Thursday, April 21, 2011

Need Something To Do Thursday?

Posted By on Thu, Apr 21, 2011 at 7:00 AM

One of my favorite podcasts is a debate series taped at New York University, called Intelligence Squared. Though it actually follows a modified American format instead of Oxford Style Debating as it claims, it is a far more substantive and compelling examination of major contemporary issues than is generally seen on the floor of Congress or from the talking heads on TV.

A recent episode asked if green energy could drive America's economic recovery.

The speakers against the motion, Robert Bryce and Steven Hayward, were infuriating to listen to, not because I disagreed with their position—though I did—but because their approach to opposing it was grounded in the idea that whatever technology currently exists is all that ever will, and that since there is no single source of alternative or green energy that can match the power density of nuclear, then it's a naive notion to consider anything other than nuclear to meet our energy needs for the future.

It was especially frustrating considering the insightful comparisons made by the motion's proponents—energy investor Kassia Yanosek and former Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter—to green energy's current status being analogous to the early days of the Internet, in which a new technology represented a wealth of potential that needed only to be mined. They argued that America has always been a country that strived to be ahead of the curve while the opposition continued to insist there was no curve.

The worst part was that the opposition argument, focused more on muddying the waters and irrelevant semantics, won the debate.

So today, why not strike back against bad logic and learn a thing or two about the potential of green energy locally?

The Boise Watershed is hosting Geothermal Family Night, in which kids and adults alike can explore geothermal and alternative energy with hands-on activities and presentations. The event is sponsored by the Geophysics Club at Boise State.

The event runs from 4-7 p.m. and is FREE.

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