An overview of accommodation options in Durham

Coming to Durham next year? Or at least considering it? You’re probably wondering what are the options accommodation wise in the city so I’ve put together this introductory piece on what exactly is on offer in the city… It should be said straight away there is genuinely a great choice of accommodation in Durham and something to fit everyone’s budget and needs.

College accommodation. There are 14 colleges in Durham, 9 of which are catered during term time and 7 which are self catered. If you’re looking for the most immersive year at Durham and keen to grow strong bonds with your college living in is probably the best option for this. It’s worth looking at the Durham University colleges website to see how the postgraduate make-up varies from college to college as it does vary widely, as too does the feel of the college itself with some large, some small, some old, some less so and so on. You can also see online how the rooms on offer vary as well; if you’re certain you want your own bathroom for example you’ll have to exclude some colleges from your search as not all of them have en-suite rooms available… Cost wise for the 2017/2018 year it’s £7,171 for a standard single room with a shared bathroom in a catered college or £5,019 in a non-catered college. For a standard room with en-suite this rises to £7,616 in a catered college and is £5,464 in non-catered colleges. The Anthropology Department, if you’re new to Durham, is itself is located on the ‘Science Site’ right next to the main university library; the majority of colleges are within a 10 minute walk of here – Durham is a small city really so even the farthest college from the Anthropology Department; Hild Bede is only a 20 minute or so walk away.

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A room in St. Aidan’s College

2nd option; private halls. Durham University currently has two sites; one in Durham city and another in Stockton-on-Tees known as the Queens Campus where subjects such as Pharmacy, Medicine, Finance and Psychology are currently based. This second campus though is gradually being closed and the departments moving back to Durham city with the exception of Medicine moving to Newcastle. The two Durham colleges based in Stockton (John Snow and Stephenson College) are also moving back to Durham this coming academic year (’17-’18). As a result of this transition of all departments back to Durham from the Queens Campus between 2016 and 2019 the council has granted planning permission for a number of private halls to be built in the city with the hope of lessening the drive for owner occupied homes in the city to be turned into student lets. As a result of this there are now a good number of new or nearly new private halls in Durham, all of which it should be mentioned are self-catered. Unite have ‘Elvet Studios’ with 112 studio rooms all with kitchen and en-suites for £171/week (£8,892/year). Fresh Student Living have studios at ‘Chapel Heights’ ranging from £150/week up to £199/week on 51 week contracts (£7,650 – £10,149) with access to some really nice facilities on site including a gym. Chapel Heights though is a good walk from the Anthropology Department; being located near the ‘Gilesgate Roundabout’ found at the top of Claypath it’s probably a 25 minute walk from Anthropology – or 5 minutes further up the hill from Hild Bede. At about the same distance, maybe a touch closer to the Anthropology Department and also closer to the centre of town is a brand new private halls only opening this September called ‘The Clink’ who are offering double bed, en-suite rooms for £137.50 per week on 51 week contracts (coming out at £6,763/year) with the use of a shared kitchen. They are also offering studios with a kitchen for £155/week. There are other halls are out there to consider too; CRM students have ‘St Giles Studios’ from £122/week in Gilesgate and there’s also ‘The Village’ in the Viaduct, perhaps the cheapest option of the private halls in Durham with rooms advertised as being available from £111.5/week again on a 51 week tenancy.

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Thanks Yumeng for the tour – A room in Unite’s very nice ‘Elvet Studios’

 

Renting a room. Lastly you can of course rent a room in a private house; as with all cities you can buddy up with friends and rent a whole property, rent one room in a house let out room by room to students or thirdly rent a spare room in an owner occupied property. The latter two are probably more likely for prospective masters students so I’ll focus on these two. First off – renting a spare room in somebody’s home… This can be the cheapest way to live in Durham; I was offered a room for an amazing £100 a month, bills included, in a village just outside Durham during my search for somewhere to live at the beginning of the year. If you are on a shoestring budget, are looking for accommodation in Durham and are open minded about where exactly you end up living a careful look through the adverts on SpareRoom.co.uk is definitely a good place to start. Perhaps the most popular accommodation option of all in Durham for its good mixture of convenience and value for money is renting a room in a student house; this year over half of us on the Energy and Society course opted for this option, with four more living in college and one in private halls. There are some areas in Durham that are now very dominated by student houses, perhaps the most saturated being The Viaduct (the area of Durham just underneath the railway Viaduct, not far from the centre of town) and the southern end of Church Street and the roads off it; prized for their location just a few hundred metres from the science site and university library!

