2006-2009

12/06

Jim Angle

Chief Washington Correspondent for Fox News Channels

FOX NEWS CHANNEL’S JIM ANGLE KICKS OFF CAZENOVIA FORUM LECTURE SERIES

Jim Angle
Jim Angle

CAZENOVIA, NY – The Cazenovia Forum, an organization focused on attracting nationally-known speakers to Cazenovia, inaugurated its lecture series on Saturday, December 9, with an appearance by Jim Angle, chief Washington correspondent for Fox News Channel, at Cazenovia College’s Catherine Cummings Theatre.

An audience of nearly 150 people listened as the veteran broadcaster provided a Washington insider’s analysis of current topics such as the War on Terror, Social Security reform and the upcoming transfer of power in Congress.  Sprinkled throughout his remarks were humorous stories and first-hand accounts that Angle has collected while serving as a White House correspondent during the past four presidencies.

At the close of his remarks, Angle took questions from local residents on issues ranging from the conflict in Iraq to the potential presidential candidacy of Illinois Senator Barack Obama.

“It was like having our own briefing on the hot topics of the day from someone who is right where the action is,” said Deb Wester, who attended the event.  “And the stories he told about presidents and other politicians were both interesting and entertaining.”

Angle joined Fox News in 1996.  He served until last year as its senior White House correspondent, as well as substitute host for Special Report with Brit Hume.  He previously covered economic policy for ABC News and, before that, he worked in public radio for 18 years, anchoring the popular national program Marketplace and serving as National Public Radio’s senior White House correspondent.  He is also a frequent guest host of The Diane Rehm Show on National Public Radio.

“Jim Angle’s speech was a great way to kick off this lecture series,” said Rich Huftalen, co-president of the Forum.  “The great turnout and feedback we received will help us draw more nationally-known speakers to Cazenovia and give local residents a chance to hear more about important issues.”

The Cazenovia Forum is a non-profit, nonpartisan organization recently founded by local residents to promote discussion and understanding of critical issues facing our nation and the world today.  To this end, the Forum will bring nationally and internationally known experts to Cazenovia to speak on topics of current interest.  The group plans to hold at least four lectures a year, with speakers and topics for future events to be announced soon.  More information can be found on the organization’s website at www.cazenoviaforum.com.

2/07

Tom Blanton

Director of the National Security Archives, Washington, DC

Tom Blanton

9/07:
Rebecca Lipkin,

Executive Producer of Programming in the London Bureau of Al Jazeera English

Rebecca Lipkin

Tom Ricks

Pulitzer prizewinning Military Correspondent for the Washington Post

Tom Ricks

10/07

Harvey A. Bender

Hesburgh Lecture Speaker And Renowned Genetics Ethicist

Harvey A. Bender
Harvey A. Bender

CAZENOVIA, NY – Harvey A. Bender, professor of Biological Sciences and Director of the Human Genetics Program at the University of Notre Dame, discussed the complex social, political and personal implications of genetic engineering.

According to Professor Bender, “the new [genetics] industry is predicated upon the belief of better living through genetics.”  He outlined the dramatic advances of modern day genetics and both benefits and drawbacks of The New Medicine upon our society.

“It was a fascinating evening for anyone who is interested in where the ever accelerating advancements in human genetic technologies are taking our society, as well as our ability to handle all the social and ethical ramifications,” said Richard

3/08

Ken Cook

President of the Washington, DC-based Environmental Working Group

Ken Cook

The Farm Bill: Speaker Educates Cazenovia

By Brandi Moyer
(from the Cazenovia Republican, March, 2008)

(Cazenovia, NY) – The sixth event in the Cazenovia Forum lecture series brought President of the Washington, DC-based Environmental Working Group (EWG), Ken Cook, to Cazenovia on March 14, nearly filling every seat in the Catherine Cummings Theatre.

