Keynote Presentation

Bill McKibben Returns to SolarFest

Bill McKibben is founder and senior adviser emeritus of His 1989 book The End of Nature is regarded as the first book for a general audience about climate change, and has appeared in 24 languages. He’s gone on to write many more books, and his work appears regularly in periodicals from the New Yorker to Rolling Stone. He serves as the Schumann Distinguished Scholar in Environmental Studies at Middlebury College, as a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and he has won the Gandhi Peace Prize as well as honorary degrees from 19 colleges and universities. He was awarded the Right Livelihood Award, sometimes called the alternative Nobel, in the Swedish Parliament. Foreign Policy named him to its inaugural list of the world’s 100 most important global thinkers.

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Workshops & Presentations

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.
Vermont Climate Caucus Co-Chairs Sen. Chris Pearson and Rep. Sarah Copeland-Hanzas join Sen. Bernie Sanders staffer Haley Pero to discuss plans to protect our families, economy and world.

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 this may be hard to achieve.
Forest ecologist Charles Canham and his colleague, Joshua Ginsberg, President of the Cary Institute, discuss the pitfalls, and prospects for forest carbon offsets as part of a net-zero economy.

Moderated by Wyldon Fishman, the President of the NY Solar Energy Society, this spirited discussion among leading solar experts includes 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.

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. Gwendolen St.Sauveur EI LEED GA, founder of BTF Residential Designs, explains the critical options for net-zero success.

Jesse McDougal, co-owner of Studio Hill Farm and co-founder of the Regenerative Food Network, discusses the barriers farmers face when making the transition to new farm management styles — and how we might overcome them.

From Earth Matters in Manchester Vermont, Chris Anderson, Carol Berry, and Carl Bucholt clearly explain the history, use and impact on human health of glyphosate — the active ingredient in Roundup.

Mike Kiernan, co-founder of Bee the Change, describe the reasons and strategy for planting to support pollinators in solar fields but also in back yards, school yards, and roadsides.

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 – from members of the “SolarFest Space Force” 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).

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