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Victorian houses opposite the Science Site – a 100m walk to the Anthropology department… Very popular with students but often snapped up quickly.

These victorian terraced houses are usually snapped up in early summer, if not before, often by groups of 1st year undergraduates looking to rent a house with their friends. Masters students as a result, often looking for somewhere to live a little later and often without existing groups of friends tend to end up renting a room in other parts of town; this year most of us ended up living in Gilesgate, which although further from the Science Site brings with it a suite of benefits of its own. First and foremost, houses in Gilesgate tend to be better value. Itzell, Rick and Amit ended up renting on a room by room basis but living together in a house in Gilesgate this year that cost just £220/month plus bills, which they say came out at around £30/month (or in total about £3,000 for the year, equivalent to £58/week). This was a really good find by the three of them and great value for money but it shows there are rooms out there at this price point. A more typical price slightly closer to the centre of town tends to hover around the £110/week, or a little more with bills included. You find that also, many properties in Gilesgate are a bit more spacious than the victorian terraces popular in the centre of town and also have the benefit of being close to Gilesgate’s big Tesco and Aldi – the downside of Gilesgate is that it is a fair way into university and easily a 30 minute+ walk from parts of it. After a long search myself I ended up opting for a double room in a recently built house on a quiet road adjacent to the Gilesgate roundabout. This costs me £95/week, including bills and is on a ten month contract – coming out at a total of £4,110 for the year, I can cycle to the Anthropology Department in less than 10 minutes and having previously been an undergraduate student in London it seems to me like an absolute castle – it’s a good quality, spacious and modern house! It’s great!

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Lots of properties are now let… But don’t worry; there are plenty still available!

In summary then; whatever type of accommodation you’re after in Durham at whatever budget, it’s there! College accommodation isn’t the cheapest and rooms often look a little dated, especially for the price you pay, but it brings with it the social benefits of living in college and for some, the ease of having meals provided in term time… It shouldn’t be underestimated how strong the college community is at Durham and if you are a postgraduate new to Durham, coming only for a year, ‘living out’ certainly makes it a little harder to develop these bonds with your college and friendships within college in the relatively short time you have in Durham… Private halls in Durham tend on the whole to be quite expensive but are of high quality; they offer an experience akin to typical university halls in cities across the country and virtually all of them in Durham been built in the last few years. Thirdly; renting – this certainly can be the cheapest way to live in Durham and the lower end of rents are some of the most affordable of all university cities in the UK. The student rental property market in Durham is extensive and very varied and despite what some agents might suggest; there is always, year round, rooms available – so don’t panic, you will find somewhere if you are looking!

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Taken just a few days ago; rooms still available for £75/week including bills. There are tens of estate agents and lettings agencies in the centre of town; take a look at their websites as not all of their properties are listed on Zoopla and Rightmove…

 

Two final tips: If you are on the hunt for a room there’s a great page called ‘Durham Find a Housemate’ on Facebook which is updated almost daily with newly available rooms over the summer and on throughout the year as rooms unexpectedly become available – it’s well worth a look. Secondly; if you do end up living in Gilesgate like a half of us on Energy and Society did this year, or indeed other non-central locations like Framwellgate Moor or Langley Moor it’s really not that far, but if you do find the walk a little long, get a bike! (There’s a second hand bike shop on North Road and also lots of great cycle routes out of Durham into the surrounding countryside). (Or alternatively you can use the bus; many of the bus routes in Durham are free to use with a student card).

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International Student Energy Summit 2017

by Michelle Uriarte

First a little bit about the event, according to the official web page the SES is:

The Student Energy`s International Student Energy Summit (SES) is a global event that brings together the world`s brightest students to learn and discuss the current issues and trends in energy.

Past events were hosted in Bali, Indonesia in 2015 and Trondheim, Norway in 2013, this year it was celebrated at Merida, México, and as the official page explains it brings the best speakers in the Energy sector of the world, talking about topics from democratization of energy to technical aspects of the wind and solar plants; it is intended for undergrad and postgrad students with an interest in Energy. The whole aim of the summit is for students to get to know the latest trends of energy and get involved with them.

This year Durham University gave a £500 travel bursary to the winner of the three-minute thesis competition, I was lucky enough to win this competition talking about the topic of my dissertation “The Birth of Waste to Energy in Mexico: Lessons to be learned from the UK” and was able to travel to Mexico, which is also the country I am from.

