Energy – 2006 – 2007 Annual Theme

2006-2007 theme

Richard Alley – “Joseph Priestley Award Recipient”

Pennsylvania State University

Joseph Priestley Award Celebration Lecture

The Good News on Energy, Environment and Our Future

Tuesday, September 26, 2017
Anita Tuvin Schlechter Auditorium, 7 p.m.

Watch Live

Humans have burned trees, whales, and now fossil fuels far faster than they grew back, enjoying the energy but suffering the environmental impacts and then shortages. Now, we are the first generation that can build a sustainable energy system, improving the economy, employment, environment, ethics, and national security.

The Joseph Priestley Award recipient is chosen by a different science department each year. The Department of Earth Sciences has selected this year’s recipient. The event is supported by the College’s Priestley Fund and is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and co-sponsored by the departments of biology, chemistry, earth sciences, environmental studies, mathematics & computer science, psychology, and physics & astronomy.

Biography (provided by the speaker)

Richard Alley (Ph.D. 1987, Geology, Wisconsin) is Evan Pugh University Professor of Geosciences at Penn State.  He studies the great ice sheets to help predict future changes in climate and sea level, and has conducted three field seasons in Antarctica, eight in Greenland, and three in Alaska.  He has been honored for research (including election to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and Foreign Membership in the Royal Society), teaching, and service.  Alley participated in the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (co-recipient of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize), and has provided requested advice to numerous government officials in multiple administrations including a U.S. vice president, the President’s science advisor, and committees and individual members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives.  He has authored or coauthored over 290 refereed scientific papers.  He was presenter for the PBS TV miniseries on climate and energy Earth: The Operators’ Manual, and author of the book.  His popular account of climate change and ice cores, The Two-Mile Time Machine, was Phi Beta Kappa’s science book of the year.  Alley is happily married with two grown daughters, two stay-at-home cats, a bicycle, and a pair of soccer cleats.

Related Link

Penn State Course: EARTH 104 – Energy and the Environment

Joseph Priestley Lecture
The Priestley Award is presented by Dickinson College in memory of Joseph Priestley, discoverer of oxygen, to a distinguished scientist whose work has contributed to the welfare of humanity. The Priestley Award, first presented in 1952, recognizes outstanding achievement and contribution to our understanding of science and the world.

Video of the Lecture

Anthony Ingraffea

Ingraffea PosterCornell University

Shale Gas and Oil Development: Latest Evidence on Leaky Wells, Methane Emissions, and Energy Policy

Wednesday, September 16, 2015
Anita Tuvin Schlechter Auditorium (ATS), 7 p.m.
(360 W. Louther Street, Carlisle, PA)

Ingraffea will discuss the myths and realities concerning large-scale development of unconventional natural gas/oil resources in shale deposits on both a local and global scale.

This program is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and co-sponsored by the Churchill Fund,  Center for Sustainability Education, department of environmental studies and Alliance for Aquatic Resource Monitoring (ALLARM). The program is also part of the Clarke Forum’s  Leadership in an Age of Uncertainty Series.

Dr Ingraffea_ithaca fallsBiography (provided by the speaker)

Dr. Ingraffea is the Dwight C. Baum Professor of Engineering Emeritus and a Weiss Presidential Teaching Fellow at Cornell University where he has been since 1977. He holds a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Notre Dame, an M.S. in Civil Engineering from Polytechnic Institute of New York, and a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from the University of Colorado. Dr. Ingraffea’s research concentrates on computer simulation and physical testing of complex fracturing processes. He and his students performed pioneering research in the use of interactive computer graphics and realistic representational methods in computational fracture mechanics. He has authored with his students and research associates over 250 papers in these areas, and is director of the Cornell Fracture Group ( Since 1977, he has been a principal or co-principal investigator on over $36M in R&D projects from the NSF, EXXON, NASA Langley, Nichols Research, NASA Glenn, AFOSR, FAA, Kodak, U. S. Army Engineer Waterways Experiment Station, U.S. Dept. of Transportation, IBM, Schlumberger, Gas Technology Institute, Sandia National Laboratories, the Association of Iron and Steel Engineers, General Dynamics, Boeing, Caterpillar Tractor, DARPA, and Northrop Grumman. Professor Ingraffea was a member of the first group of Presidential Young Investigators named by the National Science Foundation in 1984. For his research achievements in hydraulic fracturing he has won the International Association for Computer Methods and Advances in Geomechanics “1994 Significant Paper Award”, and he has twice won the National Research Council/U.S. National Committee for Rock Mechanics Award for Research in Rock Mechanics (1978, 1991). He became a fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers in 1991, and named the Dwight C. Baum Professor of Engineering at Cornell in 1992.   His group won a NASA Group Achievement Award in 1996, and a NASA Aviation Safety /Turning Goals into Reality Award in 1999 for its work on the aging aircraft problem. He became co-dditor-in-chief of Engineering Fracture Mechanics in 2005. In 2006, he won ASTM’s George Irwin Medal for outstanding research in fracture mechanics, and in 2009 was named a Fellow of the International Congress on Fracture. TIME Magazine named him one of its “People Who Mattered” in 2011, and he became the first president of Physicians, Scientists, and Engineers for Healthy Energy, Inc. ( in that same year. He is a co-author of recent papers on wellbore integrity in Pennsylvania (2014), and on conversion of New York (2012) and California (2014) to wind/sun/water power for all energy uses in the next few decades.

Video of the Lecture

Michael Granoff

Head of Oil Independence Policies, Better Place

The End of the Oil Monopoly

Tuesday, March 6, 2012
Anita Tuvin Schlechter Auditorium, 6:30 p.m.