Cook mainly focused on conservation and environment protection along with organic food and agriculture, while addressing problems with the Farm Bill. Bee Tolman, a Madison County farm owner admitted that the Farm Bill is complex and many may believe that government money will go directly to rich farmers in the mid-west. This does not need to be the case. Tolman states that there are “700 farms with 160,000 acres in Madison County…true family farms.” To attend to the main question, where are checks going, The EWG has created ‘The Farm Subsidy Database’ and as a result, many more people nationwide are able to keep track of farm subsidy recipients.

Cook shows that 67 percent of New York farms and 91 percent of California producers receive no subsidies under the current bill. He said, “If you are in the program, the big guys get the money.” Cook is in favor of conservation and subsidy; however, he wants to support the small and medium farms, leaving larger self sustainable farms to stand on their own. Right now, all money goes to only 22 out of the 455 Congressional Districts.

Cook sparked concern in the audience as he provided information on who is being effected by the fight for money for conservation. In just one year, Cook showed that $2.2 billion of applications to United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) by those willing to pay half in order to address problems identified in agriculture, went unfunded.

In addition, Cook asked the audience, is the amount of pesticides on fruit and vegetables, which have been found in children, too low to matter? The answer is no. Looking at the idea of a healthier food supply, Cook stated, “For many years people thought that a baby was protected in the womb…pesticide exposure happens all the time in the womb.” Measuring everything in parts per billion (ppb), Cook made it a point that even doses of pesticide as low as 0.035 ppb can have an effect and surprisingly that is the dosage of Nuvaring, a leading contraceptive that is 99 percent effective. Cook said, “The lesson is, low doses matter.”

A generation of conservation work is at risk with the fast growth of the ethanol industry. In effect, there are more corn crops at higher prices. Cook wonders what will happen if there is a drop of corn production, arguing, “where that price will go is anyone’s guess.” This can cause unneeded pressure on those who raise livestock. There remains a lot of questions for a bill that provides few answers.

Increasing organic crop was also one of Cook’s main points as he said that, “the problem is not big organic, it is almost no organic.” He showed how Americans spend well over double on junk food each year than on organic food. When looking at the argument of local versus organic, Cook said that we should “find a way to begin doing both.” Also, he showed disgust since $2.5 million of the $3 million in the National

Organic Program went to one cotton farm.

In order to have a fair Farm Bill, Cook would argue that a safety net is needed for farmers. Also, those who step forward to the USDA should be rewarded and not turned down, unfunded. Lastly, there needs to be an increase in organic production instead of organic food being a rising import, which Cook states is ‘plain crazy’ knowing America’s agricultural capabilities. There is still time for intervention on the extremely debatable Farm Bill. For more information on Ken Cook, EWG or to access the Farm Subsidy Database, go to

5/08

Dr. William Thomas

International authority on geriatric medicine and eldercare

SPEAKER ADDRESSES ELDERCARE ACROSS THE NATION

by Brandi Moyer

Dr. William H. Thomas
Dr. William H. Thomas

“If you learn how to care for the elderly, you learn how to care for a community,” stated an enthusiastic international authority on geriatric medicine and eldercare, Dr. William H. Thomas, to a full house at the Catherine Cummings Theatre on Friday. The Cazenovia Forum teamed with the Cazenovia Chamber of Commerce to introduce Dr. Thomas, hoping to develop ideas about senior housing in Cazenovia.

Dr. Thomas stated, “We adults sometimes get all caught up in the fury and frenzy that we forget what matters most.” He connected the history of Cazenovia with a powerful message about the importance of community. His focus was on the stories and politics of an aging society.

His own journey, told with passion, led him to share how he moved from being a fair student, to a Harvard Medical School Graduate, then an E.R. Doctor, to stumbling into a position as a doctor at a nursing home. Dr. Thomas even announced his plans to run for the U.S. Senate from New York.

