PROGRAM: Saturday 7/24
Personal perspectives on the importance of establishing a permanent home for SolarFest – and the progress that’s already been made towards identifying appropriate sites and developing the facilities needed to grow into our new future.
Speakers: Members of the SolarFest property search & acquisition task force: Joanne Coons, Paul Coons, Janice Kurkoski, Steve Kurkoski, and Dr. Mel Tyree (live from China)
The Barriers to Regenerative Farming
10:30 – 11:30am Sponsor: Regenerative Food Network
Farmer and co-founder of Regenerative Food Network highlights and discusses the obstacles farmers face when making the transition to new farm management styles–and how we might overcome them.
Seeing the big picture is essential in creating a sustainable home, plus a deep understanding of the integrated systems in building science, energy efficiency, and material sourcing. Whether new or retrofit, the end result needs to be well designed, cozy, and affordable.
Missing the Carbon for the Trees: the Role of Forest Carbon Offsets
4:00 – 5:00pm Sponsor: Regenerative Food Network
Description: With the Biden Administration’s commitment to a carbon neutrality and a net-zero economy by 2050, the role of carbon offsets has become an existential issue: offsets need to be real, and durable, if they are actually to play a role in reaching net-zero. But recent research shows that for forest carbon offsets, this may be harder to achieve than one might expect. Forest ecologist Charles Canham, and his colleague, Joshua Ginsberg, will discuss the pitfalls, and prospects for forest carbon offsets as part of a net-zero economy.
- Dr. Josh Ginsberg – President of the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies
- Dr. Charlie Canham — The Cary Institute Forest Ecologist
Keynote Address: Bill McKibben — 5:30 pm
Virtual Music Stage
PROGRAM: Sunday 7/25
The Dynamic State of Energy Policy
12:00 -1:00pm Sponsor: Grassroots Solar
Federal and State policies being debated at the dynamic intersection of energy and climate change will drive changes in our world now and for many years to come. What are the factors driving these discussions, and how can we protect our way of life while helping our families and our economy prosper?
- Moderator: Bill Laberge – Grassroots Solar
- VT Sen. Chris Pearson – Co-Chair of the Vermont Climate Caucus
- VT Rep. Sarah Copeland-Hanzas – Co-Chair of the Vermont Climate Caucus
- Haley Pero – Outreach Representative for Senator Bernie Sanders
Restoring Pollinators in Solar Fields
2:00 -2:45pm Sponsor: Eden Renewables
This workshop will describe the reasons and strategy for planting to support pollinators in solar fields but also in back yards, school yards, and roadsides.
Hear about the latest issues that are impacting our transition to renewable energy directly from the experts who are making the future happen right now. This spirited discussion will include: efficiency, batteries and other trends impacting design, the overlap of electric vehicles with solar, the effect of federal, state and local governments, whether intermittency is still an issue, and the missteps the solar industry needs to avoid going forward.
- Moderator: Wyldon Fishman, President of NY Solar Energy Society (NYSES)
- Kevin Bailey – President of High Peaks Solar
- John Blittersdorf — President of Central VT Wind & Solar
- Bill Laberge — President of Grassroots Solar
- Giovanni Maruca — Chief Development Officer at Eden Renewables
Healthy Soils, Healthy Food, Healthy People
5:00 – 6:30pm Sponsor: The Global Meetinghouse
The focus is glyphosate — the active ingredient in Roundup, the most widely used herbicide in the U.S.: (1) its history and use, (2) its effect on plants & soil, and (3) how it affects human health. Includes alternatives to using glyphosate/Roundup, and sources for more information & support to help reduce its use.
Speakers: Chris Anderson, Carol Berry & Carl Bucholt from Earth Matters, Manchester