PROGRAM: Saturday 7/24

Building a Permanent Home for SolarFest
9:00 – 10:00am                     Sponsors: Greenvest
& High Peaks Solar

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.

Speaker: Jesse McDougall — Studio Hill Farm: jesse@studiohill.farm, www.studiohill.farm

Net-Zero Building Options
12:00 – 1:00pm        Sponsors: Northshire Bookstore & VSECU

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.

Speaker: Gwendolen St.Sauveur EI LEED GA — BTF Residential Designs: gwendolen@bitethefrost.com, www.bitethefrost.com

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.

Keynote Address: Bill McKibben — 5:30 pm

Virtual Music Stage

7:00pm Phil Henry (and special guest)
8:00pm Jim Gilmour Band
9:00pm Patchouli & Terra Guitarra
Sponsors: Southview Arts Recording Studio and Farmer Mold & Machine Works

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.

Speaker: Mike Kiernan — Bee the Change; mtleki@gmail.com, www.beethechangehoney.com

Practical Experience from Solar Experts
3:00 – 4:30pm                Sponsors: NY Solar Energy Society & Stiebel Eltron

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