One elderly patient expressing loneliness in a nursing home, Dr. Thomas said, “changed my life forever.” He saw this elderly lady doing everything right and noted how it was unfair that she had to feel alone. He developed the Eden Alternative, a global non-profit organization committed to reshaping care for elderly.

Dr. Thomas describes his plan as “a heart transplant for nursing homes. We teach people how to pull out old clanking metal hearts and put in a flesh and blood heart.” This initiative targets loneliness and boredom, symptoms that can be prevented and are “sometimes the most painful disease,” stated Dr. Thomas. Today, the Eden Alternative philosophy is practiced in all 50 states along with a presence in many other countries.

“Society is all too willing to dispose of people who are not productive,” stated Dr. Thomas. He continued, “I was an abolitionist. I wanted to abolish nursing homes. I wanted to create a society where they weren’t necessary.” Dr. Thomas offered advice to residents of Cazenovia, urging them to keep the elders in town and to learn from their wisdom. He suggested building a Green House, which is created so elders can live together, but have private rooms, food cooked in a kitchen and the freedom to sleep late into the morning. Dr. Thomas has found a direct correlation between better care and health and satisfaction. Yet, there are only “56 Green Houses and 16,000 nursing homes,” Dr. Thomas stated. He added, “this field does not change quickly,” and there is a negative regulatory system in place that makes it hard to mingle protection and innovation.

“The unfairness extended not just to the elders but to the staff too,” said Dr. Thomas. To complete the change, workers needed to feel the same appreciation that is deserved of the elders.

In the Green House atmosphere, Dr. Thomas said “workers are much happier. They get to have a job as big as their hearts.” He would enjoy taking part in creating senior housing in Cazenovia stating, “Let me at it. That’s what I love.” Patricia Hudelson, a resident of Cazenovia said, “I think there are enough people of the right age that would appreciate a facility as he described it.” She was moved by his lecture and would love to see Dr. Thomas be one of the power houses behind this initiative.

Cazenovia Chamber of Commerce Office Manager, Rich Borsellino said that “We are in the first step of the process. We are open to any ideas.” The Chamber is reaching out to the community for funding to start a feasibility study for the identified need of senior housing. Borsellino added, “one of the things we want to do is make sure community is involved.”

After hearing the lecture, the President of the Cazenovia Chamber of Commerce, Ralph Monfort, assured that they will look more into the idea of a Green House since it remains “very new to myself and this committee.” Monfort stressed that the greatest challenge is geography. However, he believes that there are many ways to keep the elders right in the heart of the Cazenovia community.

Dr. Thomas continued to talk about policy after his announcement to run for Senate. He addressed healthcare policy, education and green energy. The Cazenovia Chamber of Commerce also partnered with a non-profit organization, Cazenovia Area Senior Association (CASA) to launch a feasibility study for senior living in Cazenovia. The next speaker will be Catherine Bertini on March 27 at the Catherine Cummings Theatre. The Cazenovia Forum has been hosting lectures for the past three years, bringing internationally known speakers to Cazenovia to provoke thoughtful discussion about key issues.

10/08

Prof. Paul Verkuil

Author, lawyer, and critic of U.S. excessive privatization and outsourcing.

OUTSOURCING SOVEREIGNTY

(From the Cazenovia Republican, October 7, 2009)

By Brandi Moyer

Paul Verkuil
Paul Verkuil

Why should the average citizen be concerned about government outsourcing? As part of the Cazenovia Forum Lecture Series on October 3, Author, Lawyer and Critic of Excessive Privatization, Paul Verkuil broke down what outsourcing means in relation to Iraq and the economy.

Verkuil proclaims that his speech is not about condemning contractors. The cover of his book, Outsourcing Sovereignty, donned a photograph of Department of Defense (DoD) contractors getting stacks of cash in Iraq. Over $6 billion of $100 bills have been shipped to Iraq, money that has seemed to disappear. Verkuil comments, “Right away we begin to worry a little bit.”

