Renewable Energy Day features ‘Oil on Ice’ film
When the second Aspen Renewable Energy Day opens on Saturday, a key aspect of the program will be an evening showing of the recently released film “Oil on Ice,” which highlights the ongoing struggle over oil exploration in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska.”This award-winning documentary explores the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge debate and our nation’s energy future,” wrote Renewable Energy Day organizer Chip Comins, a local filmmaker whose American Spirit Productions recently produced a documentary about the work of a Carbondale organization, Solar Energy International, to bring alternative energy resources to a tribe of American Indians in Nevada.The day-long series of educational presentations, music and other activities will take place on the Mill Street mall (next to Wagner Park) and at the Wheeler Opera House in downtown Aspen.”AREDAY was created to promote effective solutions to the urgent challenges of global warming,” Comins said. “Aspen has made it plain that they are worried about climate change and global warming issues. What I’m trying to do is … take the gloom and doom out of the issue and put in some excitement and fun. I’m trying to be creative in engaging the people.”This is the second year the city of Aspen has helped produce the event, providing the mall for its site and kicking in $2,500 in cash to cover costs.”I think it reflects positively on Aspen’s commitment to renewable energy,” said Mayor Helen Klanderud, adding, “I think it is a fine citizen effort [and] an opportunity to inform the public in an open and entertaining way.”The free event, which begins at noon and ends at 9 p.m., will feature information booths, presentations by local and national renewable energy experts and panel discussions, as well as live music and other entertainment.Things kick off at noon with music by such acts as singer-songwriter Dan Sheridan; Jimmy Ibbotson, formerly of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band; and the Flying Dog Bluegrass Band. The music is to be interspersed with talks by speakers, presentations and panel discussions, in a tent on the mall. An alternative-energy parade, complete with costumes by Solar Energy International, will enliven the day’s activities at 4 p.m.Immediately after the parade, participants will be served a special concoction of vanilla ice cream and chocolate fudge, as “kind of symbolic of the ‘Oil on Ice’ theme of the movie,” said one of the event’s organizers, Jackie Tyler.Tyler also said a “bungee trampoline,” sponsored by Karen Rubey-Bering of Aspen, will be available for kids’ entertainment from noon to 6 p.m. next to the Wagner Park playground.Among the day’s speakers will be Randy Udall, director of the Community Office of Resource Efficiency in Carbondale and Aspen. Udall, son of the late U.S. Rep. Morris Udall, D-Ariz., has been CORE’s director for a decade and a half, and has earned a national reputation for advocating energy conservation and alternative energy production.Other speakers include local environmental spokeswoman Connie Harvey; Dan Richardson, the city of Aspen’s global warming project manager; and Brian Parsons of the International Wind Technology Center in Golden.The film is to be shown at the Wheeler Opera House in the evening. Comins said the doors open at 7 p.m. and the first part of the program will be a panel discussion with filmmakers Dale Djerassi, Bo Boudart and Steve Michelson; American Indian tribal leaders Bob Gough of the Intertribal Council On Utility Policy and Pat Spears, leader of the national Native American Council; along with Mark Udall, Harvey and Parsons. There will be a question-and-answer session with the panelists after the film, followed by a reception in the Wheeler lobby.John Colson’s e-mail address is email@example.com
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