For Immediate Release
April 25, 2006
Contacts: Ellen Ternes, 301-405-4621 or email@example.com
UM Has Major Role In World Sustainability Summit
Read about UM grad student who launched the summit.
Washington, DC - When the University of Maryland Sustainable Development and Conservation Biology (CONS) Program hosts the Sustainable Energy Forum 2006, May 7-9 in Washington, DC, many of the leaders gathering to discuss the implications of global oil production on climate and the world economy will have university ties.
Included among the scientists, policymakers and advocates from government, non-profits and academia who will discuss "Peak Oil and the Environment," are Maryland alumni Congressman Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD) and Lester Brown, president of the Earth Policy Institute; Herman Daly, professor in the School of Public Policy and leading thinker in sustainable development; alumnus; CONS Program directors James Dietz and David Inouye, professors of biology; and Max Christian, the CONS graduate student who organized the forum.
They will lead discussions on the mounting challenges to America's goal of energy independence in light of impending constraints imposed by 'peak oil'- reaching the maximum rate of global oil production.
"When oil production turns downward, it will be a seismic economic event, creating a world unlike any we have known during our lifetimes," said Brown. "Indeed, when historians write about this period in history, they may well distinguish between 'before' and 'after' peak oil."
"America is 'addicted to oil' but this addiction will not be broken through technology alone," said Bartlett . "This gathering will make an important contribution toward our understanding of true energy security."
Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer will give the dinner address, and Sweden's Minister for Sustainable Development, Mona Sahlin, will announce her country's initiative to be free of oil dependence by 2020.
Other speakers include James Hansen, Director of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, who will discuss ecosystem and climate constraints to continued fossil fuel use; and Michael Klare, Director of Peace and World Security Studies at Hampshire College, who will highlight America's growing vulnerability to further geopolitical conflict as a result of global competition for remaining oil reserves.
"Global warming, geopolitical instability and conventional oil depletion ensure that we will not invent, invade or drill our way to energy independence," said Christian. "This conference will bring realistic, forward-thinking ideas to the discussion of America's energy future."
The University of Maryland Sustainable Development and Conservation Biology Program is an interdisciplinary graduate level program for conservation biology and development, aimed at creating leaders to address the planet's biodiversity crisis.
The conference is sponsored by Wallace Global Fund, Sustainable Scale Project, Natural Resources Defense Council, and NRG Systems.