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Utah Museum of Natural History Lecture Series Delves Into Solutions

The 2011 installment of the Utah Museum of Natural History’s “The Nature of Things” lecture series will emphasize solution-based insight on climate change featuring the President of the Environmental Defense Fund, Fred Krupp, as the keynote speaker on March 2 at Kingsbury Hall.
Krupp is one of four lectures in the 2011 series, all of them airing on KCPW, 88.3 or 105.3.

Tickets for the keynote lecture are on sale now through KingTix at 801-581-7100 or at They range in price from $10 – $12.

The other three lectures, Jeff Muhs on February 16, John Hoekstra on March 16 and the community energy panel on April 6, are at the Main Library downtown and they are free and open to the public. All lecture events begin at 7 p.m.

“In our past, we’ve had an industrial revolution and a computer revolution, and each has opened up economic opportunities,” noted Krupp. “Green technology is a similar revolution. But, we need to get on it right now. The U.S. is lagging behind.”

Krupp, who authored the book Earth: The Sequel, put a spotlight on the entrepreneurs creating the world’s next biggest business… green technology.

“With great risk comes great reward,” Krupp said. “There are entrepreneurs out there, such as Steve Jobs, who have found success by disrupting the status quo. Investments aren’t for everybody, but for those that are interested in venture investments, there certainly is a lot of opportunity in clean energy.”

And the investments have turned out to be a great boost to these technologies. Krupp points to one of the companies featured in the book, Innovalight, and the improvements it has built upon in the two years since his book was published. As it moved forward in developing its silicone-based solar technology, Innovalight made a discovery with drastic benefits.

“There has been tremendous development in green technology since the book came out,” Krupp said. “Innovalight has discovered that their paint, when applied to crystalline silicone solar panels, increases the rate that it converts sunlight to electricity by one or two percent. That has been a great benefit to both the company and the technology.

“However, that is just one of several examples out there of companies moving forward and scaling up. In the two years since the book was published, the solar panel industry has seen tremendous change. Prices for solar panels have dropped forty percent. While the market anticipated the price would drop, no one, not even myself, anticipated a drop that significant.”

Scaling up will be the topic in the first of the four lectures when Muhs, a USTAR researcher from the Energy Dynamics Lab at Utah State University, takes center stage on Feb. 16. He’ll talk about the need for research as a catalyst for transformational change. It continues after Krupp’s March 2 keynote lecture on March 16. Hoekstra from the Nature Conservancy will talk about clean energy sprawl endangering open, farm and water lands. The last event, on April 6, will be a panel of local energy experts reflecting on the solution-based topics from the series.

This is the fifth year the Utah Museum of Natural History is hosting The Nature of Things lecture series exploring the delicate relationship between humans and the natural world. One of the Museum’s signature programs, the series brings together esteemed local and regional researchers and nationally-renowned experts to discuss timely issues, new ideas, and scientific advancements that impact our ability to live and grow in more sustainable ways.

In addition to support from the media partner, KCPW, The Nature of Things has been underwritten by the R. Harold Burton Foundation since its inception in 2007.

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