Solving the world’s energy issues | PostIndependent.com

Solving the world’s energy issues

Randy WyrickVail DailyPost IndependentGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado

BEAVER CREEK, Colorado – Affordable energy powers the world economy, and this weekend’s Vail Global Energy Forum will focus on how to keep it coming and keep it green.This year’s forum includes gas drillers, greenies, frackers and geophysicists in presentations and panel discussions designed to simplify the complex issues, while providing real solutions for an issue that won’t go away as long as people need energy.”It involves behavior and how you treat the area around you,” said filmmaker Carl Colby, one of the event organizers.You’ll have some real takeaways from the forum, Colby said.”It’s one thing to talk about this academically, it’s another to make it applicable to daily living,” Colby said.TechnattitudesAttitudes and technology change constantly, usually for the better, Colby said.Not so long ago the Erie Canal was on fire, it was so polluted.”People were giving up. But then people, especially young people, decided we can have it all if we go about it the right way,” Colby said. “It’s a delicate balance.”The forum will feature all sorts of viewpoints. Halliburton’s president will stand on the same stage as the Natural Defense Fund.”That’s critical. If you just brought in the industry people, or the academics, you’d be missing some vital perspectives,” Colby said. “That’s why we wanted it to be as well rounded as possible.”Fracking (hydraulic fracturing) and natural gas exploration are in the headlines and on the agenda. Gov. John Hickenlooper will be there to talk about it. Mark Zoback, a geophysicist with Stanford, has testified all about it. He’ll walk through the science.Jim Brown, president of Western Hemisphere Halliburton, will do a complete presentation, Colby said.”He’s in the business of doing the drilling. They can do it, but what are the standards? They don’t want to destroy the environment. It’ll put them out of business,” Colby said.From a different perspective, Stanford’s James Sweeney will talk about changing attitudes about energy efficiency, and attitudes do change.”Thirty years ago if you met in a coffee shop you’d also be smoking. Now it’s almost completely unacceptable. How did that happen?” Colby said.Sweeney, of Stanford University’s Precourt Energy Efficiency Center, will talk about energy efficiency and the unpicked low hanging fruit. Smart meters control temperatures, start cars, even control window shades to maximize energy.”How do you make it affordable so everyone can do it, not just the moneyed classes?” Colby asked.The Vail Global Energy Forum, in its second year, is organized by Sweeney, Jay Precourt and Colby in collaboration with The Vail Valley Foundation.”We were thrilled to have such an enthusiastic response to our inaugural VGEF,” said founder Jay Precourt. “However, there is still much work to be done to resolve the pressing problems of maintaining and growing a healthy global economy without depleting our precious natural energy resources. We will present something old and something new to keep the agenda fresh and stimulating.”rwyrick@vaildaily.com.


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