For 100 years, virtually all of global transport has been the domain of a single, depleting, polluting commodity to the detriment of the global economy, security and environment. But the trend is beginning to change in 2012 as the convergence of technology and creative business modeling has led to the creation of a less expensive and more convenient alternative to gasoline-driven automobiles. Pioneered in Israel, Denmark and Australia, this radical new approach has the potential to turn two giant industries upside down.

This event is sponsored by The Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and The Milton B. Asbell Center for Jewish Life and is part of The Clarke Forum’s Leadership in an Age of Uncertainty Series.

Biography (provided by the speaker)
Michael Granoff has been head of oil independence policies for Better Place since its founding in 2007. In that capacity, he helps stakeholders of all types calibrate policies consistent with the Better Place approach to ending the corrosive effect of oil dependence on economy, environment and security. Stakeholders with which Granoff works include governments on every level, industry, non-governmental organizations, and current and future Better Place partners.

Granoff is founder of Maniv Energy Capital, a New York-based investment group and the first investor in Better Place. Maniv Energy has several other interests in the alternative energy and clean technology space, and was instrumental in the founding of Israel Cleantech Ventures, the first venture fund in Israel with an exclusive focus on cleantech.

In 2004, Granoff became a founding board member of Securing America’s Future Energy, a Washington, D.C.-based group that works with corporate and retired military leaders to advocate for policies that contribute to the energy security of the U.S.

Previous to Maniv Energy, Granoff founded Maniv Bioventures, a $20 million fund that invested in 10 earlystage life science companies. Politically active for two decades, Granoff served in two presidential campaigns and several political organizations, and has served on the boards of half a dozen non-profit institutions.

Mr. Granoff was winner of the 2010 Asper Award for Global Entrepreneurship from the Brandeis University International School of Business, among other honors.

He holds a B.A. from Tufts University, an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, and a J.D. from Northwestern School of Law. Granoff is an avid marathon runner and, together with his wife, he has four young children.

Michael Klare

Five College professor of Peace and World Security Studies

The Great Struggle Over Energy

Wednesday, November 9, 2011
Stern Center, Great Room, 7:00 p.m.

This lecture will explain how the world’s existing energy system, based on oil and other fossil fuels, will have to be replaced by a new one over the next 30 years or so due to resource scarcity and climate change. But as no known alternative can replace fossil fuels at the present time, there will be an intense struggle over the various contenders for this role – a struggle that will have immense consequences for the major energy firms, the major energy producers and consumers, and all human beings.

This event is jointly sponsored by The Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and Penn State University Dickinson School of Law and School of International Affairs.

Biography (provided by the speaker)
Michael T. Klare is the Five College Professor of Peace and World Security Studies, a joint appointment at Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke, and Smith Colleges and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Professor Klare has written widely on world security affairs, the arms trade, and global resource politics. His most recent books include Resource Wars (2001), Blood and Oil (2005), and Rising Powers, Shrinking Planet (2008). Dr. Klare has also written for many publications, including Current History, Foreign Affairs, The Nation, Newsweek, and Scientific American. He also serves as defense correspondent of The Nation and is a contributing editor of Current History. In addition to his academic and writing pursuits, Dr. Klare is active in disarmament, environmental, and human rights advocacy work. He serves on the board of the Arms Control Association and the National Priorities Project.
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Terry Engelder


Professor of Geosciences, Penn State University

Marcellus Gas Shale

Thursday, March 25, 2010
Stern Center, Great Room, 7:00 p.m

* This event is part of the Clarke Forum’s series on Leadership in an Age of Uncertainty.

Engelder will talk about the Marcellus gas shale that is located in Pennsylvania, the potential economic value it has for the state, and the probable ramifications it will have for political scientists, lawyers, policy analysts and environmentalists.

Co-sponsored by the Department of Geology, Center for Environmental & Sustainability Education, and the Department of Environmental Science.

About the Speaker
Terry Engelder, a leading authority on the recent Marcellus gas shale play, holds degrees from Penn State B.S. (’68), Yale M.S. (’72) and Texas A&M, Ph.D. (’73). He is currently a professor of geosciences at Penn State and has previously served on the staffs of the U.S. Geological Survey, Texaco, and Columbia University. Short-term academic appointments include those of visiting professor at Graz University in Austria and visiting professor at the University of Perugia in Italy. Other academic distinctions include a Fulbright Senior Fellowship in Australia, Penn State’s Wilson Distinguished Teaching Award, membership in a U.S. earth science delegation to visit the Soviet Union immediately following Nixon-Brezhnev dêtente, and the singular honor of helping Walter Alvarez collect the samples that led to the famous theory for dinosaur extinction by large meteorite impact. He has written 150 research papers, many focused on Appalachia, and a book, the research monograph “Stress Regimes in the Lithosphere.” In the international arena, he has worked on exploration and production problems with companies including Saudi Aramco, Royal Dutch Shell, Total, Agip, and Petrobras.
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Dallas Burtraw

Senior Fellow, Resources for the Future

Next Steps in U.S. Climate Policy: Winners, Losers and Innovations in Policy Design

Climate-Change-for-WebWednesday, February 24, 2010
Stern Center, Great Room, 7:00 p.m.

* This event is part of the Clarke Forum’s series on Leadership in an Age of Uncertainty.

After the international climate meetings in Copenhagen, the eyes of the world rest on the U.S. and its progress towards meeting its goals for achieving reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. The leading proposal in the U.S. is a market-based cap-and-trade program, but there are a variety of approaches in designing such a program. These alternatives have very different implications for the overall cost of climate policy, and perhaps more importantly, who bears that cost.

Economists argue that cap and trade can achieve environmental goals at much less cost than traditional regulatory approaches. However, the asset value of the tradable “emissions allowances” that are introduced under cap and trade would constitute one of the largest commodity markets in the world. How these allowances are distributed – free distribution, or distribution through an auction – will have enormous implications for the efficiency and distributional impact of the policy, and ultimately on the nation’s willingness to move forward with climate policy.

