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Minerals, Energy and the Environment - GEOS251

This is a general education unit that introduces students to the technical, social, economic and environmental aspects that lie behind the production and use of mineral and energy resources in Australia and the rest of the world. The end products of these resources are familiar to us as steel for cars, aluminium for pots and pans, crude oil for petrol and coal for electricity. Nowadays, we have to consider acid rain, the greenhouse effect, heavy metal pollution, radiation, land degradation and land rights. Scarcity and resource exhaustion are also concerns. We demand and accept the goods and services provided by the minerals industries, including the increased wealth resulting from mineral exports, yet increasingly oppose the development of the resources that produce these goods. This does not mean that opposition to development is necessarily bad, or that development is necessarily good. What it does mean is that it is important to look at the broad picture rather than emotions. Learn about questions like: What is the economic importance of Australian mining? What are the environmental problems associated with this mining? Where are Australia's fossil fuels? How long will they last? Debate topics like: Should Australia adopt nuclear power as a 'clean' energy source? Should Australia, like Norway, insist on mining companies contributing to long term community wealth?

Credit Points: 3
When Offered:

S1 Day - Session 1, North Ryde, Day

S1 External - Session 1, External (On-campus dates: None)

Staff Contact(s): Dr Chris Firth

12cp at 100 level or above Prerequisite Information


Unit Designation(s):


Unit Type: People unit
Assessed As: Graded
Offered By:

Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences

Faculty of Science and Engineering

Course structures, including unit offerings, are subject to change.
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