RIDGWAY – Writer, speaker, energy analyst and leading sustainability activist Randy Udall has agreed to headline Transition OurWay’s Green Home and Efficiency Expo, June 1.
“Our energy group is ecstatic,” said Transition’s Paula James, whose invitation persuaded the Carbondale resident (and brother of U.S. Sen. Mark Udall) to come to Ridgway.
Udall first wrote about climate change in 1987. He is a co-founder of the Association for the Study of Peak Oil – USA, and a former director of the Community Office of Resource Efficiency, CORE. He speaks all over the world on solar and wind generation, on the “fatal flaw” in the “miracle” of fracking, and what the future beyond carbon might look like. His solar retrofit of his home in Carbondale will keep 300,000 pounds of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere over the next 20 years.
Transition’s daylong symposium will feature workshops and speakers with extensive knowledge of energy trends, concerns and solutions.
The local electric co-op, San Miguel Power Association, and Ridgway’s Alternative Power Enterprises are co-sponsoring the event and will be sharing tips and trade innovations with an emphasis on residential efficiency.
“We’re always talking about the benefits of energy efficiency and conservation, and this event connects our members to the people, products and services that will really help them save energy,” said SMPA General Manager Kevin Ritter, in a press release.
Other speakers at the 4-H Event Center will include SMPA’s Brad Zaporski, on efficiency programs for home and business owners, and Patti Snidow, from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, on low-interest loans and grants for small businesses.
Vendors, and panels will offer the homeowner advice and information on everything from solar power to Time Banking, from LED lights to high efficiency appliances and construction methods.
Udall told The Watch he will tailor his illustrated talk to the home-energy realm, in the context of a bigger energy picture. Lately, he has been writing forcefully on the topic of the boom in U.S. energy production, specifically oil and gas, and most specifically the technological “miracles” of 3D imaging and deep-strata fracking that have made the boom possible.
Udall, who has a knack for coming up with brilliant catch phrases, has called oil shale “the equivalent of fool’s gold.” In a recent article for the Christian Science Monitor, he wrote, “Having exhausted most of our best petroleum reserves, we’ve moved to much worse ones,” requiring this vast technological “miracle.” The dark side, he said, is that we have given over our land (10 percent of the country’s surface area) to ever more, less-productive wells. “With shales, the flip side of exuberance is exhaustion,” he wrote.
And this: “The American future isn’t a romance with abundance, it’s a plea bargain with depletion.”
Though the Transition movement, which started in suburban England years ago, is predicated on a decentralized, more self-sufficient future beyond peak oil, James has emphasized that the local group is not about doom and gloom. It is, she has written, “a Ouray County grassroots, nonprofit organization focused on conservation, alternative energy, and community building.”
Doors will open at 8:30 a.m., with programs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Refreshments will be available throughout the day. Admission is free. For more information contact Dudley Case at email@example.com.