Peter O’Connor, Kendall Science Fellow

logo-ucsWhat do past energy transitions have to tell us about future ones? peter-oconnor-200pxWhat might we learn from the shift from wood to coal in the late 19th century, or from coal to hydrocarbons in the early 20th century, or the abbreviated shift to nuclear power in the late 20th? What role did energy efficiency play in these changes? Is the ‘rebound effect’ real? What does the success of renewable energy mean for the way that we think about efficiency? How should we account for externalities?

Dr. Peter O’Connor, a researcher with the Union of Concerned Scientists in Cambridge, Massachusetts, will discuss these and other questions in the keynote address on Friday, July 15th at 5:00 PM in the Arkell Pavilion Auditorium.

Dr. O’Connor obtained his PhD from Boston University’s Department of Earth and Environment; his dissertation explored aspects of energy transitions in societies, including historical, economic, technological, and climatological factors. He holds an M.S. from Stanford University in geothermal engineering and a B.A. from Harvard University in physics. He currently studies electric vehicle grid integration at UCS.

SolarFest gratefully acknowledges the generous support of
Professor Melvin T. Tyree and Ms. Charleen P. Miles in
sponsoring the Keynote address by Dr. Peter O’Connor.

Maeve McBride and Gideon Mensah-Commey, 350VT

Maeve McBrideHow are we called to act in this time of deepening crisis? We are facing a rapidly warming world exceeding predictions, deepening economic disparities, entrenched structural racism, to name just a few present day tragedies. Drawing on stories of action, resilience, and shifting consciousness, Maeve and Gideon will share their experiences from the personal to the professional. How might ferocious love of people and the planet coupled with courageous action bring joyous revelry hand-in-hand with great suffering?350VT Logo

Maeve McBride and Gideon Mensah-Commey will offer the keynote address “Hope Changes: Responding to a Rapidly Warming World” at SolarFest on Saturday, July 16th at 5:00 PM in the Arkell Pavilion Auditorium.

Maeve is the Coordinator for 350Vermont. She works on soup to nuts: grassroots organizing, event planning, outreach, fundraising, and operations. Maeve’s academic background is in river science & engineering, and she completed a PhD in Civil & Environmental Engineering at UVM. Although she has “retired” from engineering, she still loves rivers – literally and metaphorically. Maeve is a devoted mom, climate activist, lay worship leader, gardener, and bike commuter.

Gideon is a Climate Fellow who worked with 350VT last fall through the Community Solutions Program (CSP) of the US State Department. An environmental activist and renewable energy entrepreneur based in Ghana, he founded Ghana Youth Environmental Movement (GYEM), the largest youth led environmental group in Ghana. GYEM leads and engages youth in promoting environmental sustainability and clean energy through innovative campaigns and actions that influence change in their communities. Gideon is also a Climate Reality Leader personally trained by Al Gore and runs a solar start-up in Ghana, “Solar People,” with the vision of deploying solar lighting solutions to rural and off-grid communities.