He voices a concern about whether the duty of the government to govern is being compromised through private contracts quoting the DoD, “you cannot outsource inherent functions of government.” He introduces the statistic that during the Gulf War there was a ratio of 50 military to 1 contractor and now the ratio is 1 to 1.” Verkuil acknowledges that “there has been an enormous shift from military exclusively to military and contractor.” He continues with a smirk, “we contract out the duty to review the contractors performance.”

There are positives and negatives to this outsourcing situation. With the shortage of troops because of an all volunteer army, contractors are used to fill in the numbers of bodies needed. They are trained, and they do it quickly. However, there is a debate as to whether those contracted serve with allegiance to the dollar or to the American people. Verkuil suggests that “we need to appoint people to run agencies who believe

in the missions of the agencies they’re running.”

In one instance, the private contractor Blackwater became detached from their unit. Four contractors met their fate in Fallujah, which precipitated a militant response from the Marines. Verkuil brought up a risk resulting from the situation; such contractors do not need to report to battlefield commanders. He suggests that there are consequences when the military disobeys commands. In the case of the contractors, the military and Iraqi government has no jurisdiction. The worse that can happen is they are sent home without bonuses. Verkuil points out that “you see this disconnect. This lack of accountability.”

The audience brought up the idea that the lack of a draft results in a problem with outsourcing. The volunteer army is limited. Verkuil’s posed the question, “If we had a draft, do you think we’d be in Iraq?”

A Wartime Contracting Commission is forming with two jobs. One is to find out what happened to all of the money shipped over in pallets to Iraq. The other is to do a background check on contractors and be involved in a decision of whether or not to use private contractors.

Verkuil implied that symbolic messages matter. The public forms a symbolic attachment with government figures because of their uniforms and oaths. Private contractors often have no oath or badge. The American public feels comfortable with the idea that someone is willing to work for the people instead of for the dough. This issue sparked a mini debate during the question and answer session. The focus was on whether or not there can be control of contracting to make it a reliable and cost efficient method.

Senior at Cazenovia College as well as intern for Catherine Cummings Theatre, Kristin Levernosh states, “The speech sparked a lot of interest…he brought up some hot topics.”

Indeed.

Iraq was not the only topic of interest Friday night. Switching gears and focusing on the economy, Verkuil mentions the Net Capital Rule that was changed in 2004. This change allowed five of the largest investment banks to increase their ratios meaning instead of 1$ in reserve for every $15, places such as Merrill Lynch had $1 for every $40 or higher. Goldman Sachs, one of the five, was headed by Henry Paulson at the time, now the current Secretary of Treasury.

Verkuil suggests that the SEC must have been asleep at the switch. Such outsourcing of monitoring risks is a main contributor to the current problem. Lack of oversight coupled with the suspension of this rule pushed everything over the edge. Now, there is $700 billion legislation.

As the audience rose after a healthy discussion on outsourcing at the Catherine Cummings Theatre, Levernosh said, “He explained it in a way so everyone can wrap their brains around it.”

Established in 2006 by local residents, the Cazenovia Forum serves as a lecture series to enlighten and initiate discussion about national and international issues. To become involved or to learn more about the sophisticated series, sparking involvement at many levels, visit

11/08

John Zogby

National Pollster

POLLSTER’S VIEW ON ELECTION ‘08

By Brandi Moyer

John Zogby

Despite outside flurries, the pews of St. James Roman Catholic Church were filled on November 21 with an audience eager to hear the eighth speaker in the Cazenovia Forum Lecture Series, founder, president and CEO of Zogby International, pollster John Zogby.

Zogby linked humor with critical issues as the audience reminisced about an election that he labeled, “enormous, euphoric and historic.”

Never again will the idea of an African American or woman running for President be questioned Zogby assured. This is a different America. Zogby labeled Barack Obama an ‘internationalist’ as he stated, “He’s lived all over the world, just like our children.”

