Byron and I at UCSD in 2011. He was and continues to be such an incredible mentor.
Congratulations to my great friend and exceptional mentor, Byron Washom, on his newest adventure! He is charged with the admirable work of powering Lanai with 100% renewable energy. The island was recently purchased by Larry Ellison for $500 million. As he would say, it’s going to be a game changer. Byron on 10 News San Diego
Here he is when we first met. I was interviewing him on a climate change initiative I started on campus at UCSD while I was a grad school student.
Hello everyone — I hope you had a festive Cinco de May weekend!
Here’s what I am planning to attend this week. If anyone has any additional events that they would like to share – this week or next – please feel free to comment.
Tues May 08
One of thousands of islands in Queensland, Australia.
On a personal note, I am excited to announce that I will be teaching a monthlong course on sustainability this summer for San Diego State University undergraduates. The course, as part of their study abroad program, will be conducted throughout Queensland, Australia. I will be giving a pre-departure orientation on this day as we prepare to explore, firsthand numerous socio-environmental issues, developing a new perspective regarding our relationship with the planet.
New Ways to Stop Global Warming from 5:15-7:00pm. Professor of Political Science and Climate Change Specialist, David Victor discusses how global warming is affecting our planet today. Professor Victor will explore strategies that would be more effective in addressing issues surrounding climate change. He recently authored a 2011 Economist Best Book – Global Warming Gridlock – and advises countries and companies regarding energy and climate policy.
From Midway Island to Hawaii, from Hawaii to California, then MIT and back again. During this journey, he explored live ammunition fields, fell for surfing, set numerous energy world records, and developed amazing projects here at UC San Diego. Byron’s incredible life experiences, game-changing accomplishments, and deep insights create a story you MUST hear!
How do we tap into our innate creativity? Byron encourages us to follow our passion and push the boundaries, even beyond our comfort zone — beyond the barrier reef. How right he is. One in a million, Byron. Slam dunk!
Well, last week was a whirlwind. I attended both the Association of Energy Services Professionals (AESP) and the CADEM 2012 convention. I was at the Hilton Bayfront and the SD Convention Center everyday. Hence, my tardiness in this post. Additionally, it looks like there is simply less going on in town this week. I have a few personal meetings lined up, but not many big events like the week before.
Here’s what I (attended and) am planning to attend this week. If anyone has any additional events that they would like to share – this week or next – please feel free to comment!!!
Grid Alternatives Orientation from 3-5pm. If you are interested in helping to install solar panels for a family in need, you must attend this orientation (offered regularly). Check out the organization’s webpage for details regarding upcoming events.
I’m heading over to the local offices of Itron, a “leading provider of energy and water resource management solutions for nearly 8,000 utilities around the world. We offer end-to-end solutions that include electricity, gas, water and thermal energy measurement and control technology; communications systems; software; and professional services. With nearly 9,000 employees doing business in 130 countries, Itron empowers utilities to responsibly and efficiently manage energy and water resources.”
I’ll be visiting Duane Roth and his entrepreneurial team at Connect to see who’s driving innovation in our region. “CONNECT is focused on delivering the fundamental programs that the innovation community depends upon. At the same time the organization is creating new services to meet the needs of the evolving economic and policy landscape and the new clusters that are developing within the region. Challenges include attracting investment capital and engineering and experienced management talent.”
When I arrived in Durban for COP17, I knew that I would meet a lot of interesting people. But I thought they would all be from the field of climate change. That was until I incidentally ran into Shaun Thompson while I was biking back to my accommodation from the conference. Shaun, who was crowned World Champion of Surfing in 1977, is a hero here in South Africa.
I caught him outside his apartment, dressed in his ‘business attire’ and waiting for the elevator doors to open so he could jet across the posh lobby without dirtying the floors. He struck me as remarkably funny and totally likable, waxing effortlessly about the charm of Durban. He noticed my UN badge and inquired about COP17. In telling him that I was from UC San Diego, I found out that he calls California home now as well.
Noting my optimism for COP17, he commented on the pessimism in the media and among various delegates. After a perfect pause, for comedic timing, he looks to me and says, “If you come to these conferences, you have to cop in — not cop out.” In the end, his requisite was true. This was the longest COP in it’s 17-year history and negotiators worked 36 hours past the proposed end of the conference. Though the final plenary sessions were nowhere near reaching unanimous consensus on several issues – with Bolivia, Nicaragua, and Russia the most vociferous of all – the COP-in nations of the world chose to do so at a crucial time in human history.