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Humans and Energy: Crash Course World History 207

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In which Stan Muller subs for John Green and teaches you about energy and humanity. Today we discuss the ideas put forth by Alfred Crosby in his book, Children of the Sun. Historically, almost all of the energy that humans use has been directly or indirectly generated by the sun, whether that be food energy from plants, wind energy, direct solar energy, or fossil fuels. Stan looks into these different sources, and talks about how humanity will continue to use energy in the future as populations grow and energy resources become more scarce.

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TO: Dana
FROM: Cameron
you’re wonderful, I can’t wait for our faces to meet 🙂

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FROM: Arbace

Thanks for your outstanding Youtube Abuse Recovery video!

You can get Alfred Crosby’s Children of the Sun here:


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50 Comments on "Humans and Energy: Crash Course World History 207"

  1. I think the humble waterwheel is overlooked. It really is a genius way of harnessing water movement for power.

  2. Cory S says:

    Water power is from the sun! WTF!?

  3. Did anyone else notice the Homer at 5:00?

  4. Petar š says:

    You have to inform yourself with nuclear power. It's the best and cleanest form of energy.

  5. Erica says:

    Ayyy you did good, Stan!

  6. Heirio says:

    "A sub?! Can we watch a video?"
    "This is a video."

  7. I almost thought I was watching another course.

  8. Pen Name says:

    Does anyone remember why Stan had to sub again?

  9. Maxim Quirk says:

    Curious… Why no mention of Tesla?

  10. Water-wheels depend on gravity pulling water down streams. How does that water get there? Evaporation, therefore also solar power, technically.

  11. Let's build a Dyson sphere.

  12. hermest99 says:

    Holy M*ly it's Stan!

  13. Blockman Zan says:

    Everybody pause at 0:00. He says, "FEED MEH!"

  14. kellanslutz says:

    So this is the famous Stan Muller.

  15. this guy was a lot more easier to follow

  16. icwiz says:

    water power Is still solar power. Its the sun that moves the water to higher elevations via rain that then flows down stream to be used for work.

  17. I think you gave nuclear a bit of the short shrift in that video. There are ways to use nuclear waste to power reactors, and there are newer reactor designs that are much safer than ones used in the past. The reasons why we don't reprocess 97% of our waste and use it to fuel reactors, or use the newer designs are political in nature (read up on the Integral Fast Reactor to see what I'm getting at).

  18. McZidanne says:

    There's a great way of disposing of radioactive waste (and regular non recyclable waste for that matter). Just dump it into holes near plate melting areas (subduction zones). Eventually our garbage will be melted and absorbed into the Earth by magma.

  19. What happened to John Green on that day?

  20. peggyt1243 says:

    The province of Ontario gets close to 60% of its power from nuclear. It is safe and clean. Wind and solar are unreliable.

  21. nuclear energy is the most sustainable. waste products have been substantially reduced and can be stored safely for millions of years without risk. The only solution which would eliminate energy production carbon footprint 100% by this time next year if we simply used it.

  22. your voice is so clear, thank you!

  23. Troca 13 says:

    Ya know what I like Stan

  24. You are the most adorable big teddy bear.

  25. i saw homer simpson

  26. Tive que curtir com o pé, porque com as mãos estava batendo palmas. Excelente vídeo, Stan.

    I had to like it with my foot, 'cause my hands were applauding. Such an excellent talk. Nice work, Stan!

  27. Like with most substitutes…class gets out early. Ftw

  28. I've got a question, does nuclear waste give off any heat at all? If it emits a noticeable amount of heat I vote we stick it in RTGs as fuel.


  30. stan is awesome though

  31. Shawn Walsh says:

    Hey I was wondering the picture of the oil rig at 415 is the Henry Goodrich and it looks like it's stationed in mortier bay. wondering where ya would have got the pic I'm from the area!

  32. Neo T says:

    Ok here's a mad coincidence for you. After watching crashcourse philosophy, world history 1 and 6 episodes into world history 2 I decided to google Stan Muller. Forgetting to pause the playlist open in another tab, google loaded images of Stan Muller while I hear "Hello, I'm Stan Muller" through my speakers. Creepy.

    Also, Hey, Stan.

  33. Tarka West says:

    You're a good sub!

  34. Ultimantis says:

    How isn't water power derived from the sun?
    The sun evaporates the water, which then precipitates and flows to the rivers that we tap for it's potential energy. So in the end even those huge hydroelectric plants are, indirectly, sun powered.

  35. Ian Lewis says:

    We just need to invade primitive moons and planets and take their sweet, sweet resources. Or just industrialize space and strip uninhabited astriods belts, comets, moons, and planets. That would be far less expensive and but also less fun.

  36. xTheTorNando says:

    "Normal rather than miraculous." What a powerful statement. Gives you a really good perspective on what the average person thinks VS what the truth is. I take all of this for granted because I forgot what went behind making this all possible.

  37. Stan should have his own series!!
    But I wish he'd talk faster though, it's like John 0.3x

  38. DB Doll says:

    Omg the mythical Stan!

  39. Lee Dwyer says:

    Nice job Stan ! Tough to fill in. But free – fun and fact filled ! = fabulous!

  40. Arafat Alam says:

    but you're not as hot as Mr.Green?

  41. oh my god, so THAT'S what Stan looks like. I am pleased…

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