CORE 105-
Future of Technology Policy
Spring 2019

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Week 4  – Energy and the Arctic

Part I:  Energy – Feb 5

We begin with two articles on energy.  Instead of the latest data on US oil production in mbd (for which you should probably do a quick Google News search) we take larger-perspective approaches.

gas prices tomorrowThe first is about World War IV – you know WWI and WWII, and you might guess that WWIII is a poor colloquialism for the Cold War.  But WWIV?  Andrew Bacevich is a career soldier who retired and the pursued academia.  He opposed the 2003+ war in Iraq – and then his son lost his life in combat there.

Bacevich describes a combination of distorted American values and weak American leadership over decades leading since the Carter administration to a global (but esp. Middle Eastern) war for cheap, reliable oil.  You can read The Real World War IV online in the Wilson Quarterly‘s archive.

We take a very different approach with Vaclav Smil, an energy philosopher, if there is such a thing: energy historian, at least. He describes how society moves in very large ways from one way of organizing its energy reliance to another.  You can read about Smil and his ideas here in Science magazine.


PowerPoint slides on additional material and class discussion material – on Bb


Part II: The Arctic – Feb 8

Let’s begin with these things as an intro to the Arctic.  If you can’t access the Borgeson article here, please find it through AU’s library web site or register for free with

– Scott Borgerson, “Arctic Meltdown,” Foreign Affairs, March-April 2008
– “Shipping Plans Grow as Arctic Ice Fades,” Ed Struzik, Yale 360, Nov 2016
– “China to Develop Arctic Shipping Routes,” BBC, Jan 26, 2018
– The Arctic Council: About Us

– Global Warming and the Polar Vortex,, Jan 2019

polar votex

An introduction to the Arctic through images:

– a series of images from NASA on Mashable

–  A political map of the Arcticarctic_region_pol_2007


– National Snow and Ice Data Center

Arctic Sea Ice Extent, Winter 2018-2019 — lowest ever recorded

sea ice extent chart 2019

  • PowerPoint slides on additional material and class discussion material – on Bb