Areday: Luminaries To Convene in Aspen for Global Energy Summit

by Lee Barken

American Renewable Energy Day (AREDAY) may be the one of the most influential energy events that you’ve never heard of.  Originally created in 2004 as a modest one-day showcase for renewable energy, AREDAY has blossomed into a 4-day summit meets energy-palooza with an environmental film festival twist.

“This is a summit of doers,” said Chip Comins, founder and director of AREDAY.  “We’re going to focus on solutions.  How do we implement and scale the clean energy economy with innovations in finance and disruptive technologies.”

Himself a film maker, Comins produced the 2003 documentary “Wind Powering Native America” for the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).  The film chronicled the installation of the first Native American utility scale wind turbine, and inspired Comins to create AREDAY.

AREDAY Allstars

The 2010 AREDAY summit, to be held August 19th-22nd in Aspen, Colorado, will include panels, keynotes and armchair conversations with luminaries such as Ted Turner, T. Boone Pickens, Thomas Friedman, James Cameron, Governor Bill Ritter, Governor Bill Richardson, Senator Michael Bennet, General Wesley Clark (ret) and more.

Each summit day is focused on a specific theme.  Thursday will be “Putting Carbon in Context”.  Friday will explore “Oil, Water, Energy and Climate”.  Saturday is titled “The New Clean Energy Economy”.  Sunday will engage “Collaboration, Messaging, Solutions, and Climate Literacy”.

In addition, each night will feature an environmental film screening, including 2 Oscar winning movies, with director remarks and post-film discussions.

Conservation Meets Finance

“We need people to understand how to lower their footprint and make money doing it.  Embrace the economics,” said Comins.

“We know the next worldwide economy will be built on clean tech.  How do we implement it?  How do we scale it?  How do we get from here to there?  How do we join hands with China, India and the developing world?  We must take responsibility and lead the world in the application and implementation of the solutions.  AREDAY is designed to have that conversation.”

Stay tuned as I report more from this unique summit later in the month.

Lee Barken, CPA, LEED-AP is the IT practice leader at Haskell & White, LLP and serves on the board of directors of CleanTECH San Diego and the US Green Building Council, San Diego chapter.  Lee writes and speaks on the topics of carbon accounting, green building, renewable energy finance, IT audit compliance and wireless LAN technology.  He was a delegate at the COP15 climate conference in Copenhagen.  You can reach him at 858-350-4215 or

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One response

  1. Of The many luminaries in attendance, several I have been briefing on BioChar over the years, like Mike Bowman of 25×25, Peter Boyd of the Carbon War Room, David Orr of Oberlin College, are all very supportive of BioChar systems. Lester Brown, I have sent repeated e-mails to, but with no reply, so I hope the biochar supporters catch his ear and many others.

    I’ve been trying for years to put the bug in the ear of Thomas Friedman of the NY Times and Amory Lovins of the Rocky Mountain Institute, without success. Lovins really burns me because his new theme is the “reinvention of fire”, yet he mentions nothing about carbonization and conservation of carbon for the soil, if there was ever any “reinvented fire”, it’s the thermal conversion of biomass.

    One of The most cited soil scientist in the world, Dr. Rattan Lal at OSU was impressed with this talk, given to the EPA chiefs of North America, commending me on conceptualizing & articulating the concept.

    What we can do NOW, what I suggested at the Commission for Environmental Cooperation, to the top three EPA officials of north America, A Biochar Black Swan.

    Bellow the opening & closing text. A Report on my talk at CEC, and complete text & links are here:

    The Establishment of Soil Carbon as the Universal Measure of Sustainability

    The Paleoclimate Record shows agricultural-geo-engineering is responsible for 2/3rds of our excess greenhouse gases. The unintended consequence, the flowering of our civilization. Our science has now realized these consequences and has developed a more encompassing wisdom. Wise land management, afforestation and the thermal conversion of biomass can build back our soil carbon. Pyrolysis, Gasification and Hydro-Thermal Carbonization are known biofuel technologies, What is new are the concomitant benefits of biochars for Soil Carbon Sequestration; building soil biodiversity & nitrogen efficiency, for in situ remediation of toxic agents, and, as a feed supplement cutting the carbon foot print of livestock. Modern systems are closed-loop with no significant emissions. The general life cycle analysis is: every 1 ton of biomass yields 1/3 ton Biochar equal to 1 ton CO2e, plus biofuels equal to 1MWh exported electricity, so each energy cycle is 1/3 carbon negative.

    Beyond Rectifying the Carbon Cycle;
    Biochar systems Integrate nutrient management, serving the same healing function for the Nitrogen and Phosphorous Cycles.
    The Agricultural Soil Carbon Sequestration Standards are the royal road for the GHG Mitigation;

    The Bio-Refining Technologies to Harvest Carbon.
    The photosynthetic “capture” collectors are up and running all around us, the “storage” sink is in operation just under our feet, conversion reactor are the only infrastructure we need to build out. Carbon, as the center of life, has high value to recapitalize our soils. Yielding nutrient dense foods and Biofuels, Paying Premiums of pollution abatement and toxic remediation and the growing Dividend created by the increasing biomass of a thriving soil community.

    Since we have filled the air,
    filling the seas to full,
    soil is the only beneficial place left.
    Carbon to the Soil, the only ubiquitous and economic place to put it.

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