Archive for January, 2007

ENVS 630 at U. Penn

Tuesday, January 9th, 2007

U Penn

I was recently asked to teach a new course for the Master of Environmental Studies (MES) program at Penn, entitled “Global Energy Systems and Policy.” We began the course in early January 2007, and I told the students on the very first day that it required a considerable amount of hubris to even consider teaching something with such a title!

But I decided that it just might be possible if we adopted a sustainable development framework. We’re using the World Energy Assessment and its 2004 Update as a base for the first half of the course; then we’ll switch over to the Indicators for Sustainable Energy Development (ISED) methodology (and the seven country case studies) that I worked on with Dr. Ivan Vera at IAEA in 2005 (see the earlier “Vienna” posting). I have a follow-up contract with the UN’s Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) office in Bangkok, and will be working with Dr. Vera again to narrow the indicator focus towards electric power systems – so the students will have an opportunity to apply (and contribute to) this more recent effort as well.

I haven’t taught a full course since the year 2000 – and it’s really great to be back in the classroom again! The course was over-subscribed, so there appears to be considerable student interest in the topic as well.

Hong Kong

Monday, January 8th, 2007

Hong Kong at Night I returned to Hong Kong in December, and gave a presentation about emissions trading to the Board of Directors of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. The view of the harbor from their Boardroom was pretty impressive, but it was matched a few days later when I went to the top of Victoria Peak. I hadn’t been up there since the late 1980s, and the city certainly looked a bit different this time! And instead of my former back-pack type visit, this time I was treated to an elegant dinner overlooking the nighttime lights of the city, courtesy of my good friends Hubert and Pascale Tose.