Meanwhile, other regulatory approaches have already started to take shape. In the absence of comprehensive climate policy enacted by this Congress, the nation will proceed within a complicated but potentially effective policy framework that has evolved over the last forty years under the Clean Air Act. One way or another, the outcome of these policy choices will affect every household in America in profound ways.

Co-sponsored by the Departments of Environmental Studies, Policy Studies and Economics.

Topical Background
Climate change became a major political issue transcending national boundaries by the late 1980s. In December 1988, the United Nations General Assembly established the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to review scientific data on the subject. The Kyoto Protocol—negotiated in 1997 and signed and ratified by 187 countries—was the outcome of an attempt to develop an international strategy to address climate change. The United States has yet to ratify the Kyoto Protocol.

Climate change is now widely recognized as the major environmental problem facing the globe. Climate change is expected to have its greatest effect on developing countries. Its effects—higher temperatures, changes in precipitation patterns, rising sea levels, and more frequent weather-related disasters—pose severe risks for the livelihood of communities and the dependability of food and water supplies. At stake are recent gains in the fight against poverty, hunger and disease, and the livelihoods of billions of people in developing countries.

Developing countries can shift to lower-carbon paths; however, this will depend on the financial and technical assistance of developed nations. The governments of high-income countries need to act quickly to reduce their carbon footprints and boost the development of alternative energy sources.

The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) 15th Conference of the Parties (COP15) meeting in Copenhagen in December 2009 was the culmination of months of negotiations complemented by community, industry and private sector-led events aimed at promoting urgent decision-making and action to combat climate change. It resulted in the Copenhagen Accord under which several developing and developed countries outlined intentions and commitments on levels of carbon emissions, pledged support for technology transfer and acknowledged the importance of forest systems in combating climate change.

In the United States, the leading proposal for climate policy is a market-based cap-and-trade program in which policymakers would set a mandatory cap on emissions of carbon dioxide and provide companies with economic incentives to reach that cap at the lowest possible cost. However, there are a variety of approaches in designing such a program. These alternatives have very different implications for the overall cost of climate policy, and perhaps more importantly who bears that cost.

About the Speaker

Dallas Burtraw’s research includes the design of environmental regulation, the costs and benefits of environmental regulation, and the regulation of the electricity industry. Burtraw holds a Ph.D. in economics and a master’s degree in public policy from the University of Michigan. He serves on California’s Economic and Allocation Advisory Committee and previously served on the Market Advisory Committee for implementation of Assembly Bill 32, the state’s greenhouse gas legislation. He also provided technical support for the development of the northeast Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. He serves on advisory committees for the National Academy of Science and the Environmental Protection Agency.
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Daniel Desmond

Deputy Secretary of the Office of Energy and Technology Deployment, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection

Focus the Nation: Global Warming Solutions

Focus the Nation
Thursday, January 31, 2008
Anita Tuvin Schlechter Auditorium – 7:00 p.m.

Keynote Speaker for “Focus the Nation”
Co-sponsored by Environmental Studies Department and Dickinson SAVES

Visit this link for more information on Dickinson’s Focus the Nation programs.

Issue in Context
Global warming is a phenomenon believed to occur as a result of the build-up of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. Over the past 200 years, the burning of fossil fuels such as coal and oil has caused the concentrations of heat-trapping “greenhouse gases” to increase significantly in our atmosphere. These gases prevent heat from dissipating, somewhat like the glass panels of a greenhouse.
Greenhouse gases are necessary to life as we know it, because they keep the planet’s surface warm. But, as the concentrations of these gases continue to increase in the atmosphere, the Earth’s temperature is climbing above previously recorded levels. According to NASA data, the Earth’s average surface temperature has increased by about 1.2 to 1.4°F in the last 100 years. Eleven of the last twelve years rank among the warmest years recorded since 1850, with the two warmest years being 1998 and 2005. Scientists are certain that human activities are changing the composition of the atmosphere, and that the increasing concentration of greenhouse gases will change the planet’s climate.
A March 2006 Time magazine, “ABC News”, and Stanford University poll revealed that most Americans are not aware of the broad scientific consensus on global warming and the majority of the survey participants see it as a problem for future generations. Human-induced warming has regional and global consequences ranging from hurricanes of greater intensity and duration, global water shortages, altered patterns of rainfall, massive forest loss, and large-scale species extinction.
Using energy more efficiently and moving to renewable sources of energy, such as wind, solar, geothermal, and bioenergy would significantly reduce the emission of heat-trapping gases into the atmosphere. The non-profit organization Focus the Nation is initiating a national teach-in on global warming solutions for America, creating a dialogue at over a thousand colleges, universities, high schools, middle schools, places of worship, civic organizations and businesses across the United States in order to mobilize human energies and create a sense of collective and moral purpose toward implementing efficient energy fuels and technology. The motivation for this project is to explore a new model of collaborative, interdisciplinary education, on a national scale. Focus the Nation provides an exciting model opportunity to create for one day a true national community of scholarship bridging traditional disciplinary boundaries.

About the Speaker

Daniel J. Desmond is the deputy secretary for the Office of Energy and Technology Deployment (OETD). The Office, created in January 2003, is responsible for identifying and supporting markets for innovative environmental and advanced energy technologies. OETD manages several grant initiatives focused on these business sectors, including the Pennsylvania Energy Development Authority, Energy Harvest, Alternative Fuel Incentive Grants and the Small Business Advantage grant programs. OETD works with citizen groups, businesses, local governments and NGOs on policy matters and strategies to encourage pollution prevention and energy conservation practices.
Mr. Desmond also served as executive director of the Pennsylvania Energy Office and was with the agency from 1983 until its merger with the Department of Environmental Protection in 1995. From April 1995 until his appointment in May 2003, he was chair of the Pennsylvania Energy Resources Center, an advocacy and public education project aimed to secure funding for renewable energy in the aftermath of utility deregulation. In addition, he was president of Sustainable Systems Research, a Lancaster, Pennsylvania-based firm specializing in the development and commercialization of environmentally beneficial technology.

