Sustainable Learning Community Resources

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2012-13 Learning Community: ENERGY


Renewable/Nonrenewable Energy
Energy Policy
Energy Poverty
The Energy-Food-Water-Population Link
Energy Conservation & Efficiency


Downloadable booklist related to Energy
Link to the Foothill Library Web Guide for the Sustainable Learning Community


FOCUS AREA: Renewable/Nonrenewable Energy
(Solar • Wind • Water/Hydropower • Geothermal)

Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI)
Nonprofit think tank providing research and development and demonstration in the electricity sector.  Provides in-depth info on many areas of renewable and nonrenewable energy.

National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Educ. Resources (energy effic. / renewables)

“CLEAN”  (Climate Literacy & Energy Awareness Network) 
Has an Ed Resources section with links to a number of digital resources for teaching

U.S. Dept. of Energy/Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy

California Energy Almanac
California Energy Commission site with Renewable Energy Statistics and Data.

National Resource Defense Council / Renewable Energy Map
Interactive map which shows potential for different types of renewable energy.

SunShot Initiative
U.S. Dept. of Energy collaborative national initiative. Contains news, facts and links on solar energy projects, competitions, funding and more.

Wind Powering America
Outreach and education website from the Department of Energy which gives a lot of information about wind energy in America.

Energy.Gov/Water Site
Dept. of Energy site with lots of info on hydropower, latest developments, geographical information.

Union of Concerned Scientists
Explanation of how Geothermal Energy Works.

Geothermal Energy Assn.

BOOKS: (*indicates book/video/article available through Foothill Library)

Sustainable Energy-Without the Hot Air by David JC MacKay (UIT Cambridge Ltd. 2009)

Reinventing Fire: Bold Business Solutions for the New Energy Era by Amory B. Lovins (Chelsea Green Publishing, 2011)

*Harvest the Wind: America's Journey to Jobs, Energy Independence, and Climate Stability- Philip Warburg (Beacon Press 2012)

Children of the Sun by Alfred Crosby (W.W. Norton & Co, 2006)

The Carbon War by Jeremy Leggett (Routledge, 2001)

The Boy that Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba (Wm. Morrow, 2009)



Power Paths (DVD, 2009)  Will be shown @ Foothill this November!
A documentary that offers a unique glimpse into the global energy crisis from the perspective of a culture pledged to protect the planet, historically exploited by corporate interests and neglected by public policy makers.  The film follows an intertribal coalition as they fight to transform their local economies by replacing coal mines and smog-belching power plants with renewable energy technologies.   

Amory Lovins: A 50-year plan for energy (TED Talk, 2012)
Energy theorist Amory Lovins lays out the steps we must take to end the world’s dependence on oil (before we run out).  (27 minutes)


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FOCUS AREA: Energy Policy

Energy Project / Bipartisan Policy Center
The BPC Energy Project supports a fundamental reassessment of America’s energy policy goals, decision-making structures, and policies to place energy security at the very center of energy policy.

Energy, Climate Change and our Environment

Federal Energy Management Program
Includes all of the recent energy and conservation policies, goals, etc.

American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy

California’s Energy Policies

California’s Clean Energy Future:


BOOKS: (*indicates book/video/article available through Foothill Library)

Children of the Sun by Alfred Crosby (W.W. Norton & Co, 2006)

*The Myth of the Oil Crisis by Robin Mills (Praeger, 2008)

*Energy Policy by Paul Ruschmann (Chelsea House, 2009)



Who Killed the Electric Car?  (DVD, 2006)  It begins with a solemn funeral…for a car. By the end of Chris Paine's lively and informative documentary, the idea doesn't seem quite so strange.

Nikola Tesla – Master of Lightning 2000 (PBS 2000) available on Youtube at:


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Basic Elements: Fuel for the Future
Website that demonstrates different types of alternative energy sources & the science behind them.

Alternative & Advanced Fuels
Dept. of Energy site containing a fuel properties database with information on safety, emissions, physical properties and more.

Alternative Fuel News
Science Daily website with news articles related to alternative fuels.


BOOKS: (*indicates book/video/article available through Foothill Library)

*Plant Resources for Food, Fuel and Conservation by Robert Henry (Routledge 2009)

*Food Versus Fuel: An Informed Introduction to Biofuels  by Ed Rosillo-Calle and Francis X. Johnson, editors (Zed Books 2011)



Fuel: Change your fuel…Change your World.   (DVD, 2008)
Watch it online at:
Documentary by Director Josh Tickell that takes us along for his 11-year journey around the world to find solutions to America’s addition to oil.  112 min.

Who Killed the Electric Car?  (DVD, 2006)
It begins with a solemn funeral…for a car. By the end of Chris Paine's lively and informative documentary, the idea doesn't seem quite so strange.  90 min.

*The Biofuel Myth: Harsh Realities in the Developing World [Foothill/Films on Demand]
The European Union is funding research into biofuels.  3 min.

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FOCUS AREA: Energy Poverty

The International Energy Agency

Lifeline Energy
Group devoted to bringing sustainable education and information access to vulnerable populations.


