Alternative Energy for the Non-technical

Date:  Sunday January 26, 2014
Speaker:  Dr. Alan D. Eastman

Alan Eastman obtained a PhD in Chemistry from the University of Utah, spent 29+ years in the research division of a major oil company, and is now the chief technology officer of a startup geothermal energy company, GreenFire Energy, and has dabbled in biodiesel and alcohol fuels as well. He has been awarded 37 US patents in fields ranging from refinery catalysts to process control to spectroscopy to biodiesel, as well as numerous foreign equivalents and several patent submissions now in the labyrinthine depths of the US Patent and Trademark Office. When not doing science, he can often be found at a piano keyboard playing jazz or at an organ console playing Bach.

“Most people have heard about lots of different types of alternative energy – wind, solar, nuclear, geothermal, biomass, etc. – but relatively few know enough about the various alternative energies to decide which one(s) show the most promise (or the least), and why. This lecture will describe the most important alternatives to hydrocarbon-based power, covering how they work, plus their advantages and disadvantages. We’ll concentrate on the energy sources for electrical generation, since that is the largest single use for energy, but will also touch on transportation, the second-largest use. Coming to this session won’t give you all the answers, but it should enable you to ask all the right questions.”

Speaker Suggested Websites (See http://www.questioning-minds.org for easier access and caveat.)

http://alternativeenergy.procon.org – Interesting discussion, but focused strongly on transportation fuels. Note who writes each comment and who they work for – not much neutrality here.
http://spectrum.ieee.org/energy/renewables/a-skeptic-looks-at-alternative-energy – Title says it all; he has cogent and reasoned arguments for his skepticism. Well worth a read.
http://www.afdc.energy.gov – The Department of Energy’s site on alternative transportation fuels – Reliable data with minimum spin.
http://nationalatlas.gov/articles/people/a_energy.html – National Atlas articles about energy resources – Another site with excellent information and links to more.
http://www.nrel.gov/rredc – National Renewable Energy Laboratory – Gateway to the National Renewable Energy Lab’s resource database.
http://www.eia.gov/totalenergy/data/monthly/pdf/sec10.pdf – Energy Information Administration’s Renewable Energy Data – The gold Standard for data.
http://energy.gov/science-innovation/energy-sources – The Department of Energy’s general-public site; lots of good information with minimum spin.

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International Law in the Modern World

Date:  Sunday, January 12, 2014
Speaker:  Tony Anghie

Tony Anghie is the Samuel D. Thurman Professor of Law at the Quinney School of Law, University of Utah. He is a graduate of Monash University in Australia, and Harvard Law School, where he served as a Senior Fellow. He has taught at numerous universities all over the world, including Melbourne, Auckland, Tokyo, Harvard, Cornell and the London School of Economics. His research interests include public international law, human rights, international economic law, and the history and theory of international law and he has published widely in these areas. He is a member of the Third World Approaches to International Law (TWAIL) network of scholars.

“We live in a globalized world and international law now affects virtually every aspect of our lives. This presentation will provide a brief overview of the basic structure and principles of the international legal system, focusing on the United Nations. It will deal, again briefly, with the role of international law in the making of the United States, before turning to contemporary issues and challenges facing the international community-relating to issues such as globalization, the use of force and humanitarian intervention. One of the principal goals of the presentation will be to encourage discussion about international legal issues of interest to the audience”

Speaker Suggested References and Resources:
Books – Any basic introduction to international law such as Sean Murphy, Principles of International Law; David Bederman, International Law Frameworks; Deen Chatterjee (ed.), Ethics and Foreign Intervention
Films – The Fog of War, The Battle for Algiers
Websiteshttp://www.asil.org (The American Society of International Law)
Cases – Cherokee Nation v. Georgia