One People, One Planet, One Mission:
Renewing Our Commitment to Sustainability and Stewardship
A Forum to Examine Global Environmental Issues in Light of Our Gospel Call
to Respect and Promote the Human Dignity of Each Person.
Day Nine: Wednesday, February 11, 2009
All School Assembly
What is the rate of energy consumption in the United States compared with the rest of the world? How much longer can we continue to use energy at the rate at which we are presently doing so? What impact are our lifestyles having on the planet and how can ordinary people implement changes in their daily lives that will actually make a difference?
Dave Chameides presents an argument in favor of practicing conservation in the broader ambition of living a more sustainable lifestyle.
His talk, Chasing Sustainability, begins with a now famous 1999 Cal. Tech. study which determined how much energy the inhabitants of the earth used compared to how much we will eventually need, paying particular attention to how petroleum is consumed. He then proceeds to make the case that we are now at "peak oil," explaining the concepts behind “Hubberts Peak”, and setting up a discussion of conservation and alternative energy. Chameides cites the conversion of his car to run on used vegetable oil as a concrete instance of what can be done to change the way we as a society consume resources. The talk concludes with some concrete instances of how we are all playing a part in the environmental devastation we are witnessing and introduces some manageable changes which we can each commit to to start living more sustainable lifestyles.
Never judgmental and often lighthearted, Chameides relies on the facts and a no-nonsense pragmatism to persuade, confident that once people are given the right information they will choose to do what is best.