The Earth, Wind, & Fire Energy Summit will address all forms of energy Oct. 4-5 in Addison.

Photos courtesy of Earth, Wind & Fire Energy Summit.

Aug. 20, 2014

Energy continues to be a hot topic, both locally and nationally, and the Dallas Sierra Club is spearheading an event that aims to offer a crash course in all things energy. On Oct. 4-5, the Earth, Wind & Fire Energy Summit will cover everything from capturing underground heat to burning trash to generate energy at the Addison Conference Centre.

“Issues surrounding the building of the Keystone XL pipeline, recent rail explosions due to highly volatile oil or people questioning the relationship of earthquakes and fracking here in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, this is all being discussed in the news,” says Rita Beving, an organizer for the Summit. “This makes it an excellent time to address concerns to people who want answers.”

According to Beving, the October Energy Summit will provide background information for people who are beginning to ask questions and feel concern for the future.

“We see a need to educate the public in a deeper sense other than the quick soundbites they get in the media,” Beving explains. “We are doing so by engaging academics and experts in their respective fields of energy to lay out these issues.”

Right, Al Armendariz, senior national campaign representative of the Sierra Club, will speak at the Summit.

Sponsors of the event are also key players in the Dallas-Fort Worth eco-movement, including Earthworks, Texas Campaign for the Environment, Public Citizen and the Memnosyne Institute, creator of Green Source DFW, says Beving.

Beving said the Earth, Wind & Fire Summit's purpose is to broaden the public's overall understanding about all sources and their impacts, not just renewables, in order to evaluate them. Traditional sources will be covered, such as nuclear, coal, natural gas, and oil, plus emerging sources like waste-to-energy.

“We see this conference as addressing many forms of energy – their current status and future potential in both our national and statewide portfolio – as well as their impacts on humans and the environment. We then hope to follow that overview with a more focused discussion on those energy topics.”

 Left, Dr. Maria Richards, from SMU’s geothermal laboratory, will talk about renewable energy tapped from the earth’s internal heat.

The Summit is open to the public and organizers stress the event will be a nontechnical discussion to those interested in energy and the environment.  

“We also see this venue of interest to policymakers, nonprofits, small business people, college and grad students and those working in the energy and environmental fields,” she explains. “Air quality in DFW is also affected by numerous sources of energy, water is in short supply so we are also concerned about the quantities of water required by various sources to generate electricity.”

DFW Reporter Jeff Crilley is scheduled to speak at the summit and there will be a special bonus communications workshop at the conference, "Media with No Money," which will address how to get press coverage on a story. 

In addition, a fracking disposal well and earthquake expert will be coming from Columbia University in New York, who has worked on studies focused on triggered earthquakes. And a speaker from Seattle will speak on waste-to-energy, the concept of incinerating trash and other materials as an energy source.

Above, DFW reporter Jeff Crilley will advise on getting media coverage. Below, Nicholas van der Elst, a postdoctoral research fellow at Columbia University in New York, will share his knowledge about earthquakes and fracking.

“We see this as an opportunity to communicate to a unique, niche audience of people not only from DFW and Texas, but to those from neighboring states such as Oklahoma and Kansas,” Beving said. “Knowledge is power. We want to empower people with a deeper knowledge of energy sources, the impacts and the consequences of the choices we all make in our everyday energy decisions.”  

Early registration cost is $55 through Sept. 2 and $75 for registration after that date, with space limited. See more on the Earth Wind, & Fire Energy Summit.

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