Belated thoughts on Conservation Remix

Well readers, my apologies for taking the summer off without warning. For those of you not in the often-gray Pacific Northwest, we locals know you cannot spend time at a keyboard on these sunny, blissfully long summer days.

Back to school is in the air, and so is back to the blog. Look for more regular weekly postings from me now that the family-and-friends-visitor-express has completed its journey. Here’s a recap of a June event hosted by Town Hall Seattle still worth mentioning:

Conservation Remix

The Remix is the brainchild of Conservation Magazine editor, Kathryn Kohm. With 12 engaging and knowledgeable speakers, two distinguished emcees, and four themes, this event certainly lived up to its tagline “a fusion of science, tech, policy and design for a new kind of green.”

The focus – Food and Agriculture, Built Environments, Technology, and Business and Policy – provided a holistic look at the environmental challenges we face on our planet. Included in the discussion were questions like:

• What do we do with excess CO2 in our atmosphere?
• What are the quality-of-life issues for 100 million people who will be living in urban centers over the next 40 years?
• How do we conserve our wasted energy, currently equaling nearly 50 percent of that produced?
• What are the ways we can improve nutrition and combat increasing health issues?
• What lessons does nature provide if we just took the time to learn from our animals and plants?

Some highlights for me included:

Joe Roman, invasive species cuisines
This biologist and author suggested that one strategy for dealing with a problem can be to eat it. Removing non native species is key to improving the economy and ecology of a threatened area.

Dusty Gedge, entertainer-gone-Nature-in-the-City evangelical
If nature were a church, Dusty deserves a pulpit. Dusty wants to see the co-existence of nature within urban areas by creating gorgeous green rooftop canopies for supporting wildlife habitat, growing food and for its cooling properties.

Sherry Ritter, nature-inspired design guru
Multidisciplinary teams examine societal problems using the lessons that Mother Nature provided. The Biomimicry Institute studies the patterns and approaches that animials, plants and even bacteria use to adapt to changing environments including methods for changing the environment, too.

The 300 participants, mostly from the sciences, were not shy about stepping up to mike and posing difficult questions to presenters and other attendees. It felt a lot like a demanding graduate program class led by a seasoned, no-nonsense professor.

Even though I’ve been absent from my blog, I have been keeping up with these important topics thanks to the subscription to Conservation Magazine that was part of the event’s registration. I encourage those of you who want to learn more about difficult, science-related, environmental questions to check it out.

As this summer comes to a close, please take some time to unplug and experience and appreciate all the beauty that surrounds us. –– alex

“We cannot win this battle to save species and environments without forging an emotional bond between ourselves and nature as well – for we will not fight to save what we do not love.”~ Stephen Jay Gould

 

Butterfly image via http://www.butterflypictures.net/