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Global Energy Today: The Asian Nexus

December 7, 2017

The Asia Centers, the Center for Global Studies of the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies, and the Libraries at the University of Washington present the six-part series “Global Energy Today: The Asian Nexus” published in conjunction with The Seattle Times Newspapers in Education program. The run dates for the articles were respectively November 12, 15, 22, 29, and December 6 and 13, 2017.

Article 1: Global Energy Today: The Asian Nexus, Introduction
Article 2: Global Energy Today: The Asian Nexus, Energy in Central Asia is a Blessing and a Curse 
Article 3: Global Energy Today: The Asian Nexus, Some Fundamental Problems of Energy Development in South Asia
Article 4: Global Energy Today: The Asian Nexus, Toward Building Energy Efficiency and Conservation in Southeast Asia
Article 5: Global Energy Today: East Asia: New Center for Global Energy and Related Issues
Article 6: Global Energy Today: The Asian Nexus: Conclusion


A workshop on January 17, 2018 followed the publication of the articles to primarily equip teachers with information and resources exploring the topic of energy in the growing region of Asia. The workshop included presentations by the lead series author, Professor Scott Montgomery of the University of Washington and the accompanying guide author, Tese Wintz Neighbor.

The key note lecture by Montgomery gave a overview of the effects of energy on a global scale and where energy demand seems to be headed.

Montgomery introduced the subject by first looking at the difference in energy around the globe. Where do the countries in Asia get their energy? Although coal is proven to negatively affect public health, it is still the primary source of energy because of its’ availability in the region as well as relatively low cost. Though it is important to note that countries are also developing other sources of energy such as solar and nuclear energy.

Everything has an energy dimension, Montgomery noted. Light and temperature monitors indoors are obvious examples. The textile of clothes and the dentistry of our teeth even have an energy dimension when we consider what fuels the equipment or the amount of energy it takes to develop the technology.

The growth of global energy demand will be driven by the burgeoning asian middle class, according to Montgomery. This was a key point. Following the trends of development in Asian countries like China or India, the global energy demand is projected to increase substantially in the coming decades; the point of interest for global energy has already begun to shift to Asia. It is important to consider what this means on a global level. Hence, this NIE series on global energy as it pertains to Asia particularly.

In the second half of the workshop, Neighbor introduced the teaching guide that was distributed to the workshop attendees. The curriculum guide gave an overview of how the articles could connect to lesson plans and activities. It also introduced various other resources that can be paired with the articles and guide.

The attendees ranged from people who have spent 36 years in the teaching profession to some with no experience at all. A majority of the people registered for the event because of their interest in the topic of energy in Asia and how it relates to other global aspects of today. The workshop would not only provide clock hours for teachers in Washington, but also more information and materials that educators could incorporate into their curriculums.

According to post-workshop surveys, attendees were interested in learning more about the current energy situation in Asia but left having learned more than they knew before. Maybe for first-grade teachers, the topic might not come up. However, for teachers who were already including in their classrooms, “content on issues such as energy security or the environmental and public health concerns affecting energy policy,” they were more likely than not to incorporate some of the content they had learned or received that night.

One educator wrote that they appreciated the examples of how to use the material. The workshop ended on a high note as the last activity grouped attendees and prompted the groups to create a rap about what they had learned.

The series’ teacher guide will be available for download alongside all the current and past articles and guides of the Newspapers in Education program which have been posted on the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies website.