HISTSCI 131B. Transforming Technologies: Science, Technology, and Climate Change: The Present and Future

This course applies insights from the history of technology to the present challenge of climate change. We examine the required energy transition to prevent anthropogenic climate change, and the obstacles to it. Topics include the history and development of renewable energy, (including the factors responsible for the recent dramatic drop in the price of renewables), the prospects for smart grids and smart appliances, the problems of scaling, and the role of the private sector and private finance v. the role of government policy in stimulating uptake of new technologies. We will also look at the history of nuclear power, both in the United States and elsewhere, to consider what contribution nuclear power could or should make to our future energy mix.

Prerequisite: HISTSCI 131A is strongly encouraged, but not required. Part two of a two part series.






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History of Science

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  • [Course titles in brackets] indicate that the course is not scheduled to be taught during the 2019-2020 academic year, but may be offered in an alternate year.
  • An asterisk (*) before a course number indicates that a student must obtain the instructor's permission in order to enroll in the course.

Harvard University
Center for the Environment

Address: 26 Oxford Street, 4th Floor, Cambridge
Phone: (617) 495-0368

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