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The Summit started with two of the main figures of Energy in Mexico Pedro Coldwell Director of the Energy Ministry and Dr. Antonio del Rio, Director of the Institute of Renewable Energies in Mexico, welcoming the students and speakers followed by a small cocktail party.

The following days we had different seminars such as “Democratization of Energy”, “The Sustainable Development Goals and the Future of Energy”, “Energy and People”, and “Cities and the Energy Transitions”, etc. Throughout the conferences we were reminded how the students are the ones that will shape the future of energy and therefore of the world, the speakers were eager to answer all the questions we had and even got the time to speak one on one after their conference finished.

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I had the opportunity to speak with H.R.H Princess Size Djigma who is an Ambassador of Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency of Burkina Faso, she gave an impressive speech incentivizing the students to create their own companies and research about energy, she also talked about the role of developing countries to tackle climate change.

After all the seminars and conferences were over we were invited to a gala dinner, where we could meet more students and speakers and do networking, as well of course to enjoy Mexican food and hospitality. Then on the last day of the summit we had workshops, I chose the workshop “The Complex Dynamics of Energy Markets” where through a board game we could experience how the energy markets act like in Nordic countries.

Overall, it was a really enriching experience, which I feel really proud of being part of.

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Memoirs of the 6th Symposium for CONACYT Scholars in Europe

Michelle Uriarte Ruiz

The sixth edition of the Symposium for CONACYT (Mexico’s entity in charge of the promotion of scientific and technological activities) Scholars in Europe was organized and hosted by the European Parliament and CONACYT on 29, 30 and 31 of March of 2017 at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France; with the participation of over 130 scholars from 13 European countries.

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This symposium aims to gather Mexican scholars throughout Europe to discuss, share and collaborate on their research topics, there were roundtables and seminars given by the scholars in 9 main different topics proposed by the Scientific Committee. I was lucky enough to present my dissertation topic in the roundtable of Climate Change and Energy, the title of my presentation was “The Social and Environmental Impacts of Waste Management in Mexico City”

I explained how Mexico City has expanded in the last decades from a rural to an urban area with an ever increasing population (20 million people in the metropolitan zone), even though Mexico was the first Latin American country to sign the Kyoto Protocol in 2012 and became one of the world pioneers in Climate Change Regulations, the quality of life in Mexico City has been severely affected due to the greenhouse gas emissions. The lack of urban planning, increased population and climate change mitigation actions, has driven Mexico City to a tipping point, where is absolutely necessary to reconsider the urban planning, as well as short, medium and long measures of how to improve the citizens quality of life. With the improvement of the life quality and the population growth, the volume of Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) has also increased, currently more than 13,000 tons of MSW are generated and the average generation per capita is 1.31 kilograms per day, which is higher than the global average of MSW. This has a great impact over the environment, only in 2010, 31 millions of CO2e emissions were emitted, and this would represent 5% of the total emissions of the country in that year. Fourteen per cent of these emissions came from the MWS management and disposal.

In order to avoid what many consider an environmental and social crisis, the government has looked for technological solutions. Waste to energy treatment seem to be the logical solution, but it is not the whole solution, the waste management problem in Mexico City is really complex, and all the social implications of this problem have to be explored, I compared what the UK has accomplished since the 90s in waste management which includes:

  • 45% of the MSW were recycled
  • The total MSW destined to landfill decreased by 71% (in comparison with the year 2000)
  • The volume of MSW destined to Waste to Energy was tripled (2.4 million tons in 2000 to 7.8 million ton)
  • Methane emissions were reduced by 61% (in comparison with 2002)
  • The Waste Management sector made profits of £18.7 billions
  • 10 TWh were generated in Waste to Energy

Finally I pointed out what were the lessons that Mexico could learn from the UK in waste management including landfill tax, emphasis in waste prevention, invest in research and community projects and creating a waste hierarchy focusing in waste reduction.

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My presentation was well received, and many people had questions in the topic, people that are from Mexico City pointed out that even if they are not studying something related to waste management or environmental issues in the city, they were aware of the impacts and wanted a solution, they liked the comparison between the UK and Mexico and were impressed of what the UK accomplished in such a short amount of time. Overall it was an amazing experience to be able to share my research and I was able to meet a lot of students that are also interested in Energy and Climate Change. M3

‘Why I chose to study Energy and Society’ – Hetty’s perspective

A field trip to Cape Town in April 2016 inspired me to pursue a masters in energy; I was in my final year of studying a BA in Geography at Durham. The fieldtrip gave me the chance to experience a low carbon energy transition first hand, with the added dimension of the complex apartheid history of South Africa. The research explored the dynamics of solar energy in two low-income settlements, with the intention of establishing the extent to which the solar transition in the Western Cape is as a result of international actors or local ambitions. It was made clear that there is an intricate set of networks that are required to facilitate the transformation of an energy system, with various stakeholders required to drive the technological changes alongside the behavioural changes required for the adoption of new technology.

