Forum to Focus on “Peak Oil and the Environment”

A three-day conference to address the implications of two overlapping global crises — the coming peak in worldwide oil production and the continuing disruption of ecosystems due to global climate change — convenes in Washington, DC, from May 7 to May 9 at the Marvin Center (800 21st St. NW).

The Sustainable Energy Forum 2006 is sponsored by the University of Maryland’s Conservation Biology & Sustainable Development program. It is co-sponsored by Wallace Global Fund, Sustainable Scale Project, NRDC, and NRG Wind Systems. With this year’s theme on “Peak Oil and the Environment,” the conference offers more than 20 leading sustainability thinkers, scientists and policymakers exploring the challenges of oil production peaking, and its implications for the economy, climate, geopolitical stability and human well-being; and possible adaptations, including alternative energy sources and reducing energy use. “The problem of the peaking of world conventional oil production is unlike any yet faced by modern industrial society,” said a recent Department of Energy commissioned study, whose co-author, Roger Bedzek, is a conference speaker. Also speaking will be James Hansen, director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, who made headlines recently by exposing the Bush administration’s attempts to censor him after he called for quick reductions of greenhouse gases. Other speakers include Congressman Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD), who organized a House caucus on Peak Oil; Lester Brown, president of the Earth Policy Institute, who addresses the problems Peak Oil poses in his new book “Plan B 2.0”; and Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer, a proponent of domestically produced energy sources, including wind. Mona Sahlin, Sweden’s minister for Sustainable Development, will discuss her country’s initiative to be free of oil dependence by 2020. Additional presenters include Michael Klare, author of “Blood Oil”; former World Bank economist Herman Daly; Robert Costanza, Director of the Gund Institute for Ecological Economics, and several other authors in the field.
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