10:46am

Fri October 21, 2011
Environmental Watchdog

Bioneers Conference Wants to Fix Environment Problems

For the third year in a row, policy-makers, academics and activists will gather for the Bluegrass Bioneers conference at the University of Louisville.  The conference is a satellite extension of the national Bioneers conference in California. While the main event is more than 2,300 miles away, organizers in Louisville have designed the Bluegrass version of the Bioneers conference to address local environmental problems.

Ben Evans is one of the event’s organizers.

“It’s a very welcoming place and a very sort of inspiring place for people who are deep green to come recharge because this work can be so hard,” he said. “And also, people who are kind of new to these issues or don’t know anything about these issues to really just have an incredible experience and have some eye-opening encounters at the conference.”

Participants can watch speakers like activists Gloria Steinem, mushroom scientist Paul Stamets and ocean correspondent Phillipe Cousteau on the big screen, broadcast from California. And here in Louisville, local experts will talk about subjects as varied as Canada’s tar sand to local eating to climate change.

Evans says the purpose of Bioneers is to get past environmental problems and start looking at solutions.

“And certainly there’s a lot of work to be done on the ground in terms of stopping the bad things that are happening, like the coal ash issue, for instance,” he said. “But then we also need to be working on the back end of reducing the need for coal in the first place so we’re not constantly trying to Band-aid these things and patch up bad problems.”

He says the event is meant to inspire participants to find innovative answers to these problems.

Bluegrass Bioneers begins today and continues through Sunday. Click here for a schedule.