6:00 PM - 7:00 PM [Saturday]
Etown is an exciting weekly radio broadcast heard from coast to coast on NPR, public and commercial stations. Every etown show is taped in front of a live audience and features performances from many of today's top musical artists as well as conversations and information about the world around us. At etown, we build community through music.
Literally weeks before American musical legend, John Hartford, lost his battle with cancer he visited the eTown stage one last time with his friends, David Grisman and Mike Seeger. This evening of Americana features everything from a hillbilly version of Chuck Berry’s classic “Maybellene” to David Grisman originals with Nick Forster joining in on guitar. Hartford’s performance of his classic original “Gentle on my Mind” is even more poignant now that he’s gone.
Stream the show in all it’s glory right here:
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Named one of the greatest rock guitarists of all time by Rolling Stone magazine, iconic singer/songwriter/musician Jorma Kaukonen is an old friend and frequent eTown visitor. Also joining us is folk/rock artist Joe Purdy, and we’ll feature an eChievement Award story of a man helping to improve the quality of life for people living on the Navajo Indian Reservation.
A picture may be worth 1,000 words. But this one is also worth 10,000 kilowatts.
Though small in stature, the turbine in the photos could contribute to solving some of the world’s biggest energy challenges, not to mention powering an entire town, says Doug Hofer, a steam turbine specialist at GE Global Research.
Full disclosure: The model in Hofer’s hand was 3D-printed from plastic. The real functional version of the turbine, made from high-strength metal, would make the scientist hold up about 150 pounds. But even that’s like lifting a feather. Machines generating this kind of power typically weigh several tons.
“This compact machine will allow us to do amazing things,” Hofer says. “The world is seeking cleaner and more efficient ways to generate power. The concepts we are exploring with this machine are helping us address both.”
Here’s how: The medium spinning this turbine isn’t steam but carbon dioxide, squeezed and heated so high that it forms a supercritical fluid. At that level, the difference between gas and liquid basically disappears and gives the CO2 marvelous properties that the turbine harnesses for superefficient power generation.
GE Reports recently ran a piece showing how this turbine can help energy companies turn CO2 into cleaner power. But Hofer and other GE researchers believe it can do a lot more and address other big energy challenges. In addition to the CO2 program with the government’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E), GE is working on other programs with the U.S. Department of Energy.
One is looking at using this technology to increase the efficiency of centralized power plants. Hofer and his team are gathering insights that could allow them to scale the technology to the 500 megawatt range — enough to power a large city. The research could lead to smaller “large” turbines that are more efficient in the future. “With energy demand expected to rise by 50 percent over the next two decades, we can’t afford to wait for new, cleaner energy solutions to power the planet,” Hofer says. “We have to innovate now and make energy generation as efficient as possible. Programs like those we are working on with the U.S. Department of Energy are helping us get there.”
Hofer cautioned that the technology is in its early stages of development. But he and his team are planning to take it for a spin later this year.
Author: Todd Alhart at GE Reports
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In the spirit of Boulder Earth Week, and in honor of Earth Day, we have dug into the eTown archives and unearthed Nick Forster’s interview with environmental advocate, proponent of solar power, and Earth Day co-founder Denis Hayes.
A History of Earth Day
Each year, Earth Day—April 22—marks the anniversary of the birth of the modern environmental movement in 1970.
The height of counterculture in the United States, 1970 brought the death of Jimi Hendrix, the last Beatles album, and Simon & Garfunkel’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water.” War raged in Vietnam and students nationwide overwhelmingly opposed it.
At the time, Americans were slurping leaded gas through massive V8 sedans. Industry belched out smoke and sludge with little fear of legal consequences or bad press. Air pollution was commonly accepted as the smell of prosperity. “Environment” was a word that appeared more often in spelling bees than on the evening news.
Although mainstream America largely remained oblivious to environmental concerns, the stage had been set for change by the publication of Rachel Carson’s New York Times bestseller Silent Spring in 1962. The book represented a watershed moment, selling more than 500,000 copies in 24 countries, and beginning to raise public awareness and concern for living organisms, the environment and links between pollution and public health.
Earth Day 1970 gave voice to that emerging consciousness, channeling the energy of the anti-war protest movement and putting environmental concerns on the front page.The Idea
The idea for a national day to focus on the environment came to Earth Day founder Gaylord Nelson, then a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin, after witnessing the ravages of the 1969 massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, California. Inspired by the student anti-war movement, he realized that if he could infuse that energy with an emerging public consciousness about air and water pollution, it would force environmental protection onto the national political agenda. Senator Nelson announced the idea for a “national teach-in on the environment” to the national media; persuaded Pete McCloskey, a conservation-minded Republican Congressman, to serve as his co-chair; and recruited Denis Hayes from Harvard as national coordinator. Hayes built a national staff of 85 to promote events across the land. April 22, falling between Spring Break and Final Exams, was selected as the date.
