and Global Development. Pardee Center, Issues in Brief, No. 12.

Palda, Filip. 2003. "The High Price of Natural Wealth." Fraser Forum, January, 30-31.

Ryan, Kieron E. 2010. "Blood Diamonds Farce.", August 11.

van den Bremer, Ton Rick van der Ploeg. 2012. "Managing and Harnessing Volatile Oil Windfalls: Three Funds, Three Countries and Three Stories." Vox (December 14). 

Wall, Alan. 2013. "PEMEX's Throttling Mexico's Oil Resources." American Thinker (September 4).  

• Resource Curse, Dutch Disease and the Canadian Economy
Vostroknutova, Ekaterina, Milan Brahmbhatt and Otaviano Canuto. 2010. "Dealing with Dutch Disease." VOX (June 21). 

Bergevin, Philippe. 2006. "Energy Resources: Boon or Curse for the Canadian Economy?" Economics Division, Parliamentary Information and Research Service (PIRS) of the Library of Parliament  31 March.

Cross, Philip. 2013. Six Myths Surrounding the Development of Canada's Natural Resources. MacDonald-Laurier Institute, Executive Summary and pp. 12-14.

Cross, Philip. 2013. "Dutch Disease in Canada a myth." National Post (January 16).

Holden, Michael. 2012. "Is Canada suffering from Dutch Disease?" Canada West Foundation Blog (June 4).

Isfeld, Gordon. 2012. "Mark Carney dismisses Dutch Disease, says oil strength sign of success." Financial Post (September 7).

Kelly-Gagnon, Michel. 2012. "Dear Mr. Thomas Mulcair..." Toronto Star (June 25).

Nikiforuk, Andrew. 2013. "Oh Canada. How America's Friendly Northern Neighbor became a Rogue, Reckless Petrostate." Foreign Policy (June 24). 

Leach, Andrew. 2013. "Ottawa is no Caracas." Foreign Policy (September-October).

• Odious Debt
Adams, Patricia. 2002. "The Doctrine of Odious Debts: Using the Law to Cancel Illegitimate Debts." Probe International, June 21.

Suggested readings & links

Week 12 (March 26): The Future of the Automobile

Required Videos

- Historical Perspective
+ Before the car
MPO Production. Date unknown. "The American Road." 

"Late 1890s - A Trip Through Paris, France" (speed corrected w/ added sound). 

British Pathι. Date unknown. "Early English Traffic: Turn of the Century London (1896-1903)." 

Edison Company. 1901. "Montreal Fire Department on Runners" (Library of Congress). 

+ Early Years
History Channel. Henry Ford Videos - The Invention of the Automobile (For more on the history of the assembly line and cost reduction at the Ford Company, see Model T Assembly Line)

New York 1911 (Short version; extended version, speed corrected w/ added sound). 

Driving Around New York City - 1928

+ Tractors
CharlieDeanArchives. Horseless Farming With Ford Tractors - 1917.

+ Future cars in retrospect
Cars Of The Future from 1948

King Rose Archives. 2013. "Firebird I - 1st Turbine Powered Car" (February 7).

+ Electric car
ColdFusion. 2017. Did You Know - The First Cars Were Electric? 

Stossel. 2013. "A Green Car's Dirty Secret?" (See also Praeger. 2016. Are Electric Cars Really Green?; CNN. 2009. History of the Electric Car).

Reason TV. 2018. "Remy: It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas (EV Tax Credit Edition)." 

Required readings

• Before the Car
Ausubel, Jesse H. 2014. "Cars and Civilization." William & Myrtle Harris Distinguished Lectureship in Science and Civilization, California Institute of Technology (Revised May 18).

"The Horse and the Urban Environment" on the Environmental Literacy Council's Webpage.

Avery, Dennis T. 2000. "Praising The Gas Engine On Earth Day." Center for Global Food Issue (Hudson Institute) (April 14).

Gordon, Peter. 2007 "Horse Manure." Peter Gordon's Blog, August 27.