BOOKS: (*indicates book/video/article available through Foothill Library)

Hot Flat & Crowded by Thomas Friedman

Energy Keepers Energy Killers:  The New Civil Rights Battle by Roy Innis (Merrill Press, 2008)

Fixing Fuel Poverty: Challenges and Solutions by Brenda Boardman (,2009)

The Boy that Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba (Wm. Morrow, 2009)



The Energy Poverty Challenge

*e2 | energy: Energy for a Developing World [Foothill/Films on Demand]
Energy can be the catalyst to lift a community out of poverty, at the same time breaking its environmental downward spiral.  22 min. (2007)

*The Hydrogen Age: Energy Solutions for the 21st Century [Foothill/Films on Demand]
India will soon surpass China as the world's most populated nation. Hydrogen energy may help India overcome its high level of poverty. 49 min. (2004)

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FOCUS AREA: Innovations/Biomimicry

Biomimicry Institute
Biomimicry case studies and news.

Ask Nature
Database of biological information organized by Biomimicry Taxonomy (a list of challenges that organisms face).

Ocean Energy Council
Covers the 5 types of renewable ocean energy being explored.


BOOKS: (*indicates book/video/article available through Foothill Library)

Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature by Janine Benyus (Wm. Morrow, 2002)

Thriving Beyond Sustainability: Pathways to a Resilient Society by Andres Edwards (New Society Publishers, 2010)

The Grand Energy Transition: The Rise of Energy Gases, Sustainable Life and Growth, and the Next Great Economic Expansion by Robert Hefner III (Wiley, 2009)



Kinetic Energy-Videos from Pavegen demonstrating their innovative technology, which generates energy from footsteps.

TED Talk with Janine Benyus:  Biomimicry in Action

The Nature of Things – Video about Biomimicry

Nikola Tesla – Most Amazing Man Who ever Lived! (Youtube Video) 15 min.

*Clean, Green & Unseen: Nanotechnology and the Environment [Foothill/Films on Demand]
One advantage of using nanotechnology for solar energy is the ability to use light from the entire solar spectrum, which would increase energy production!   4:27 min


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FOCUS AREA:The Energy-Food-Water-Population Link

GrowthBusters: Hooked on Growth

WSJ – Interactive Site
Interactive chart -select from 50 countries to see population growth & projected growth.

The Population Institute
International non-profit whose mission is to educate policymakers and the public about population.


BOOKS: (*indicates book/video/article available through Foothill Library)

Growing Pains: A Planet in Distress by Valorie Allen (iUniverse, 2010)

MORE: Population, Nature and What Women Want by Robert Engelman (Island Press, 2008)

*The Economics of Food: How Feeding and Fueling the Planet Affects Food Prices by Patrick Westhoff (FT Press, 2010)

The Boy that Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba (Wm. Morrow, 2009)



World in the Balance: The Population Paradox (Nova, DVD 2004)  It took all of human history until 1800 for the world’s population to reach its first billion. Now we add a new billion nearly every dozen years. Through vivid personal stories, The People Paradox reveals many startling trends.

Planet in Peril (DVD, 2008)  CNN takes viewers around the world in a comprehensive 3-hour documentary that examines our changing planet. This worldwide investigation, shot in high definition, looks at four key issues: climate change, vanishing habitats, disappearing species and human population growth.

*Changing Nature: Population and Environment at a Crossroads (Foothill/Films on Demand, 2001)
Earth's human population more than doubled between 1960 and 2001. Consumption, increased poverty, declining resources, and environmental damage create global problems that threaten human health and welfare in all nations. (9 min.)

*How Many People Can Live on Planet Earth?  (Foothill/Films on Demand, 2009)
Human population density is a factor in every environmental problem.  (4:49 min.)


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FOCUS AREA: Conservation & Efficiency

California’s Flex your Power Program
Site which was created as part of an education and outreach campaign to Californians to promote energy conservation.

The Nature Conservancy
Goal is to protect nature and preserve life through conservation. Group currently working in 30 countries as well as all 50 United States.  Includes a carbon footprint calculator, current urgent issues, blog, videos and more.

Consortium for Energy Efficiency
Consortium of efficiency program administrators from across U.S. and Canada.  Site covers topics on efficiency not only in Residential, but also Industrial and Commercial areas.


BOOKS: (*indicates book/video/article available through Foothill Library)

Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things by Michael Braungart (North Point Press, 2002)

Confessions of a Radical Industrialist: Profits, People, Purpose—Doing Business by Respecting the Earth by Ray C. Anderson (St. Martin’s Press, 2009)

*Greening Your Home: Sustainable Options for Every System in Your House by Clayton Bennett (eBook:  McGraw Hill, 2008)

*The Whole Building Handbook: How to Design Healthy, Efficient and Sustainable Buildings by Varis Bokalders (Routledge, 2009)



No Impact Man (DVD, 2009)  Documentary that follows Colin Beavan and his family during their year-long experiment to have sustainable zero impact on the environment. 90 min.

Bill Gates on Energy: Innovating to Zero! (Ted Talk, 2010)
Bill Gates unveils his vision for the world’s energy future, and a necessary goal of zero emissions by 2050.  29 min.

*Energy and Work [Foothill/Films on Demand]
Ever since there has been work to do, people have looked for easier ways to complete their tasks. These imaginative videos offer fresh perspectives on how machines make work easier. 14 min.

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To find resources from previous Sustainable Learning Communities, please visit the archives page.

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