Speakers Line-up for Earth Day Dallas

by jim on April 16, 2012

One of the thrills of last year’s Earth Day Dallas extravaganza was being able to sit across the table from Earth Day co-founder former Congressman Pete McCloskey and have a regular chat with a legend. This year’s shindig at Fair Park doesn’t offer the same kind of historical insight, but it does give you an opportunity to see some speakers whose current work could be of great interest. The entire schedule and speakers list with their bios can be found here, but there are seven we want to highlight in particular – Former CIA Director turned alternative energy guru James Woolsey 11:30 am on Saturday the 21st at the Hall of State. He has a particular greenish perspective from deep in the belly of the Beltway that has some serious capital behind it. If you want to know what’s going to be hot a year or three from now, you might want to hear this. EPA Region Six’ s own Dr. Al Armendariz, 12:30 pm Saturday, Hall of State. We know he’s not going to be breaking any news, but there’s some intelligence-gathering to do just by listening to what’s being said and how it’s being said. Dr. Armendariz has been a target of polluters since his appointment was announced. He’s among the most knowledgable Regional Administrators out there, a real scientist, with practical field experience in many of the most high-profile EPA issues. Listen to how he defends what the agency is, and is not, doing. Listen to the language he uses or doesn’t use. Is there a new party line from DC now that it’s an election year, or is this still Dr. Armendariz being himself? We already know everything is on hold for the rest of the year but you might get a clue as to how far we could roll backwards. Dr. Andrew Dressler, the Texas A&M climate scientist, 3:00 pm Saturday, Hall of State and no, thats not a typo. Dr. Dressler has one of the least enviable jobs in Texas – defending science, and climate change, at Rick Perry’s alma mater. He’s done a good job of holding up so far. Listen to what his take is on the recent drought and how climate change is and will impact the Texas environment and economy. Katherine Hammack is the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Installations, Energy and Environment,  4:00 pm Saturday  at the Hall of State. Bet you didn’t know such a position even existed. Well it does and because nobody wants to cut defense spending, some of the most advanced and exciting alternative energy research that America is producing right now is coming out of the military. Get a glimpse of the future as if there was real money being spent on it. Dr. Michio Kaku, 5:00 pm Saturday @ the Hall of State is one of the most fascinating and engaged scientists of our time. He’s done a lot of work in advanced physics trying to work out a “Theory of Everything” but he’s also a long-time antinuclear power activist who’s testified at the trials of those arrested as part of large civil disobedience actions at nuclear plant sites. Whatever he says, it’s going to be interesting. Janice Bezanson, Executive Director of the Texas Conservation Alliance, 4 pm Sunday the 22nd is a local legend and a direct link to the state’s first generation of environmentalists in the modern sense. She’s a protege of Ned Fritz, who, along with only a handful of other brave souls helped preserve what was left of The Big Thicket. She’s been in the middle of Trinity River politics for 25 years. She knows how to surive doing the work in Texas, so you know you can learn something. Finally, there’s Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings at the 5:30 pm closing ceremonies on Sunday at the Hall of State. This should be interesting as well, no? He’s only a month or so away from having to deal with the largest indigenous environmental issue to come into Dallas City Hall in an generation – drilling for gas in Dallas. Will he refer to this decision in any way, or ignore it in favor of some Earth Day platitudes? Will he repeat his Texas Theater promise never to jeopardize a Dallas neighborhood for the sake of money? Come and find out what gets said and unsaid. 

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