Gasoline, Nuclear Power Topics of “Where on Earth” Symposium

"The Energy Puzzle In More Than 140 Characters" and "The Future of Nuclear Power" are the topics of the Where on Earth are We Going Symposium Nov. 5.

On Nov. 5, two energy experts will speak during the annual “Where On Earth Are We Going?” symposium. The event is sponsored by the Robert Schumann Lecture Series in the Environmental Studies Program.

At 9 a.m., Lisa Margonelli, director of the Energy Policy Initiative at the New America Foundation in Washington D.C., will speak on “The Energy Revolution Will not be Tweetable: the Energy Puzzle in More than 140 Characters.” Margonelli is the publisher of The Energy Trap and blogs frequently at The Atlantic web site. Her book Oil On the Brain: Petroleum’s Long, Strange Trip to Your Tank follows the oil supply chain from the gas station to oil fields around the world.

Gas at $3.50 a gallon is expensive, but its environmental, economic, political and moral price is much higher, she says. Margonelli will offer a provocative tour of the true cost of gasoline – as bad for the citizens of the Middle East as it is for Americans -and then explain how we can change by looking at energy as a system and finding opportunities for mini revolutions in technology, policy and behavior.

At 10:30 a.m., Paul Gunter, a lead spokesperson in nuclear reactor hazards and security concerns, will speak on “The Future of Nuclear Power Following the Fukushima Disaster.”  Gunter acts as the regulatory watchdog over the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the nuclear power industry. An environmental activist and energy policy analyst, he has been an ardent critic of atomic power development for more than 30 years.

Gunter will explain how the nuclear catastrophe is still widening around Japan’s Fukushima Dai-Ichi atomic power plant. The ongoing nuclear accident has created significant radioactive and political fallout in the midst of what industry had been touting as a  “nuclear renaissance” of new reactor development. He will address, “What are the consequences of the Fukushima nuclear accident?” and “How is it affecting energy policy here in the United States and globally?”

The symposium will take place in Exley Science Center’s Tishler Lecture Hall 150. The event is free and open to the public.  For more information, contact Valerie Marinelli at 860-685-3733 or vmarinelli@wesleyan.edu.