Related Links
Desmond Web site:
Governor’s Energy Independence Strategy:
Penn Future’s support for most of the Governor’s program:
Web sites for a critique of the Governor’s program by PA environmental activists:
On the act itself implementing “alternative” requirements:
On waste coal and coal to diesel:
On alternative transportation fuels:
Citizen Power in Pittsburgh:
Focus the Nation: Global Warming Solutions for America
Department of Environmental Science – Focus the Nation conference schedule
Global Warming Solutions: Act Now to Save the Planet
Time Magazine/ABC News/Stanford University 2006 Global Warming Poll,9171,1176975,00.html
NASA Global Temperature Trends: Summation 2007
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Lance Simmens

Global Warming

Tuesday, September 11
Stern Center, Great Room, 7:00 p.m.

The scientific evidence on global warming is as disturbing as it is definitive. Increasing carbon emissions challenge our planet and all who inhabit it, a challenge that is here and now and that we must both acknowledge and address. Taking off from the documentary film, An Inconvenient Truth, the presentation by Simmens, special assistant to Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell, speaks to the average citizen.

Issue in Context
Global warming refers to the rise of the average temperature of the earth’s atmosphere and oceans and has become a prominent global issue over the last fifty years. Greenhouse gases in the atmosphere have been found by scientists to contribute in large part to the continued increase of the earth’s temperature. While some greenhouse gases are necessary to maintain a temperature suitable for life on earth, an excess of these gases can create serious problems. In the past decade, the earth has experienced some of the warmest years ever recorded. While changes in the sun’s orbit and some volcanic eruptions have contributed to global warming, scientists and environmentalists have found that the recent elevated temperatures of the planet can be attributed in large part to human activity. For instance, deforestation and the burning of fossil fuels are largely responsible for the current high levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
Scientists believe that global warming causes problems such as the melting of polar ice caps, rising sea levels, and changing precipitation patterns that may result in floods and droughts. Plant and animal ranges have shifted and growing seasons have lengthened around the world. If global warming continues, the planet could face such drastic consequences as species extinction, spread of tropical diseases, the collapse of ecosystems, and the loss of ocean circulation.

About the Speaker
Lance Simmens has worked for many years in several distinguished positions in the government. Simmens is special assistant to PA Governor Ed Rendell. Simmens has served in high ranking positions in both the Carter and Clinton administrations including director of intergovernmental affairs for the U.S. Small Business Administration, and deputy director of the Office of Sustainable Development in the U.S. Department of Commerce. He also worked on the President’s Commission on the year 2000.
Before his current position, Simmens was executive director of the Governor’s Cabinet on Children and Families. He also worked for six years with the U.S. Senate Budget Committee and for another six years as the assistant executive director of the U.S. Conference of Mayors. Mr. Simmens held the position of national director of government relations for the Screen Actors Guild in Los Angeles. While holding this post, Simmens represented close to 100,000 members of the entertainment union. He helped establish the first Office of Sustainable Development in the federal government in 1993. Lance Simmens has recently completed a training program led by Al Gore to present Gore’s film An Inconvenient Truth which addresses the negative effects of climate change.
Simmens received his undergraduate degree from Georgia Southern University and his master’s degree in public administration from Temple University in Philadelphia. He also completed post graduate programs at the Harvard Institute for International Development and the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

View An Inconvenient Truth trailer

Related Readings
Governor Rendell’s Homepage
Global Warming Homepage
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Environmental Protection Agency Climate Change Website
Information on An Inconvenient Truth

Energy Politics and Policy

Monday, April 16, 2007Lopatto Poster
7:00 p.m. – Stern Center, Great Room
Metzger-Conway Fellow
Jeanne Lopatto, director of Government and International Affairs at Westinghouse Electric Company

Ms. Lopatto advises the chairman on international policy issues and programs related to regulatory assistance to foreign countries for nuclear safety and radiation protection, non-proliferation activities, and export licensing. She also acts as liaison for the chairman’s office and other federal agencies including the Departments of Energy, State, Homeland Security, and others. She will provide an energy perspective from inside “The Beltway.”

Local Air Quality: Past, Present & Future?

Air Quality Poster
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
7:00 p.m. – Anita Tuvin Schlechter Auditorium

“Continuing the Conversation”
All are welcome to stay for The Clarke Forum’s student led follow-up discussion immediately following the presentation.

Philip Carey, M.D., pulmonary specialist
Thomas Au, environmental attorney
Colonel (Ret.) Paul J. Cunningham, Clean Air Board
Omar Shute, executive director, Cumberland County Economic Development Corporation
Jesse Keen, vice president, Keen Transport, Inc.
R. Russell Shunk, executive vice president of College/Community Development at Dickinson College, Moderator

Issue in Context
Since human occupation, the Cumberland Valley has been a crossroads of commerce, trade, and travel. American Indians traversed trails through the region, along waterways and over mountains. People crossing these waterways and mountains now rely on the area’s heavy network of interstate highways. A vast logistics industry provides jobs in an economy that continues to lose manufacturing and farming. The trucks that drive through campus on Route 11 are just a slice of this network, and local air quality has diminished because of the diesel fuel emissions. A recent study by the American Lung Association indicated that the Harrisburg-Carlisle-Lebanon area has the 24th most polluted air in the nation, a factor that affects health and quality of life.

The panel for this event brings together local experts on the various aspects of the issue to examine the facts and discuss what can be done by citizens groups, educational institutions, health providers, government, and business to balance the economic, environmental, health, and quality of life issues raised by the air we breathe.