Miller, Kirsten. 2012. "The Irregular Guide to New York Entry #5: Toxic Muck." Bank St Irregular (October 21). 

Tarr, Joel and Clay McShane. 1997. "The Centrality of the Horse to the Nineteenth-Century American City." Excerpt posted on the Environmental Literacy Council's Webpage. 

Lee, Dwight R. 2007. "Thank You, Internal-Combustion Engine, for Cleaning up the Environment. Widespread Pollution from Horse Manure Caused Diseases and Produced Methane Gas." (October 1). 

• Historical Perspective and Overall Challenges
Omi, Koji. 2009. "Alternative Energy for Transportation." Issues in Science and Technology 25 (4), Summer.

Bradley, Robert L and Richard W. Fulmer. Energy: The Master Resource, Kendall Hunt Publishing Company, 2004, Chapter 2: Using Energy, pp. 48-55.

Canadian Petroleum Products Institute. 2012. Fuels for Life. A Discussion on Canada's Energy Transportation Choices (Executive Summary).

Kinney Bennett, Ralph. 2008. "Why Gasoline Is Still King." The American Magazine, December 17.

Henderson, David. 2018. "Are Cars Much Better than 50 Years Ago?" Library of Economics and Liberty

Smil, Vaclav. 2017. "Diesel Engine at 120." IEEE Spectrum (February): 24. "The History of the Diesel Engine."

Hotten, Russell. 2015. "Volkswagen: The Scandal Explained." BBC News (December 10).

Eric Peters Auto. 2015. "No More Affordable Diesel." (October 8).

Peters, Eric. 2018. "Sniffing a Scandal." Eric Peters Auto (July 6).  

Natural Gas
Fuel for Thought. 2012. "The First Natural Gas Vehicles." (April 27). "Natural Gas in the Transportation Sector."

White, Bill. 2011. "The Long Road for Natural Gas." Alaska Natural Gas Transportation Projects (June 27).

Biello, David. 2012. "Cheap Fracked Gas Could Help Americans Keep on Truckin'." Scientific American (April 23).

• Electric Car
- History
Kilson, Kashann. 2016. "In 1910, Electric Cars Were the Best Vehicles on the Road. What Happened?EVs ran into Ford's whims, Edison's unfit batteries, big oil, and the ancient question of charging stations." Inverse (January 4). 

- General
Graham, John D., Joshua Cisney, Sanya Carley, and John Rupp. 2014. "No Time for Pessimism about Electric Cars." Issues in Science and Technology 31, no. 1 (Fall).

Lane, Charles. 2010. "Unaffordable at Any Speed - President Obama's electric car subsidies are snobby and foolish." Slate, July 30.

Smil, Vaclav. 2012. "Far from Electrifying." The American Magazine, November, 26.

Brooks, Allen. 2014. "The Struggle to Mainstream Electric Vehicles." Master Resource (July 23).

Lomborg, Bjorn. 2015. "Electric Car Benefits? Just Myths." USA Today (February 22). 

Canadian Fuels Association. 2016. "Cold weather tips for electric vehicles and hybrids." (November 10).

Alhajji, Anas. 2017. "Forecasts of High Penetration of Electric Vehicles are Based on Flawed Calculations." 

Yager, David. 2017. "Electric Vehicles No Threat To Oil Prices Anytime Soon." (July 27).

Dears, Donn. 2017. "Post-Internal Combustion Engine? Doing the UK Math." Master Resource (August 22). 

Booker, Christopher. 2017. "It's up Against StiffC, but the Race for Electric Cars could be our Leaders' Maddest Green Mania Yet." Daily Mail (August 22).

Booth, David. 2017. "Motor Mouth: More inconvenient truths on banning gas engines - High-speed EV recharging stations on highways sound great - until you hear how much they would cost." Driving (October 6). 

Mills, Mark P. 2017. "Why Silicon Valley Loves Mining." Manhattan Institute Commentary (October 31). 

