SOLAR 2006: The Latest News from Denver – Update 1

The SOLAR 2006 Conference began “for real” on Monday, and the conference theme of “Renewable Energy: Key to Climate Recovery” was on full display throughout the day.

Dr. James Hansen of NASA (and famed censorship victim of the Bush administration) and Dr. Warren Washington of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) began the day with chilling statistics that show — quite unambiguously — that climate change IS happening, and that it IS because of all that carbon dioxide we insist on pouring into our atmosphere. I felt privileged to serve as “media liaison” for these two distinguished scientists — leading them through a crowd of admirers, well-wishers, and, well: groupies! — and setting them down for interviews. Look for stories about their work on PBS’s “NOVA,” the Denver Post, and the Rocky Mountain News. I couldn’t get to many other sessions, but the ones I did get to were definitely worthwhile. KMGH TV Channel 7 (Denver) Meteorologist Mike Nelson gave an excellent presentation on how climate change is affecting Colorado in particular: the Centennial State can look forward to shorter ski seasons(!) and longer forest fire seasons(!!). I also got to learn more about ASES’s Legacy Schools project that I’d fallen in love with last weekend after seeing the educational and PR benefits of donating some solar panels to an inner-city school. Bravo to ASES, The Sheinkopf Group, Bonneville Environmental Foundation, and the EPA’s “ENERGY STAR” program for coming up with such a brilliant idea! I wrapped up the evening by listening to some of the trials & tribulations of designing a house for the Solar Decathlon. I’m fascinated by this contest anyway, but fiercely proud that my alma mater — the University of Colorado at Boulder — has won each of the past two decathlons, earning a project manager Jeff Lyng a seat next to Laura Bush at the last State of the Union address. That’s it for now. Tuesday promises to be another fascinating day at SOLAR 2006. ‘Til Tomorrow, PvH
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