 

The Energy and Society MSc has been the perfect opportunity to explore energy from an interdisciplinary perspective, more specifically it has enabled me to investigate key social challenges relating to a wide range of energy systems. I particularly enjoyed exploring the socio-political and economic issues associated with oil in an extended essay, as it demonstrated the way in which carbon has become locked into society. Understanding these issues are vital for ascertaining the obstacles to the low carbon energy transition. Furthermore, what has been made clear by my experiences in South Africa and on the masters course is that there is an increasingly complex set of actors and governance networks involved in transforming how society produces and uses energy.

 

I’m planning on taking this further for my dissertation in the coming months. I will be exploring the governance networks relating to reducing carbon emissions in the UK supermarket meat supply chain; a sector of paramount importance. Given the current political climate I think it’s going to be fascinating to research where this sits on the agenda of the different stakeholders involved; from government, to suppliers to consumers.

 

Day trip to the Offshore Catapult, Blyth

Wednesday saw us make a journey up to Blyth, a coastal town not far north of Newcastle. Found where the River Blyth meets the North sea Blyth grew rapidly in the 19th and early 20th century; by the early 20th century Blyth boasted one of the largest shipbuilding yards on the North East coast, with five dry docks and four building slipways. The economic prosperity of Blyth was also much aided by a thriving local coal industry, and to a lesser extent salt industry – all meriting Blyth worthy of a visit, but on this occasion, we were visiting for a much different purpose…

Blyth is now home to the ‘Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult’ of which we were kindly given a tour.
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The 20 acre site is a hotbed for R&D and testing of offshore renewable energy technologies, in particular offshore wind, although to a lesser extent tidal and wave energy technologies as well. Sadly pictures were not allowed and so we can only attempt to describe the scale of the facilities with words – simply enormous! As the sign above suggests the site is home to a 100m blade test facility; which shakes, twists and torments the biggest wind turbine blades in the world to their limits, to make sure they are performing to designed operational parameters and are fit for deployment…

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A 75m Siemens offshore wind turbine blade on display in Hull this week; no co-incidence in being in Hull town centre; Siemens is investing £160 million in a blade manufacturing plant in the town, thought to bring with it 1,000 jobs (Read more).

As well as blade testing the Catapult also has a 15MW nacelle test facility under development, which as the name suggests will be able to test the next generation of the biggest nacelles in the world – this means being able not just to drive 15MW of power through the test nacelle but also vary the application of this massive load; to simulate unequal loading that can be felt by turbine nacelles by gusty and turbulent winds and apply it at a slight angle; to test the resilience of the unit to the limit and make sure it will survive and operate as intended in the tough conditions of an offshore wind farm.

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An 8MW Vesta V164 being loaded onto a ship – the unit weighs over 400 tonnes and will be mounted at a height of about 120m above sea level.

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Adding context; the size of today’s largest wind turbines…

Following our site tour we loaded back up into the bus for a look a closer look around Blythe, including a top-notch fish and chips lunch on the beach, in the sun too! Can’t complain…

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Thank you Catapult for your time and for the fascinating tour of your facility.

A mid week reflection on teaching week 2 by Mike Westrom

I’m writing a mid-week reflection on our intensive teaching week for the Energy Practices module.  What struck me is a realization of how energy practices penetrate almost every aspect of our lives.  Dr. Sandra Bell lectured us on Practice Theory and Dr. Simone Abram followed up with a lecture on Actor Network Theory.  Both of these frameworks illuminate the way in which practices pertaining to energy use associate with an essentially unlimited amount of different actors.  If there is one lesson to glean from both of these presentations it is that most actors, to include human and non-human beings, are connected in unexpected ways.  These perspectives provide the scholar a vocabulary for explaining these associations.  We were asked to think of an energy practice such as turning off the lights when leaving the house.  At first glance this practice may seem like simply a matter of individual choice.  However, upon examination, it is clear that many actors play distinct roles in this practice.  For instance, some cultures highly value entering a ‘warmly’ lite home.  Some people, especially those who live alone, feel a sense of comfort when entering a house with lights.  Additionally, lights provide a sense of security for some when they are away from the house as a means to ward off predators.  For people with limited mobility, the low placement of switches may be too much of a hassle.  From a different perspective, cheap electricity (or electricity perceived as clean from low-carbon sources) lower the incentive to switch off the light when leaving the house.  It is clear from this small list of factors that the practice of turning on or switching off lights is not only a matter of individual choice or a product of structure, but a practice positioned within a web or interrelated actors.

