Green is green. The eighth annual American Renewable Energy Day (AREDAY) Summit, themed “Putting the Green in Green: Monetizing Carbon in the Global Economy,” has brought together the leading authorities in sustainability, business, education, media and climate to demonstrate how their environmentally friendly solutions have saved their companies substantial money – plus released less or no waste into the environment.
AREDAY Summit speakers include American media mogul and environmental philanthropist Ted Turner, BP Capital Management founder and advanced energy advocate T. Boone Pickens, Asset manager and environmentalist Tom Steyer, U.S. General Wesley Clark (Ret.), United Nations Foundation President Tim Wirth, Rocky Mountain Institute Chairman Amory Lovins and others.
AREDAY began in 2004 with the mission of promoting the rapid deployment of green initiatives. The Summit is held in Aspen, CO., home to several of the nation’s most impressive entrepreneurs and a prime destination for global conferences.
- Tony Malkin owner of the Empire State Building shares the results of retrofitting the nation’s most iconic skyscraper. Malkin says the payback from his investment was worth it. He created jobs, reduced the building’s energy bill by 38% and cut carbon emissions by 105,000 metric tons
- Also on stage, Armory Lovins, one of the foremost professors and speakers on energy, particularly sustainable and efficient use of supply. Lovins co-authored Natural Capitalism: Creating the Next Industrial Revolution in 1999. It outlines for companies four principles of Natural Capitalism that will eliminate waste and boost their bottom line.
- Celebrated oceanographer Dr. Sylvia Earl is optimistic about the future of the world’s natural resources. In her discussion Dr. Earl pointed out this simple but poignant truth: The good news is that we know things today that have never been known before. “We know why things have changed,” she said. “We have the power to shape the future of the world. We have a magnified impact and a magnified opportunity.” Dr. Earl also stresses that it’s not too late to turn back the tides. If you have to choose a time to make a difference, this is
the time. “Ten% of the sharks, the tunas are still here. Whales are 65 million years old; we used our power (to save them) while there were still whales out there. One-half of the coral reefs are still in good shape.”
Lester Brown of Earth Policy Institute speaks about “Saving Civilization – Climate Change Impacts on Humanity”. He points out the new “terror” threat in our lives that we must quickly solve. “We need to redefine security,” he said. “We’ve inherited that definition from the twentieth century, when armed aggression was a major threat.” According to Brown, the major threats to our future today are climate change, water shortage, rising food prices and deforestation, not armed aggression. The toll that these threats have had on the US and abroad is evident, Brown explains. The price of food continues to rise. The number of hungry people in this world is growing as climates rise resulting in the decrease of certain crop productions. Last year’s heat wave in Moscow reduced Russia’s wheat production by 40%, he pointed out. Another problem Brown said we must address is population growth. “We’ll add another 83 million people to the planet this year. It’s much too difficult for the world’s farmers to expand production fast enough to meet demand,” said Brown.
AREDAY co-producer Chip Comins has an ambitious vision for the event. “I want AREDAY to be instrumental in helping humans to understand the detrimental impact we are having on the biosphere and to see that fixing the problem provides a huge economic opportunity,” he said.
“We try to find and engage those people who are doing innovative things out there,” says Sally Ranney, co-director of AREDAY.
Watch “Green Girl Minute” and AREDAY participant Ginna Kelly March 2011 interview with Chip Comins on what to expect at AREDAY and the summit’s importance:
For more environmental stories on genConnect.com:
- AREDAY Promoters Make Climate Change Sexy
- AREDAY’s Chip Comins: Green Energy ‘More Than Ideas’ (VIDEO)
- Ginna Kelly on Green Girl Minute and Climb for Conservation (VIDEO)
- Brett Jenks: Reason to be Optimistic About the Environment (VIDEO)
- Melanie Nutter: How San Francisco Became the Greenest City (VIDEO)