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Start Here: Understanding Energy

Summary

We need to change our lifestyles and the way we work, live and play in order to live within planetary boundaries (stopping human-caused climate change, destroying...

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Last updated January 31, 2023
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Summary

We need to change our lifestyles and the way we work, live and play in order to live within planetary boundaries (stopping human-caused climate change, destroying air, water, nature, etc.). We can totally get to a point where everyone on the planets’ needs are met, and we’re all living our purpose and making a good living in service to human well-being and nature.

The first and absolutely necessary change is to shift away from energy provided by fossil fuels (coal, oil, “natural” gas) to clean, renewable energy (solar, wind, geothermal, etc.). It’s totally possible, and it’s absolutely critical. Energy is intertwined with every facet of our lives, so changing the way we get and use energy will also affect every aspect of our lives. It’s important to understand the underlying facts. That’s what this course is for.

Over the course of this course, we’ll refer to this transition to clean renewable energy as “CHANGE.”

  • Who is this course for? Everyone.
  • How long will it take for me to complete the course? Depending on your familiarity with the topics, this will probably take 15 minutes to an hour or more per day over the course of a week or so. It’s really a self-guided course, with lots of links to external information. The idea is that you try to absorb the main ideas, then dig deeper into the the topics that interest you most. You don’t have to complete all the lessons if you don’t want to.
  • What are the rewards for taking this class? First of all, you’re going to be super knowledgeable and up to date on all the latest information about the transition that’s underway, and you’re going to know what to do to get involved. If you are a registered member (registration is free) you will gain points for completion of lessons and topics and can participate in the group discussions. Each lesson is worth either 50 points total or ten points per topic in the lesson you complete, then you get another 100 points when you’ve completed all the lessons. If you complete assignments, you get 50 points for each assignment, then if you complete all 3 assignments you can also get a certificate of completion for your All4.Earth profile.
  • What else do I need to know?
    • When something jumps out at you or grabs your heart, get on the discussion forum and see who else is thinking about it. A discussion forum is part of the course, so participate in the discussion forum and apply your knowledge.

Key Takeaways

You will have the basic underlying knowledge that everyone needs in order to understand what is happening in our world, why we must change, and ideas on how to do it. Once you read it, you will be prepared to start your journey.

The transition to business models and lifestyles currently underway (and required) is one of the biggest opportunities of our time, in terms of:

  1. Reducing carbon emissions,
  2. The massive number of jobs and investment that will be created, and
  3. The increase in human health, equity, and prosperity.

This is the “change” we want and need, and that we’ll be referring to throughout the course.

IT’S URGENT! For best results, the transition to clean energy needs to get about half way there by 2030, and be completed by 2050, or even sooner if possible. So, this is the story of our lifetime. There’s nothing bigger. It’s a big complicated change, but it has to happen, and we have to do it right. Everyone has a role to play, and that starts with taking the responsibility to know the facts and get involved as a citizen of your community, state, and nation.

This course provides learners with essential facts and information so they can:

  • Understand the benefits of renewable energy and climate change, how these changes will result in lots of good jobs, and why it’s urgent to transition now,
  • Understand critical factors for success,
  • Understand how they can start to get their own families and communities hooked into taking action, and
  • Know the crucial actions that need to be happening now so that we can get this done. 
  • Learners are also introduced to the climate venture map, a way to cause the change we want to see.

Disclaimer

We’re not making any representations, warranties or promises by offering this class. There will be things missing, things that could be covered better, but we’ve done our best to get what we feel are some important facts into the course. If you take any of the target actions or click on any of the links, do so at your own risk. Also, please be sure to sign up for and provide feedback in the discussion group. Thanks again!

Course Content

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Part 1: Understanding Why We Can and Must Change
Part 2: Causing the Change We Want to See
Part 3: A Toolkit for a Clean Recovery 2021: Clean Energy and Jobs - Focus on Illinois and CEJA
Part 4: Assignments - 50 points for each assignment students complete that is approved by instructor
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