About the Speaker
Dr. Phillip Carey is a pulmonary specialist who serves on the Clean Air Board (CAB). He graduated from Case Western Reserve University.
Thomas Au, an environmental attorney, has advised several citizen groups, including the Pennsylvania Sierra Club and CAB. Au formerly worked for the Department of Environmental Protection. He received his B.A. from Kenyon College and his J.D. from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law.
Colonel (Ret.) Paul J. Cunningham is active in local municipal issues concerning air quality, development, and responsible government.
Omar Shute is the executive director of the Cumberland County Economic Development Corporation. Shute also serves as a board member of the Cumberland County Industrial Development Authority and works with the area Chambers of Commerce. Omar holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Management and Marketing from Pennsylvania State University.
Jesse Keen is vice president of Keen Transport, Inc., the largest hauler and logistics distributor of construction equipment in the U.S. and is an advisor to CAB. He has also served as president of the Central Pennsylvania Motor Truck Association.
R. Russell Shunk is executive vice president of College and Community Development. He received a bachelor’s degree from Lafayette College and a master’s degree from Lehigh University.

Related Links
American Lung Association State of the Air 2006
Clean Air Board of Central PA
PennFuture: PA Citizens Concerned with the Environment
Initiatives to Reduce Truck Idling
Action taken in PA Congress on air pollution

Getting to Green?: Pennsylvania's Commitment to Renewable Energy

Thursday, March 29, 2007RushPoster07
7:00 p.m. – Stern Center, Great Room

Mike Ewall, director, ActionPA
Tom Tuffey, director, Citizens for Pennsylvania’s
Future Center for Energy, Enterprise and the Environment
Michael Heiman, facilitator, geographer and professor of environmental studies, Dickinson College

A discussion of Pennsylvania’s electricity provision, reform and contribution to global greenhouse gas emissions. Panelists will discuss the alternatives state laws allow, and the advances that have been made in wind and solar energy. An open discussion will follow.

Issue in Context
As both a major industrial state and a large producer of coal, Pennsylvania leaves a significant environmental footprint. Ranked third highest in the nation for production of greenhouse gasses (behind California and Texas), Pennsylvania contributes 1 PERCENT of all human-generated global carbon dioxide. Yet recently, this hotbed of energy generation and use has also given a lot of attention to alternative energy sources and environmental protection.
Although most agree that renewable energy sources are necessary to reduce our dependence on foreign sources and the carbon footprint accompanying fossil fuels, funding and support for alternative energy sources, some of which are less than “renewable,” is controversial in the Pennsylvania legislature and across the country. In Pennsylvania, the “Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard” bill was signed into state law on November 20, 2004. Known as Act 213, this law generally requires that electric distribution companies and electric generation suppliers use alternative energy resources for a specific percentage of the electricity they provide to Pennsylvania customers. The percentage of alternative energy required gradually increases according to a fifteen year schedule found in Act 213. This law divides energy resources into two categories, Tier I and Tier II. Tier I is predominantly the more familiar low-carbon renewable resources, including wind power and solar voltaic energy, while Tier II includes more environmentally controversial sources, such as plants that burn low-grade waste coal piles currently polluting the environment, methane derived from coal seams, and trash incinerators. Despite ordering one of the highest levels of renewable energy in the nation, Act 213 remains contested by the environmental community for its use of fossil fuel sources, waste coal and coal mine methane, and is further criticized for not placing high enough requirements on the percentage of renewable Tier I energy used.

About the Speakers
Mike Ewall has been involved in grassroots environmental justice organizing since 1991. As the founder of ActionPA and the Energy Justice Network, he has worked in Pennsylvania and around the world to help grassroots community groups tackle polluting energy and waste industries. His experiences range from fighting for environmental justice in rural and suburban communities in Pennsylvania to helping protest environmental racism in the state’s urban centers. Since Pennsylvania deregulated its electric industry in 1999, Mr. Ewall has been focused on energy marketing issues. That year, he launched a boycott of Green Mountain Energy in order to call attention to their marketing of dirty and deceptive energy products. He is also the author of the nation’s strongest and cleanest Renewable Portfolio Standard legislation, introduced in Pennsylvania’s state senate in 2003.

Tom Tuffey works for Citizen’s for Pennsylvania’s Future (Penn Future) as the director of the Center for Energy, Enterprise and the Environment. He has previously served as the executive director of the Sustainable Energy Fund of Central Eastern Pennsylvania and as an executive committee member of the Clean Energy States Alliance, the trade association of the 17 state clean energy funds. Dr. Tuffey has also taught at Rutgers University in both the Water Resources Research Institute and the Bureau of Engineering Research. Dr. Tuffey received his doctoral degree in environmental sciences from Rutgers University.

Michael Heiman is a professor of environmental studies and geography in the Dickinson College department of environmental studies. He received his doctoral degree in geography from the University of California at Berkeley and has used his training in both the natural and social sciences to research solid, hazardous, and nuclear waste management; sustainable development, dispute resolution, and environmental racism and justice. Last spring he gave a presentation at the Meeting of the Association of American Geographers entitled “Green Power: Will Consumer Choice Make The Difference?”

Related Readings
Text of Act 213
ActionPA’s information on Act 213
Energy Justice Network’s information on Waste Coal
PennFuture’s Campaign to global warming gas emissions in PA

Addressing Climate Change: A Least-Cost Strategy

Thursday, March 22, 2007
7:00 p.m. – Stern Center, Great Room
Benjamin Rush Award
Roger W. Sant

Roger W. Sant is co-founder and chairman emeritus of The AES Corporation, one of the world’s largest global power companies operating in 27 countries. Mr. Sant was assistant administrator for energy conservation and the environment at the Federal Energy Administration as well as director of the energy productivity center, affiliated with the Carnegie Mellon University.