Smil, Vaclav. 2017. "Electric Vehicles: Not so Fast." IEEE Spectrum (December): 24.

Boag, Peter. 2018. "Strong Evidence for Reduced Emissions: A Big Opportunity." Canadian Fuels Association Commentary (February).

Peters, Eric. 2018. "GM Kills the Electric Car." Eric Peters Auto (November 28).

Peters, Eric. 2019. "The Double-Batteried Electric Polecat." Eric Peters Auto (January 24). 

Peters, Eric. 2019. "Recharge Anxiety." Eric Peters Auto (August 2).

- Ontario
---. 2017. "Globe editorial: Why subsidies for electric cars are a bad idea for Canada." Globe & Mail (July 7).

Goldstein, Lorrie. 2017. "Green Fleet Targets Shrouded in Hypocrisy." Toronto Sun (September 9).   

- Tesla Motor
Durden, Tyler. 2017. "It's Confirmed: Without Government Subsidies, Tesla Sales Implode." Zero Hedge (June 12). 

Kristensson, Johan. 2017. "Study: Tesla Car Battery Production Releases as Much CO2 as 8 Years of Driving on Gas." Principia-Scientific (June 20).

Peters, Eric. 2017. "Why Won't They Send me a Tesla to Test Drive?" Eric Peters Auto (October 21).

Wahlman, Anton. 2018. "Tesla Model 3 Costs More To Charge Than A Gasoline Car." Seeking Alpha (April 1).

• Hybrids
–, "Most Hybrid Vehicles Not as Cost-Effective as They Seem, Reports", June 1, 2005.

Elton, Robert. 2004. "The Truth About Hybrids." The Truth about Cars. November 12.

Gantert, Tom. 2011. "Chevy Volt - Costing Taxpayers Up to $250K Per Vehicle." Michigan Capitol Confidential, December 21.

Green, Kenneth. 2011. "The Failed Chevy Volt That Just Won't Go Away." RealClearMarkets, November 30.

• Hydrogen
Smil, Vaclav. 2003. "No Alternative to Reality," Tech Central Station, June 30.

Zubrin, Robert. "The Hydrogen Hoax." The New Atlantis, Number 15, Winter 2007, pp. 9-20.

Suggested readings & links

Week 13 (April 2): Guest Lecture: TBA on Ontario electricity dilemma

Required readings

Deadline for written assignments 2 and 3

1. Historical Vignette: Electric Power Generation in Ontario over the Years
(A brief history of power generation and management in Ontario, from the days of Ontario Hydro, through phasing out of the coal plants, to today's "putting conservation first approach")

- Required Reading:
Ontario Ministry of Energy. (2013, December). Achieving Balance: Ontario's Long-Term Energy Plan, pp. 2-19.

- Additional Sources:
Winfield, M, Gibson, R. B., Markvart, T., Gaudreau, K., & Taylor, J. (2010). Implications of sustainability assessment for electricity system design: The case of the Ontario Power Authority's integrated power system plan. Energy Policy, 38, 4115-4126. doi:10.1016/j.enpol.2010.03.038

Howeltt, K. (2010, January 8). "The high cost of green power." The Globe and Mail.

Ontario Ministry of Energy. (2014). The End of Coal: An Ontario Primer on Modernizing Electricity Supply

Solar Share. 2015. "Who Manages Our Electricity In Ontario: A Brief History." (November 6).

Ontario Energy Board. Ontario's Energy Sector.

2. The Here and Now: IESO and Electricity Power System Planning
Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO). IESO is supposed to "ensure there is enough power to meet the province's energy needs in real time" while also planning and securing future energy and negotiating prices. How does it do this?

- Required Readings:
IESO (Independent Electricity System Operator). Electricity Pricing.

Ontario Ministry of Energy. (2013, December). Achieving Balance: Ontario's Long-Term Energy Plan, pp. 2-19. 

- Additional Sources:
Ontario Energy Report 

3. Analysis: What Gives with Ontario Electricity Prices?
Observers and analysts, from Energy Probe to the Auditor General of Ontario, have found the pricing and managing of electricity in Ontario downright alarming.

