The Aspen-Earth Day connection
ASPEN – Today might be Earth Day, but Chip Comins already is looking ahead to the next day that celebrates the planet we live on.
“We are about collaboration, not competition. And in many ways, Earth Day and (American Renewable Energy Day) are synonymous,” said Comins, president and CEO of American Renewable Energy Day. “The difference is that Earth Day happens one day a year; (American Renewable Energy Day) happens every day.”
At the crux of the organization is the annual summit, exposition and film series, which is planned for Aug. 18 through 20 in Aspen.
“We come together at the (American Renewable Energy Day) summit to not only elevate the conversation, but also to implement the solution rapidly,” Comins said. “And we feel that Aspen needs to take a leadership role, because of the people who come here and the people who live here have that kind of influence.”
According to Comins, this summer’s ninth annual gathering will focus on “connecting the dots between climate change, national security and renewable energy.” Among those scheduled to participate are retired Gen. Wesley Clark and retired Vice Adm. Dennis McGinn, as well as noted energy experts Amory Lovins and Lester Brown. The film series also will call on a big name, with Jamie Redford (son of actor Robert Redford), whose documentary about the Colorado River, “Watershed,” will be screened; he also will participate in a panel discussion about “wilderness, water and the West.”
“This will be a very pertinent film and discussion,” Comins said. “We feel it’s something the Aspen community will really want to be a part of.”
This year’s event has more for the Aspen community than ever before, according to Comins. Among the free, public events on Sunday is an all-day expo on the downtown pedestrian mall, as well as a free concert featuring Taj Mahal.
“The free component of the expo is to engage more people,” Comins said. “Because the bottom line is: How rapidly can we deploy a proactive solution to climate crisis? Because we do have one.”
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Aspen Skiing Co. invited uphillers to fill out a survey this week. It asks about habits such as how often they skin, where and when. It also asks if they would be willing to pay to play.