Issue in Context
Over the past two centuries, “greenhouse gases” which trap heat in our atmosphere have caused global temperatures to increase. The concentration of “greenhouse gases” is formed from deforestation and the burning of fossil fuels. “Greenhouse gases” are critical to life for they allow the planet to remain warm. In recent years these temperatures have risen above traditional levels, providing cause for concern. Eleven out of the past 12 years have been some of the warmest years ever recorded. Levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere are 30 percent higher than they were during the Industrial Revolution. Polar ice caps are melting rapidly, at an average of 9 percent per decade; artic thickness has decreased 40 percent in the past 40 years. Furthermore, the number of category 4 and category 5 hurricanes has multiplied dramatically over the past three decades. Such rapid developments have allowed scientists to be very confident that global temperature rises are caused in large measure by human industrial activity.
Scientists have suggested that plant and animal ranges are shifting and plants are beginning to bloom earlier than usual. Growing seasons around the world are becoming longer and precipitation patterns have changed. Extreme weather changes such as droughts, heat waves, and floods have also become more frequent. Without the reduction of emissions it is likely that many areas will suffer decreased crop production and hunger, continued droughts, loss of coral reefs, complete loss of artic ice, and an increase in tropical diseases in more widespread areas. Many species extinctions, the loss of ocean circulation, and the collapse of ecosystems are also likely. It is clear that the growing climate changes are negatively impacting the world community and it is necessary for us to take immediate steps to prevent further harm to future generations.

About the Speaker
Roger W. Sant co-founded the Applied Energy Services Corporation in 1981. From 1981 to 1986 he served as president and chief executive officer and held the position of chief executive officer until 1993. Mr. Sant was the Chairman of the Board from the time the company started until 2003. The AES Corporation is one of the world’s largest global power companies operating in 27 different countries on 5 continents. The corporation provides up to 100 million people around the world with power and generates up to 44,000 watts of electricity.
Mr. Sant is an environmentalist and under his leadership the AES Corporation sponsored the planting of 50 million trees and helped to preserve the rainforest of South America. Before founding the AES Corporation, Mr. Sant worked as an Administrator for Energy Conservation and Environment at the U.S. Federal Energy Administration. He then founded the Energy Productivity Center associated with Carnegie Mellon University. Mr. Sant also founded Finnigan Instruments, a chemical instrumentation company; and he served as a Professor of Finance at the Stanford University School of Business. He currently serves on the board of directors for the World Wildlife Fund and the Anacostia Waterfront Corporation; he is the Chairman of the Executive Committee and is a member of the Smithsonian Institution Board of Regents, and Chairman of the Board of The Summit Foundation and the Summit Fund of Washington. Mr. Sant received his bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University and his M.B.A. from the Harvard University School of Business.

Related Readings

The AES Corporation
The Earth Institute at Columbia University
Climate Change: The U.S. EPA
USAToday: A Climate Change Cost-Analysis
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The Interaction of Regulation, Markets, and Technology: Consumer Empowerment in the Electric Power Industry

Tuesday, February 27, 2007
Kiesling Poster
7:00 p.m. – Stern Center, Great Room
Lynne Kiesling, senior lecturer of economics at Northwestern University and research scholar, Interdisciplinary Center for Economic Science at George Mason University

Widespread electric power was one of the most dramatic achievements of the 20th century, and throughout its life there has been great tension among regulation, markets, and technological change. This talk will explore those tensions, with specific applications to regulatory, economic, and technological change in the early 21st century. Digital technology has transformed how we live our lives in many ways, but it has not affected how customers consume power or control their energy choices. We will explore the important implications of these questions for economic efficiency and equity, and for environmental quality.

Issue in Context
One of the most striking characteristics of the 20th century were advancements in the physical sciences. One such defining accomplishment was the spread of electrical power throughout the United States. Since then constant tension between consumers, electrical companies, regulation, and technological change has existed. Electrical companies continually strain to generate the amount of power consumers demand. Due to environmental issues, the U.S. government begins to regulate the electrical companies, which, some would argue, places even more strain on them.

Over the past fifty years the number of electronics on the market and the amount of energy demanded have been steadily increasing. In the last fifteen years, as a result of the widespread use of computers and the onset of the digital age, demand and usage has multiplied exponentially.

The problem is that as consumers use more and more electronics, they are not interested in choosing between which electronics to purchase or use. They simply use them all and consume as much energy as they need. The conservation of electricity has resonated with the public the way, for example, oil and gas conservation or recycling have resonated.

About the Speaker
Lynne Kiesling is a senior lecturer of economics at Northwestern University. She is also a research scholar for the Interdisciplinary Center for Economic Science at George Mason University.

Dr. Kiesling’s current research is focused on the energy market and the networks therein. She has published numerous articles in journals such as the Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance and the Electricity Journal. She has also published articles in numerous book chapters and encyclopedia entries.

Dr. Kiesling previously held positions as an assistant professor of economics at the College of William and Mary and the director of economic policy for the Reason Foundation, as well as manager for transfer pricing economics at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP. Dr. Kiesling has received numerous research grants including the Searle Fund for Policy Research. She received her B.S. in economics from Miami University and her Ph. D. in economics from Northwestern University.

Oil, War, and Geopolitics: The Global Struggle Over Disappearing Petroleum

Thursday, February 22, 2007
Klare Poster
7:00 p.m. – Stern Center, Great Room
Michael Klare, Five Colleges professor of peace and world security studies

As we move deeper into the 21st century, the global demand for energy in all its forms is rising at breakneck speed, but the global supply is failing to keep pace, producing intensified competition between the major consuming nations — especially the United States, China, Japan, and the European powers — for access to the available supply. On top of this, the center of gravity of world energy output is moving inexorably from the Global North to the Global South, producing increased anxiety and uncertainty over the reliability and safety of international energy shipments. Both of these trends are contributing to the increased militarization of energy policy. Unless more is done to reduce our reliance on hydrocarbons, we can expect a global epidemic of “resource wars” over oil and other sources of energy.
Co-sponsored by Environmental Science, International Studies, International Business & Management, and Political Science.