- Required Reading:
Office of the Auditor General of Ontario. (2015, Fall). Annual Report 2015. Chapter 3: Section 3.05. Electricity Power System Planning, pp. 206-215. *In case this excellent report is once again removed from the government's website - We are providing the link to the PDF*

Crawley, Mike. 2017. "Auditor General Blasts Kathleen Wynne's 'Fair Hydro Plan.' Liberals 'improperly' keeping hydro plan debt off government's books, says special report by Bonnie Lysyk." CBC News (October 17). 

Add Taylor, Peter Shawn. 2019. "Gerald Butts still denies responsibility for a bigger scandal: Ontario's 'green energy' catastrophe." Financial Post (February 26). 

- Additional Sources:
Office of the Auditor General of Ontario. (2015, Fall). Annual Report 2015. Chapter 3: Section 3.05. Electricity Power System Planning. (the rest of the chapter). 

Green, Kenneth. 2017. "Ontario power users get some relief, but there's still much more to do." Toronto Sun (August 18).

4. Analysis: Electrical Energy Prices Affect the Economy
The Ontario Chamber of Commerce and Adam White, the President of the Association of Major Power Consumers in Ontario, reflect on the electricity pricing trends in the province.

- Required Readings:
Holmes, A. (2015). Empowering Ontario: Constraining Costs and Staying Competitive in the Electricity Market, pp 1-9. 

McKitrick, Ross R. and Elmira Aliakbari. 2017. Rising Electricity Costs and Declining Employment in Ontario's Manufacturing Sector. Fraser Institute (read the Executive Summary).

- Additional Sources:
Taber, J. (2015, July 8). "Skyrocketing electricity rates may force one in 20 Ontario businesses to close." The Globe and Mail.

Adams, Tom. 2012. "Review of Mad Like Tesla by Tyler Hamilton (ECW Press, 2011)."

McKitrick, Ross. 2016. "Ontario electricity has never been cheaper, but bills have never been higher." Financial Post (August 10)

Corcoran, Terence. 2016. "Boondoggle: How Ontario's pursuit of renewable energy broke the province's electricity system." Financial Post (October 6). 

Furey, Anthony. 2016. "Canada's green agenda is having Soviet-style repercussions." Toronto Sun (October 24). 

Parker Gallant, Parker. 2018. "How Kathleen Wynne could have avoided public outcry over electricity costs." Parker Gallant Energy Perspectives (December 5).

Cross, Philip. 2018. "StatCan just exposed how worthless 'green' industries are to Canada's economy." Financial Post (December 19) .

--- End of Required Readings ---

5. Not Easy Being "Green": Wind Power Generation
Wind as a source of electric power in Ontario is not ideal. Academics and analysts hash it out.

- Sources (not required reading):
Rowlands, I. H., & Jernigan, C. (2008). Wind power in Ontario: Its contribution to the electricity grid.
Bulletin of Science, Technology & Society, 28(6), 436-453. doi: 10.1177/0270467608315942

Adams, T. (2006, November 16). "Review of Wind Power Results in Ontario: May to October 2006." Energy Probe

Holburn, G., Lui, K., & Morand, C. (2010, March 10). Policy Risk and Private Investment in Ontario's Wind Power Sector

Van Kooten, G. C., & Timilsina, Govinda R. (2008). "Wind power development: opportunities and challenges." Resource Economics & Policy Analysis (REPA) Research Group. 

McKitrick, Ross and Elmira Aliakbari. 2017. Did the Coal Phase-out Reduce Ontario Air Pollution? (January). Fraser Institute.

6. Energy Storage: The Next Big Thing?
How hard is it to store power in off-peak? The Ontario Smart Grid storage plan.

- Sources (not required reading):
Adams, T. (2013, October 10). Smart Grid? Part 1: Ontario's Next Energy Project

Suggested readings & links


Final exam


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