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Powering the Planet A Townhall Meeting

Date & Time

Saturday, May 31, 2008
7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
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Eisner & Lubin Auditorium

The shock of climate change has spurred a worldwide quest to power the entire planet with clean, renewable energy. But is this goal realistic, and if so, how fast can such a dramatic transformation be achieved?

In this sweeping town hall meeting moderated by New York Times environmental reporter Andrew Revkin, pioneering scientists presented research at the vanguard of solar, wind, geothermal and algae/biofuel energy, while conservationists and high-level policy-makers provided additional perspectives on the challenges and opportunities presented by this urgent global problem.


  • Dan Nocera

    Chemist Chemist Dan Nocera is developing ways to derive clean renewable solar energy by replicating basic chemical reactions similar to those used by plants in the process of photosynthesis. A vocal advocate of solar power, he is the Henry Dreyfus Professor of Energy and a professor of chemistry at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. More »
  • Andrew Revkin

    Environmental Reporter Andrew Revkin is the senior fellow for environmental understanding at Pace University's Academy for Applied Environmental Studies and writes the Dot Earth blog for The New York Times. A prize-winning journalist, online communicator and author, he has spent nearly three decades covering subjects ranging from the assault on the Amazon to the troubled relationship of climate science and politics. More »
  • David Keith

    Environmental Scientist A leading thinker on geoengineering and a prize-winning physicist, David Keith works at the interface between climate science, energy technology and public policy. He is particularly interested in finding viable ways to capture and store CO2 including the direct capture of CO2 from the atmosphere. More »
  • F. Sherwood Rowland

    Nobel Laureate in Chemistry The late F. Sherwood Rowland studied the Earth’s atmosphere in remote locations from Alaska to New Zealand, in highly polluted cities, and in areas with special conditions such as burning forests. He was best known for the discovery that chlorofluorocarbons contribute to ozone depletion, which earned him the 1995 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. More »
  • M. Glen Kertz

    Plant Physiologist Plant physiologist and inventor M. Glen Kertz has been a global leader in the fields of molecular genetics, plant tissue and cell culture for over 35 years. He is president and director of research and development for Valcent Products Inc., a company aiming to bring to market algae-to-biofuel technology. More »
  • Betsy Taylor

    Social Activist Betsy Taylor is the president of the board of directors of the non-profit organization 1Sky, founded in 2007 to mobilize a grass-roots campaign demanding federal action to reverse climate change. She has spent more than 20 years leading efforts to organize, fund and advise groups devoted to promoting energy conservation and community building. More »
  • Saul Griffith

    Entrepreneur, Inventor, Writer Saul Griffith is the President and Chief Scientist at Makani Power, a company that is seeking to harness clean energy from high-altitude wind. He is a 2007 MacArthur Award-winning inventor, entrepreneur and writer. More »
  • Shirley Ann Jackson

    Physicist and President of the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Shirley Ann Jackson is President of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. She served as Chairman of the U. S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission under the Clinton Administration and presently sits on President Obama’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. More »