The Southeast Clean Tech Summit moved from Tampa to Atlanta for it's fourth year. The day was fulled of inspiration and a vision of the future that quite frankly blew our minds. To see pictures from the event click here. To read in order start at the bottom and read up.
Southface's annual Visionary Dinner is always a highlight of the year. 2015 was no exception. Steve Curwood of NPR and host of Living on Earth since 1991 was this year's keynote. He has done many things on NPR but the fact that he has committed to Living on Earth for so long proves he is a planet lover! Make no mistake, Steve is super knowledgeable about climate change and the equity of climate change. He is very informative, thoughtful and motivating. We did catch up with Steve and Charles Whatley after the morning event for SEGreen Mobile interviews. To see pictures from the morning and Visionary Dinner hop over to our Facebook page. To read the tweets in order start at the bottom and read up.
Winners of this year's Argon Award was Cox Enterprises. Lacey Lewis, VP of Finance accepted the award. A long time leader in the Atlanta area, which over 35 years has led to national prominence on sustainability. Their most notable and visible program is their Cox Conserves program which hosts Cox Conserves Heroes events in many of the Cox markets. The Cox Conserves Heroes programs award volunteers who have provided excellent leadership for an environmental organization. Awards for the winners can be as large as $10,000.
One more exciting note from the dinner. This year was the first year in ten years where there was a title sponsor. The honor went to Mohawk Carpet. Mohawk made the exciting announcement that they are fully committed to transparency and to exhibit that commitment, over 400 products free of chemicals considered in the "red" or most toxic category. The world is changing right before our eyes.
Dr. Marshall Shepherd, a triple degree holder from Florida State University, is the Director of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Georgia. He presented to the Genesis Society meeting hosted by GIPL. Dr. Shepherd focused his comments on two areas: continuing shifts in the overall climate of the globe and how people perceive weather vs climate news. Dr. Shepherd was not only informative but also entertaining. Georgia is lucky to have him. To read the tweets start at the bottom and read up. To see images from the event see our Facebook album. Watch the SEGreen Mobile interview with Dr. Marshall Shepherd.
The German Consulate in Atlanta hosted a conference on the possibilities of biomass. Georgia is a major player in the biomass industry with the largest wood pellet plant in the country and many other wood pellet plants besides that. Biomass is not limited to wood but the Southeast through decades of wise pine tree forest farm management is poised to remain the leader. Although most of the conference focused on the wood pellet market, other forms of biomass are all part of the equation. Biomass has its challenges. Since it has emissions where does it fall in the EPA Clean Power Plan? The EU is reviewing the emissions also. How much land do you dedicate to growing food for fuel vs crops? All interesting discussions.
The most controversial information presented was by a UGA professor of Economics who compared the cost of wood pellets to coal. Unfortunately, he did not add externalities into the equation. For instance, he did not consider the cost of ruining mountains or habitats. He did not consider the health costs derived from burning coal. Based on his numbers coal came out by far cheaper. However, societies need to decide what values need to be placed on items before you just compare price. For instance, how do you put a cost on mountain tops? Currently there are no monetary values placed on nature but most people would agree that there is some monetary value that should be placed on it. The answer lies somewhere between free and priceless.
To read the tweets in order start at the bottom and read up.
Expo East is the largest natural food and products show on the East coast. As C changes are occurring in other industry silos like energy, building and transportation, the food industry and agriculture are experiencing the same rapid change. Although there are folks who have been around for a long time and think it's been slow to change, industry experts agree that over the past 5 years the growth has been phenomenal. Thirty percent of the vendors this year were first time exhibitors and there were over 800 booths.
Southeast Green interviewed many vendors who are based or expanding into the Southeast so check out SEGreen Mobile to see those interviews. To see the the entire Pitch Slam competition don't worry, we captured it on Periscope. Watch it here. We were thrilled to get to meet Danielle Nierenberg of Food Tank. Watch the interview here. Of course we came back with tons of goodies to try. Watch our product review. We got plenty of pictures too. Check those out on our Facebook page. Yes, it was a very busy trip!
To read the tweets in order start at the bottom and read up.
The 9th Annual Southern Solar Summit was held on September 10. It was hosted by Georgia Solar Energy Association. Always an amazing group of folks and the program always bring new perspective and developments for solar. Notable this year was Stephanie Stuckey Benfield, Director of Sustainability for the City of Atlanta, who announced that the City of Atlanta is drawing up a solar plan for city properties. Also, a great panel on HB 57 and what that means for Georgia. Finally, the other presentation that stood out was on Community Solar. To read the tweets in order start at the bottom and read up.
We have lost of supporting material from the event. Pictures on Facebook. Out and About Scopes: GA PSC Commissioner Tim Echols at the Southern Solar Summit 2015, Stephanie Stuckey Benfield, Director of Sustainability, City of Atlanta,
Georgia PSC Chairman Chuck Eaton addresses Southern Solar Summit 2015.