Ages 18-29 were bracketed and branded as “globals.” “The entire world is their playing field,” Zogby said. And not just the rich are traveling. The “globals” are the least likely to label America as superior to other countries and he believes that this unprecedented global sensibility is inspirational “…and just won a big election.”

Sitting in the audience, Dr. Peter Tamburro, retired superintendent of Oneida City Schools, said he felt that Zogby provided more insight into what really occurred and why. Tamburro mentioned how Zogby’s talk about a global generation led him to think about his son’s travels around the world.

On the other hand, McCain was labeled as more of a ‘nationalist.’ When evaluating McCain’s loss, “Some would say its Sarah Palin, it wasn’t Sarah Palin. It’s never about the Vice President” said Zogby. Tamburro, though, said Palin had an influence on me and it wasn’t a good one.  Another audience member, Mary Margaret Freedman commented that “Sarah Palin was McCain’s first executive decision,” and many people did not like this decision.

According to Zogby, as early as 2006, Americans began to recognize that the nation was facing a serious crisis. Eighty percent or more saw the country as heading in the wrong direction as Zogby stressed, “You need to know how serious this number is.” He continued by mentioning President Bush’s approval rating, which has created a record low of 21 percent.” To put things in perspective, Zogby stated that even in 1995 “OJ had a 16 percent approval rating.”

According to Zogby, the return of the center, the moderate, allows a person to compare 2004 to 2008. In 2004, Zogby stated that there were “two warring hyper-partisan political cultures.” This year, he said “the middle was directing this election.” According to Zogby, the public wanted two things during election 2008: a problem solver and a consensus builder. Both parties put their best person forward to target moderates.

Zogby argued that at the same time the center was reborn, there was disconnect. “Congress is dysfunctional,” Zogby said. “The skills required to get a congressman/ congresswoman elected are different than the skills required to run Congress.” Party loyalty leads back to hyper-partisanship. Zogby continued, “No one runs for re-election by saying, I sat down with the opposition and got them to see things my way.”

“Katrina was more significant in American history than [the Sept. 11,2001, terrorist attacks],” Zogby said. “September 11, 2001 bonded American people and their leaders. At the start of the war, support was close to 50/50, but as the ‘shock and awe’ hit, support dropped. With the Bush administration’s handling of Katrina in 2005, government approval ratings started to freefall as people realized that ‘it doesn’t work.’”

Zogby said he believes that the transformational election was so much about change that Bush/Clinton just didn’t cut it. He said, “It was not going to be about ideological change, but about problem solving and consensus building.” The 18-29 year olds made up a total 19 percent of the vote out of 133 million people. The new generation of voters has high expectations as Zogby warns that to dash such expectations would be to risk losing a generation of American politics. Zogby’s wife, Kathy Zogby, said “That is an important group. They are the ones that will be moving us forward in the future.”

Preceding the lecture, there was a reception and book signing. The Cazenovia Forum continues to offer citizens a chance to hear nationally and internationally known experts talk on a variety of critical issues facing the world today. The next event will be held on February 27, 2009 at the Catherine Cummings Theatre. Visitwww.cazenoviaforum.com for more information.

3/09

Catherine Bertini

U.N. expert on international humanitarian relief and agricultural development

Catherine Bertini
Catherine Bertini

At the 10th Cazenovia Forum lecture Friday, Catherine Bertini said that educating girls will ultimately lead to positive changes in the world.

“I’ve found absolutely nothing more important than educating girls,” said Catherine Bertini, professor of Public Administration at Syracuse University at the 10th Cazenovia Forum lecture on Friday.

Bertini is a recipient of the 2003 World Food Prize and an expert in international humanitarian relief, nutrition policies and agricultural development.

“If I were king of the world, every girl would be in school,” Bertini began.

Drawing from her international experience, Bertini said that women who are educated are more likely to have good reproductive health, better nutrition, increased productivity in agriculture and are far likelier to make more money than those women who are not educated.