On April 22,1970, 20 million Americans took to the streets, parks, and auditoriums to demonstrate for a healthy, sustainable environment in massive coast-to-coast rallies. Thousands of colleges and universities organized protests against the deterioration of the environment. Groups that had been fighting against oil spills, polluting factories and power plants, raw sewage, toxic dumps, pesticides, freeways, the loss of wilderness, and the extinction of wildlife suddenly realized they shared common values.
Earth Day 1970 achieved a rare political alignment, enlisting support from Republicans and Democrats, rich and poor, city slickers and farmers, tycoons and labor leaders. By the end of that year, the first Earth Day had led to the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts. “It was a gamble,” Gaylord recalled, “but it worked.”
As 1990 approached, a group of environmental leaders asked Denis Hayes to organize another big campaign. This time, Earth Day went global, mobilizing 200 million people in 141 countries and lifting environmental issues onto the world stage. Earth Day 1990 gave a huge boost to recycling efforts worldwide and helped pave the way for the 1992 United Nations Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. It also prompted President Bill Clinton to award Senator Nelson the Presidential Medal of Freedom (1995)—the highest honor given to civilians in the United States—for his role as Earth Day founder.Earth Day Today
As the millennium approached, Hayes agreed to spearhead another campaign, this time focused on global warming and a push for clean energy. With 5,000 environmental groups in a record 184 countries reaching out to hundreds of millions of people, Earth Day 2000 combined the big-picture feistiness of the first Earth Day with the international grassroots activism of Earth Day 1990. Earth Day 2000 used the power of the Internet to organize activists, but also featured a drum chain that traveled from village to village in Gabon, Africa. Hundreds of thousands of people gathered on the National Mall in Washington, DC for a First Amendment Rally. Earth Day 2000 sent world leaders the loud and clear message that citizens around the world wanted quick and decisive action on global warming and clean energy.
Much like 1970, Earth Day 2010 came at a time of great challenge for the environmental community. Climate change deniers, well-funded oil lobbyists, reticent politicians, a disinterested public, and a divided environmental community all contributed to the narrative—cynicism versus activism. Despite these challenges, Earth Day prevailed and Earth Day Network reestablished Earth Day as a relevant, powerful focal point. Earth Day Network brought 250,000 people to the National Mall for a Climate Rally, launched the world’s largest environmental service project—A Billion Acts of Green®–introduced a global tree planting initiative that has since grown into The Canopy Project, and engaged 22,000 partners in 192 countries in observing Earth Day.
Earth Day had reached into its current status as the largest secular observance in the world, celebrated by more than a billion people every year, and a day of action that changes human behavior and provokes policy changes.
Today, the fight for a clean environment continues with increasing urgency, as the ravages of climate change become more manifest every day. We invite you to be a part of Earth Day and help write many more chapters—struggles and victories—into the Earth Day book.
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Doors at 6pm
Film at 7pm
*Film to be followed by a Q+A with filmmaker Jon Bowermaster, 6-time grantee of the National Geographic Expeditions Council and previous eChievement Award Winner. Moderated by Nick Forster, host/co-founder of eTown and founding member of the world renowned bluegrass band Hot Rize.
Dear President Obama, The Clean Energy Revolution is Now, narrated by 3-time Academy Award nominated actor Mark Ruffalo, calls on President Obama to ban fracking and join the “anti-drilling” majority growing across the US. Oceans 8 Films is excited to announce the film’s premiere in Washington D.C. on March 18, 2016 as part of the Environmental Film Festival, at the National Geographic headquarters, followed by a 30-day screening tour in March and April.
Executive produced and narrated by actor/activist Mark Ruffalo, and produced by filmmaker and explorer Jon Bowermaster, Dear President Obama takes a cross-country look at drilling. Highlighting its variety of contaminations, the stories of its victims, and the false promise of an economic boom, the film focuses on clean energy solutions that would allow us to proceed towards a future that does not rely on yet another dirty fossil fuel extraction process. Interviews with scientists, economists, health professionals, geologists, and whistleblowers provide the core narrative of the film. Its producers hope to convince the current President and those that will follow to join the “anti-drilling” majority growing across the US, and call for fossil fuels to be kept in the ground.
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