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Learn how to heal the Earth Tuesday

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By Special to the Monitor

In honor of Earth Day on Tuesday, Dr. James Conca will give a talk on the urgent issue of our times, “The Geopolitics of Energy: Sustainability by 2040.” His talk is at 7 p.m. Fuller Lodge and will be followed by refreshments and a book signing.Conca is the director of the Carlsbad Environmental Monitoring and Research Center and co-author with Judith Wright of “The Geopolitics of Energy: Achieving a Just and Sustainable Energy Distribution by 2040,” recently published in paperback.Their book not only raises awareness of the issues surrounding global warming but also provides concrete solutions. Dramatic photos and graphs plot our planet’s future energy needs and explain the complex relationships of technologies, politics, socioeconomics and the environment.Conca’s talk takes Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth” to the next level by proposing the solutions that will be required to solve this problem. He advocates a mix of energy obtained from renewables, nuclear reactors and advanced-technology fossil fuel burning plants.He considers the expanding energy needs of developing nations as well as industrialized ones in formulating directives that convey what must happen in order for all of the earth’s population to enjoy technological advances without destroying the natural environment.Socioeconomic and political situations are forcing the developing world in various directions in energy production without addressing critical issues such as the environment, peak oil and health effects of expanded coal production.It is a fact that energy consumption will grow dramatically over the next 40 years regardless of what the world does. Unlike the previous century, China, India, Brazil, Indonesia and other countries are having a greater effect on energy consumption than the United States. This effect results not from the 2 billion people in these countries already using electricity but from the 1.6 billion people that do not have any access to electricity, the 2.6 billion that have little access and the 3 billion people that will be born by 2040 who will also need electricity. The biggest role that the United States can play in the growing need for energy consumption is in global leadership, technological development, and economic incentives, as well as changes in its energy policy and distribution.Conca and Wright are geologists who work in environmental remediation, waste disposal and paleochemical oceanography. Both have taught Earth and environmental science and have patented contaminant remediation and soil and rock characterizatiotechnologies.They live in Carlsbad, where they have transformed an ordinary city plot into a National Wildlife Federation Backyard Wildlife Habitat.Pajarito Environmental Education Center, Los Alamos National Laboratory, the Sierra Club and Los Alamos Sustainable Energy Network, all of which support this year’s Earth Day theme, “Hot Ideas for a Cool County,” are sponsoring the talk.Conca’s talk is free and open to the public, who are also invited for refreshments and a book-signing after the talk. For further information, contact PEEC at 662-0460 or www.PajaritoEEC.org.