Issue in Context

The actions of the U.S. in the Middle East during the past twenty years have been the subject of considerable debate. In his 2001 article “Geopolitics of War” in “The Nation,” Klare suggests that the best way to understand the American political and military presence in the Middle East is to trace the connections to the region’s oil resources. American policy on the Middle East, Klare suggests, is guided not as much by a conflict of world views as by geopolitical competition over the procurement of oil supplies.

Further escalating the tensions over petroleum are calls from energy experts predicting that oil reserves will soon taper off, sending many countries scrambling for resources and focusing foreign relations initiatives on its discovery and use. Industrial economies are especially vulnerable, as are countries that are significant energy consumers. An example of this tension is the rocky relations between central European nations, such as Belarus, Poland, and Germany, which rely on oil pipelines from Russia. As the greatest consumer of oil worldwide, the U.S. is a central nation in this issue.

About the Speaker

Michael T. Klare is director and professor in the Five College Program in Peace and World Security Studies at Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke, and Smith Colleges and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Previously, he served as director of the Program on Militarism and Disarmament at the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington, D.C.

Klare has written extensively on U.S. defense policy, the arms trade, and world security affairs. He authored Resource Wars: The New Landscape of Global Conflict and Rogue States and Nuclear Outlaws and edited Light Weapons and Civil Conflict: Controlling the Tools of Violence. His newest book is Blood and Oil: The Dangers and Consequences of America’s Growing Dependency on Imported Petroleum. Klare has contributed articles to “Arms Control Today,” “Foreign Affairs,” and “Harper’s,” among others . He is the defense correspondent for “The Nation” and a contributing editor of “Current History.” He also serves on the board of the Arms Control Association and the National Priorities Project. Klare is one of the most well-regarded critical analysts of contemporary resource wars.

Michael Klare received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Columbia University and his Ph.D. from the Graduate School of the Union Institute.

Related Readings
BBC on “Oil and Conflict – a Natural Mix”
“U.S. Policy Entangled by Rising Price of Oil” on IHT
Michael Klare on Global Warming and Energy

Books authored by Michael Klare are available at the Waidner-Spahr Library.
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The Neoliberal City

Thursday, February 1, 2007Neoliberal City
7:00 p.m. – Anita Tuvin Schlechter Auditorium
David Harvey, Distinguished Professor of Geography, Department of Anthropology at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York

The global economic transformations that have occurred since 1970 or so are increasingly being referred to in terms of the rise of a “neoliberal” form of political economy (privatization, the withdrawal of the state from social provision, the inculcation of an ethic of personal responsibility). The urban consequences of this transformation have been the focus of considerable attention, but the New York “fiscal crisis” of the mid 1970s and its aftermath turns out to have been an originary moment in the rise of neoliberal practices. Tracing the history of neoliberalization through the recent history of urbanization reveals much about the power structures lying behind these transformations.

Books authored by David Harvey are available at the Waidner-Spahr Library.
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Humans First Altered Climate Thousands (Not Hundreds) of Years Ago

Tuesday, December 5, 2006
Humans First Altered Climate Thousands (Not Hundreds) of Years Ago
Stern Center, Great Room, 7:00 p.m.


Issue in Context
The earth’s climate naturally goes through periods of warming and cooling. Currently, the average temperature of the planet is increasing at an alarming rate. The most common conjecture of environmental scientists is that human actions are accelerating the natural warming of the planet. The amount of greenhouse gases, like carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) and methane (CH 4 ), present in the atmosphere has increased, due in part to human consumption of fossil fuels such as oil, coal and natural gas. Most scientists attribute this increase to the population growth and the industrialization of the past few hundred years in human history. However, William F. Ruddiman, a professor emeritus from the Department of Environmental Sciences at the University of Virginia suggests that significant human intervention in the natural operation in the climate system actually began 5,000 to 8,000 years ago. Even while the world population was relatively small, heavy deforestation and rice irrigation in Eurasia , compounded by additional emissions from an unusually warm ocean caused a shift in global climate. Ruddiman suggests that by the start of the industrial revolution 300 years ago the levels of greenhouse gases were already unusually high.

About the Speaker
William F. Ruddiman is a professor emeritus in the Department of Environmental Sciences at the University of Virginia . His research focuses on the causes of climate change on tectonic, orbital and human time scales. His published works include two books, Earth’s Climate: Past and Future , and Ploughs, Plagues and Petroleum , as well as over 115 articles for peer reviewed scientific journals. He is a fellow of both the Geological Society of America and the American Geophysical Union. Ruddiman has worked as an oceanographer for the U.S. Navy and has held a number of research positions, including associate director and Doherty Senior Research Scientist at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University. He was director of the research program CLIMAP, (Climate/Long Range Investigation Mappings and Predictions Project) from 1982-1983 and served on the executive committee of COHMAP ( Cooperative Holocene Mapping Project ) from 1982-1990. Both these programs focused on utilizing oceanic and glacial data to study the earth’s climate pattern. Ruddiman served on many committees including National Science Foundation’s Earth System History Steering Committee and IGBP PAGES (Past Global Changes) Committee. Among other honors, he was featured in the 1997 NOVA Film: “Cracking the Ice Ages.” Ruddiman received his bachelor’s degree in geology from Williams College and his doctorate in marine geology from Columbia University.