Educated women are also less likely to contract HIV or AIDS than those who are not educated, she said. Of all people living with HIV and AIDS, two out of every three are female. The more women know about these diseases, the more successful they will be in preventing exposure and contraction.

Bertini explained that things like culture, location of schools, gender discrimination, and low quality of available education have all played a part in why more girls are not being educated around the world.

“Sometimes girls are not valued for their intelligence,” Bertini said — yet another reason why educating women has not been an international priority.

Bertini explained how important literacy is to women around the world. If a woman is not able to read medicine labels, clinic signs, or any instructions for a specific task at hand, they will not be capable of receiving needed medical treatment or the skills needed to finish a work task successfully.

Simply aiding women in receiving the tools to be able to read and write can effectively lower the mortality rates for themselves and their children in addition to increasing their work productivity, she said.

A surprising stastic highlighted the importance of education.

“Every extra year of education can increase future wages by 10 to 20 percent,” Bertini said.

Increasing the amount of schooling women receive can drastically improve the possibility of receiving better wages, which in turn can be used to increase quality of life.

Bertini informed the audience of ways average citizens can aid in the efforts to improve education for women around the world.

Making education a priority for the United States government, volunteering or donating money to organizations such as UNICEF, and educating oneself about the issues within education are only a few of the many things that can be done, she said.

“Women who have been educated are more likely to educate their children,” Bertini explained, which leads to a more informed and productive youth.

These educated children, boys included, are able to positively apply the obtained knowledge in all aspects of their lives. By making education more affordable, providing safe schools within communities, allowing schools to be more girl-friendly and by providing a high-quality education, more girls will be capable of receiving an advantageous education. The more people are aware that educating girls will lead to positive changes in the world, the more likely people are willing to aid in the effort.

“Educating yourself about these issues to in turn share with others is very important,” Bertini concluded.

Students in attendance enjoyed the lecture.

“The fact that this lecture focused on educating women to improve the world, was really great. You never really see anything about how strong, intelligent women, can change the world without the help of anyone else, but [Catherine Bertini’s] lecture did that,” said Lis Samayoa Lopez, an international studies student at Cazenovia College.

Another international studies student from Cazenovia College, Akuot Leek, said “People don’t usually speak about how women alone can really make a difference, but Ms. Bertini was able to stress the importance of knowledge in women.”

To find out more about the importance of educating girls around the world, visit the United Nations Girls’ Education Initiative at ungei.org or visit unicefusa.org to donate time or money to the cause.

Established in 2006, the Cazenovia Forum is a not-for-profit lecture series featuring nationally and internationally recognized speakers. The Forum serves to educate its local citizens and provoke thoughtful discussion on various key issues. For more information on Cazenovia Forum events, visit cazenoviaforum.com.

5/09

Prof. Richard Garnett

University of Notre Dame Law Professor

RIGHT QUESTIONS ABOUT SCHOOL CHOICE

by David Chanatry

Richard Gannett
Richard Gannett

University of Notre Dame law professor Richard Garnett made a forceful argument for school choice in the latest Cazenovia Forum lecture, held on May 29th at the Catherine Cummings Theater in Cazenovia.

Garnett told the crowd that school choice is “not a Democrat versus Republican issue” but instead is civil rights issue rooted in the social activism of the 1960s.

“Should parents have the right to determine where, how and by whom their children will be educated?” Garnett asked. “Do people have that right?”

Garnett spoke as part of the Cazenovia Forum’s association with the University of Notre Dame Hesbergh lecture series, named for the former president of the nation’s best known Catholic university.  The talk was co-sponsored by the Notre Dame Club of Syracuse and Central New York.

A onetime law clerk to former Chief Justice William Rehnquist, Garnett writes and teaches about freedom of speech, religious freedom and First Amendment law, among other issues. That expertise came into play three years ago when he wrote an amicus curiae or “friend of the court” brief to the U.S. Supreme Court in a major school-voucher case, Zelman v. Simmons-Harris.