Reflections on Term 1; Mike’s view

I’m excited to say that I just finished my first term in the Energy & Society program at Durham University, including the course Context and Challenges in Energy and Society! My biggest lesson from this term is this: energy is complicated.

Energy extraction, processing, transmission/ distribution, storage, and use is everywhere. After spending pretty much all day everyday thinking and talking about energy, I notice it in places and aspects of life I would have normally ignored. Now, I ask different questions than when I was a Mechanical Engineering student.

Among the typical views of grassy fields and sheep out of the train window, I have become aware of wind farms, solar farms, and power stations. Even during my holiday to Spain I couldn’t help but notice huge wind farms amidst the dry, mountainous landscape. Instead of wondering solely about the height of the turbines, the wind speeds, and other technical concerns, I’ve become more curious about political and social questions.

Who owns this wind farm? Why is it here instead of other places with suitable geographies? What do the locals say about this development and how do the express and act upon their opinions? Does the wind’s intermittency affect the patterns of its use? How did the wind project overcome institutional and infrastructural resistance?

The Energy & Society Program enabled me to consider these questions because we discuss similar issues regularly. We are learning how to manage energy from different general frameworks, to include a socio-technical lens. Instead of viewing energy as merely dependent on financial and technical requisites, we’re learning to examine some of the political and social factors that contribute to the success or failure of energy technologies.

I’ve also had the opportunity to think about and start planning my dissertation topic. Although in the nascent stages, I want to study the relationship between public acceptance and renewable energy transitions in Orkney, Scotland. The island of Orkney has over 20,000 residents and obtains over 100% of its electricity from renewable sources, mostly wind and wave energy. Since we spent an entire seminar on energy transitions, the Context and Challenges module helped introduce me to some of the literature on energy transitions.

In addition to energy transitions, I am also interested in studying the topic of energy vulnerability next term in the Energy Practices module. I’m home for the holidays at the moment but will soon be ready to get back to work next term!

A roundup of Wednesday-Friday, intense teaching week

Carrying on from where we left off in the last post we’ll briefly round up the last few days of our intense teaching week for Context and Challenges in Energy and Society (one of our core modules on the Energy and Society course).

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Southampton’s geothermal resources have been tapped for use in a large CHP scheme operating locally since 1986

So! Wednesday saw a focus on Future Technologies with Andy Aplin opening the batting with a fascinating and refreshing impartial overview of the potential of Fracking in the UK.  Next up in session 2 Charlotte Adams gave a talk on “Developing the UK’s Low Enthalpy Geothermal Resources” and painting the lesser known picture of heat from geothermal in the UK and the potential for this technology to be expanded to serve domestic and industrial energy needs in the future.

 

After lunch Douglas Halliday gave a talk on ‘Solar Futures‘; updating us on the cutting edge of solar research before Adwoa Asantewaa rounded up the day with a presentation on Electricity in sub-Saharan Africa.

The theme for Thursday was ‘Policies, politics and violence’ (with a touch of wind power at the end!). The day was kicked off with a presentation on the Energy Policy of the EU by Christian Schweiger, next up was The violence of energy politics (including a critique of the Resource Curse) by John McNeish who has joined us for the week visiting from the Norwegian University of Life Sciences. Third was “Extractive” development in post-conflict Peru, or politics by other means at the extractive frontier’ by Juan-Pablo Sarmiento-Barletti before finishing the day with a presentation by Chris Crabtree on Wind Power.

 

Moving to Friday Ahmed Bokash gave us a presentation first on ‘Understanding the Grid’ to bring those of us with a little less technical experience right up to speed, before John Bothwell gave an enlightening talk on ‘Bio-Energy’; giving a great overview on bio-energy and biofuels from 1st to 4th generation. With John’s talk and the subsequent seminar session sadly our intense teaching week came to a close; we’ve had a fantastic week and would like to thank all of the speakers we’ve been lucky to hear from over the last 5 days for coming to speak to us.