Related Links

US EPA Global Warming Site

Global Warming Research Explorer- The Exploritorium

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

NCDC: Global Climate Change

BEYOND THE IVORY TOWER: The Scientific Consensus on Climate Change

Venezuela’s PetroPolitics: Democracy over a Barrel

Monday, October 30, 2006
Venezuela’s PetroPolitics: Democracy over a Barrel
Stern Center, Great Room, 7:00 P.M.

Venezuela's Petropolitics

Issue in Context
Home of the fifth largest oil industry in the world, Venezuela has gained increasing economic and political clout in the midst of a global scarcity of oil. Venezuela’s oil policy has polarized the country’s domestic politics, culminating in the 2002 coup that nearly removed its populist president, Hugo Chavez, from office. In addition to triggering intense public debate on the home front, Venezuela’s oil politics and its effects on the country’s domestic and foreign relations have alarmed governments around the world. Despite criticism from the U.S. administration and oil CEOs, Chavez has utilized his country’s oil revenues to promote his idea of democratic socialism by creating a vast array of social programs that have boosted his popularity among Venezuelans. Chavez has also allocated oil revenues to fund an aggressive diplomatic agenda. In light of an upsurge in global terrorism, oil policy in Venezuela has dramatically transformed the country’s position in the sphere of global politics, as world leaders have linked Chavez’s actions to broader questions of national security. Pat Robertson’s controversial request that the U.S. administration “take out” Chavez demonstrates the extent to which Venezuela’s oil policy and consequent distribution of revenues have affected politics around the globe. Nations must now consider how to respond to Venezuela’s relatively newfound oil wealth in the context of a limited oil supply.

About the Speaker
Daniel Hellinger is a professor of political science at Webster University and chair of the department of history, politics, and law. He is the author of numerous books and scholarly articles about Latin American politics, including Venezuela: Tarnished Democracy and The Democratic Façade . Hellinger is co-editor of Venezuelan Politics in the Chavez Era and is a participating editor for Latin American Perspectives. Hellinger has received numerous awards and honors including the Senior Specialist award from the Fulbright Foundation in 2003. In 1990 he was a visiting professor at the Universidad Central de Venezuela. Hellinger is currently president of the Venezuela Studies Section of the Midwest Latin American Studies Association. He received his Ph.D. in political science from Rutgers University in 1976.
Related Links
Article by Daniel Hellinger
Hugo Chavez

Ethanol and Biodiesel Biofuels: Energetic and Environmental Issues

Tuesday, October 3, 2006
Ethanol and Biodiesel Biofuels: Energetic and Environmental Issues
Anita Tuvin Schlechter Auditorium, 7:30 p.m.

Ethanol and Biodiesel Biofuels
Issue in Context
Though the U.S. has less than 4% of the world’s population, it is responsible for 22% of the carbon dioxide released worldwide from the burning of fossil fuels. The release of carbon dioxide is the greatest contributor to global warming. The high energy usage of the United States makes alternative energy sources essential in reserving the pollution and dependence on fossil fuels. Ethanol, an energy source derived from corn, soybeans, and switch grass, has been touted as a clean alternative to fossil fuel. However, the production of ethanol requires a lot of energy – through farming and harvesting to deriving ethanol. The fuel used to produce it may be more than the energy it provides.

About the Speaker
David Pimentel is a professor of Ecology and Agricultural Science at Cornell University . His research includes population ecology, biological control, biotechnology, sustainable agriculture, land and water conservation, and environmental policy. Pimentel has served on many national and government committees including the National Academy of Sciences, the President’s Science Advisory Council, the U.S. Department of Energy, and the U.S. State Department. He earned his Ph.D. at Cornell University and did his postdoctoral study at Oxford University and the University of Chicago.

Related Links
David Pimentel’s “Biomass for biofuel isn’t worth it”
American Coalition for Ethanol
Renewable Fuels Association
Businessweek’s Ethanol: Myths and Realities
Slate’s Corn Dog: The Ethanol Subsidy is Worse Than You Can Imagine

It's a Gas! Petroleum and Energy Transitions in American Life

February 13, 2006
It’s a Gas! Petroleum and Energy Transitions in American Life
Stern Center, Great Room

It's a Gas
Issue in Context
The global petroleum industry was born in the Appalachian Basin in Titusville, Pennsylvania when the first well was drilled in the summer of 1859. At the time, nobody could have predicted that the discovery of this resource would result in an era of unparalleled growth and development. Since then, the use of petroleum as a source of energy has become a defining characteristic of the 20th century.

However, with the dawn of the 21st century some concern has begun to surface about surging oil prices. It is said that inexpensive energy fueled the “American century” of growth and development. With the end of the era of inexpensive energy, we face either a future of high cost energy or transition to more affordable energy sources.

Dr. Black examines where petroleum-based living has carried us during the 20th century and takes a glance towards the future to come to terms with our current petroleum conundrum.

About the Speaker
Brian Black teaches history and environmental studies at Pennsylvania State University, Altoona. His research emphasis is on the landscape and environmental history of North America, particularly in relation to the application and use of energy and technology.

He is the author of four books, including the prize-winning Petrolia: The Landscape of America’s First Oil Boom, published in 2003 by Johns Hopkins University Press, and has written essays and articles published in more than twenty books and journals. His editorials or essays have also been published in the USA Today, the Christian Science Monitor, and the regional newspapers.

Black has received grants or support from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Gilder-Lehrman Institute, the Pennsylvania Department of the Environment, Beeke-Levy Foundation, and the NEH. At the state level, Black works with the Pennsylvania History and Museums Commission as an advisor and consultant and also served as editor of Pennsylvania History: A Journal of Mid-Atlantic Studies. At Pennsylvania State University, Altoona, Black teaches U.S. history and serves as co-coordinator of the college’s Environmental Studies program, which offers Penn State’s only four-year degree in this field.
Related Links