Resources and Sustainability

Course Resources and Sustainability
Instructor Prof. Dr. Andreas Hoppe, Dr. Sabine Sané (WS 16/17)
Prerequisites Introduction to Earth and Environmental Sciences
Corresponding Module Global Cycles of Matter and Materials
The growing human footprint on our planet is clearly shown by the enormous consumption of renewable (e.g. biomass and water) and non-renewable resources (e.g. fossil fuel, metals, construction material). To sustain a high human development without destroying the environment an equilibrium between economic viability, environmental tolerability and social fairness is required. This concept of sustainability is incorporated in many national constitutions, numerous regulations and is discussed in several summits.

The course will study geo- and bio-resources in respect to their extraction and use, their potential impact on the environment, their economic value and the legal situation necessary to fulfill the requirement of sustainable development. This includes topics such as the use of mass materials for construction and land use conflicts, as well as the use of renewable resources for electricity production and the energy policy and management that comes along with this.

Small excursions to governmental and non-university organisations will illustrate the theoretical content in practical applications. Finally, students will amplify important topics of resources and its governance during seminars. After the course students should be able to

  1. Understand the productivity of various renewable and non-renewable resources and the new political frameworks according to them
  2. Analyze the resource usage according to its impact on the environment, society and economy
  3. Evaluate different aspects of resource usage in respect to a sustainable development

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