 

 

‘Coal Day’ of intensive teaching week

The second day of our intensive teaching week focused on coal, specifically the rise and fall of coal in the North East of England.

Sandra Bell kicked the day off with a great introductory talk entitled ‘Carboniferous Capitalism and the North East of England’. Sandra started right from the beginning with coal’s early association to the monasteries before explaining how rights to coal mining were then held by the state. This changed locally in 1239 when Newcastle was granted a royal charter to lessen restrictions on the extraction of coal. By 1334 Newcastle was the fourth-wealthiest town in England, based on its coal trade spurred on by demand driven by the growing iron and glass making industry.

The lack of wood in the 18th century led to a growing demand for coal for domestic heating, this drove mines deeper and was aided with the development of the Newcomen Steam Engine in 1712; to pump out the new, deeper mines and later of course James Watts’ improved version from 1769 onwards – a pivotal moment for coal as the relationship between steam and coal was formed. Fast forwarding slightly Sandra explained the vast scale of the coal industry in the north east; the region’s 400 pits employing 250,000 men and producing 56 million tonnes of coal/year at its peak in 1913.

Sandra also explained the shift in power from the coal companies (with their annual bond for 1 year’s labour) to the introduction of a two week contract in 1872, as well as the rise of the unions… A seminar and lunch break later we re-assembled outside of Anthropology for a coal walking tour of Durham; learning about the rich coal heritage that surrounds us as we go about our studies in Durham this year.

We made slow progress into town; stopping frequently for Sandra to enlighten us with her fantastic knowledge of the history of Durham. The last stop of our walk was at the grand Durham Miners Association Headquarters where we were kindly given a talk in the council hall, explaining the history of the DMU, of the building itself, as well as plans for its future.

As afternoon turned to evening we concluded our Coal Day with a drink at the Market Tavern in the centre of town, a tavern where on 20th November 1869 a meeting of delegates met and established Durham Miners’ Mutual Association. A big thank you to Sandra, as well as the DMU, for the time you gave to us today.

 

 

 

 

9 down, 6 to go…

We’re now over half way through an intensive teaching week which comprises of: a fantastic 15 lectures delivered by 15 different presenters, several group debate sessions, one ‘coal tour of Durham’ and and not to forget, one trip to the pub. Dr Abram has put all of this on for one of our core modules ‘Context and Challenges in Energy and Society’ so it’s about time we fill you in briefly on what we’ve been up to and who we’ve been hearing from…

 

Monday – Day 1

Lecture 1: Monday morning bright and early we assembled in ‘The Penthouse Suite’ of Collingwood College to have an introductory presentation by Professor Simon Hogg (Executive Director of the Durham Energy Institute) on the state and direction of electricity supply in the UK. Although a broad field to tackle in one session it didn’t stop Professor Hogg from getting stuck into explaining some of the technicalities a changing grid represents… The differing thermal expansion properties of turbines and their casings for example, means the more flexible we want turbines to be, the less efficient they become – a fascinating insight.

 

Lecture 2: Next up Kamal Badreshany gave a talk on ‘The development of energy intensive ancient technologies: considering social and environmental aspects’. The presentation drew on examples primarily from the Ancient Near East and went into great details discussing the  nature and development of the two ‘eras’ of energy use – the Organic Energy Economy (OEE) of about 4-500,000 years ago to ca. 1700 followed of course by the Fossil Fuel Economy (FFE) of which we remain rooted to up to the present day…

 

Lecture 3: After lunch in the third session Professor Chris Stokes from the Durham Geography Department gave us an up to date overview of climate change and went on to explore his area of specialism, glaciology, in the second half of the presentation. We engaged with topics such as the rapidly disappearing mountain glaciers, the thinning of Greenland’s ice cap, the number of cities situated at, or below, present sea level and what melting mountain ice caps could mean for drinking water needs of 1/6th of the world’s population.

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Lecture 4: And then for the fourth and final session of day 1 Rob Layton came to give a lecture entitled ‘Natural Resource Management – how did we get to where we are at?‘. The talk was wide and varied and drew on Rob’s studies from all over the world, in particular though it drew on his studies of gathering communities in Australia, on sustainable and non-sustainable resource management; the tragedy of commons, as well as following the path of the development of grains and cereals in the Middle East…

A fascinating and very varied series of lectures from our 4 speakers on day 1 of this intensive teaching week; thank you!