Energizing the Developing World in the 21st Century Discussion

Follow these instructions for this discussion activity:

Watch the video, History of Energy (YouTube 5:30).Links to an external site. 

Watch the video, Is Nuclear Energy Green? (YouTube 22:46).Links to an external site. 

  1. Read David Klinges’ (2019) article, “Changing Energy Use in Rural Africa With Power From Solar, Clean Stoves…and Women” (Mongabay News).Links to an external site.

Please select 1 of the following options:

Option #1:  What is the perspective of Smallman and Brown on energy? Is it fundamentally pessimistic or optimistic about the world’s energy future? Why?

Option #2:  What are some ways that international institutions can help countries develop in ways that are appropriate to their unique cultural and geographic situations?  Also, and in your own opinion, as compared to countries such as Russia and China and how they engage with other countries in the world today, are the US and other Western democracies “handicapped” in their ability to help other countries develop by climate change and green energy policies?  If so, what can be done about this?  Explain…


1st/Main post due by Thursday / 200 min words

1 reply post to classmate:

Smallman and Brown offer a perspective on energy that can be described as cautiously optimistic about the world’s energy future. Their view is grounded in the understanding that energy is a linchpin for global development and human well-being. They recognize the vital role that energy plays in addressing various global challenges, including poverty alleviation, environmental sustainability, and climate change mitigation. While Smallman and Brown acknowledge the pressing issues related to energy, such as limited fossil fuel resources and environmental degradation, they maintain optimism by highlighting the transformative potential of technological innovation and sustainable energy solutions. They emphasize the importance of transitioning towards cleaner and more efficient energy sources, such as renewables and advanced technologies, which can mitigate the adverse impacts of conventional energy production. Additonally, Smallman and Brown advocate for a more sustainable and resilient energy system that can meet the growing global energy demands while reducing greenhouse gas emissions and minimizing environmental harm. Essentially, their perspective leans towards optimism, underscoring the capacity of human ingenuity and global cooperation to steer the world towards a more sustainable energy future, even in the face of substantial challenges. They view energy not only as a source of concern but as a driving force behind a more prosperous and environmentally responsible world. 


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