The Court ruled the Constitution allows state and local governments to experiment with school voucher programs, including at religious schools. While the decision established a constitutional basis for choice, it has not ended the political debate over the wisdom of allowing government funds to be used for private education. Garnett said the question now comes down to whether school choice works.

“In my view school choice programs are sound public policy and consistent with the Constitution,” said Garnett.

Garnett argued the time has now come for “reasonable” experimentation with school choice programs, and he dismissed opponents arguments that choice will take children and the financing that comes with them from public schools, equating this line of reasoning with “hostage taking.” Why, he asked, should the job security of school employees trump the interests of schoolchildren? “The idea that someone would say ‘we need your children to sustain the schools’ that they themselves will not send their own children to is a very weak argument.”

Garnett admitted that public schools have an extremely difficult task and often are not well equipped to handle it. He said that while wealthy people already have a type of choice—they can move to a better district or send their kids to private schools—the poor are often stuck with substandard schools that deliver a substandard education. The answer, said Garnett, is not a monopoly but the competition that private schools bring to the education system.

10/09

Daniel Reicher

Director of Climate Change and Energy Initiatives at Google

GOOGLE EXEC TALKS ALTERNATIVE ENERGY AT CAZENOVIA FORUM

by David Chanatry

Dan Reicher
Dan Reicher

The world faces an unprecedented climate crisis, but through technology and innovation the global warming problem can be solved. That was the message from Dan Reicher, The Director of Climate Change and Energy Initiatives at Google, at the latest Cazenovia Forum lecture, held on October 9th at the Catherine Cummings Theater in Cazenovia.

“The best way to predict the future is to invent it,” said Reicher.  He’s in a unique position to do just that, as he directs investments into promising new energy technologies as part of Google’s philanthropic arm, Google.org.

Reicher was a member of the Obama transition team and a leading contender to become the Secretary of Energy earlier this year.  In a talk leavened with self-deprecating humor, he briefly laid out the case for fast action to combat climate change, citing some of the trends that have the mainstream scientific community so concerned, including the rapid post-war buildup of heat-trapping carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and the fact that the warmest 10 years we’ve ever had have all come since 1997.  But most of his talk was focused on developments in alternative energy and energy efficiency that have the potential to radically reduce carbon emissions from fossil fuels.

“The good news,” Reicher told the audience, “is we actually have a pretty good idea how to get this done.”

Reicher has a Cazenovia pedigree and a long list of accomplishments in environmental activism. A Syracuse native, he got his start kayaking along the Cazenovia Lake shoreline in his youth and reporting leaking septic systems to the village authorities. Later, as a senior attorney at the National Resources Defense Council he filed lawsuits to compel the Energy Department’s nuclear weapons plants to follow environmental laws.  He eventually became Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy in the Clinton Administration.

Reicher said Google’s founders are committed to a clean energy future. The company is supporting research and development into promising technologies, funding research at universities and directly investing in what Reicher calls “breakthrough” technologies. He was particularly excited about an electricity-generating method known as enhanced geothermal, essentially drilling deep into the earth, fracturing the bedrock and using the earth’s internal oven to turn water into steam.  The beauty, Reicher said, is that this system could work virtually anywhere if you drill deep enough, not just in seismically active places like Iceland, which has harnessed the Earth’s heat for years.

“If you could exploit just two percent of Nevada’s (enhanced geothermal) potential, you could get 150 thousand megawatts of power,” said Reicher.

Other promising energy technologies he cited included what’s known as solar-thermal energy and offshore wind. Reicher added that Google estimates these new technologies will create nine million new jobs in the next 20 years, including as many as 30 thousand jobs manufacturing wind turbines right here in New York.

11/09

Prof. Michael Johnston

on American politics, corruption, and reform
Michael Johnston

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