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Mid-Atlantic Renewable Energy Association - MAREA


Today on Living Green in the Lehigh Valley we are featuring a recurring event on renewable energy and sustainability, a monthly lecture series presented by the Mid-Atlantic Renewable Energy Association or MAREA. We have as our guest, Philip Jones, a MAREA board member.  Phil, tell us a little about the lecture series.

Thank you Annie.  MAREA is a non-profit organization dedicated to informing and educating the public on renewable energy production, energy efficiency, and sustainable living through meetings, workshops, educational materials and energy fairs. The lecture series is a way MAREA can provide topics of interest to those wishing to learn more and apply to their individual or local needs.  At the lecture series, we present topics such as energy technology, organic and sustainable gardening techniques and recycling.  It is like a mini-Pennsylvania Energy Festival every month.

This month is going to be especially exciting.  Tell us a little about this month’s topic.

This month we will be featuring world-renowned climate science researcher and Nobel prize contributor, Dr. Michael Mann.  He will be speaking at our monthly meeting, Tuesday, April 30 at 7PM.  The meeting is free and open to the public.

Wasn’t Michael Mann infamous for that hockey stick graph?

Yes, Dr. Mann was in the middle of the “Climate Gate” scandal involving scientists from England and Penn State.  At our meeting, he will be talking about his most recent book, The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars:  Dispatches from the Front Lines.  It will be a great opportunity to hear the inside scoop about the controversy, but more important, learn about climate change from one of our most knowledgeable sources.   Dr. Mann was a contributor to the Nobel Peace Prize jointly awarded to Al Gore and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change for their efforts to develop and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures needed to counteract such change.  

In 2002, Dr. Mann was selected by Scientific American as one of the 50 leading visionaries in science and technology. He is Director of the Earth System Science Center at Penn State and a co-founder of the award-winning science website RealClimate.org.

This sounds like a great opportunity to get a first-hand understanding of climate change.  Tell us a little about some of the other monthly presentations.

In May, Dan Seidel from Deka Batteries will talk about their important role in the U.S. Department of Energy’s Smart Grid Storage Demonstration Program.  A bank of the Berks county manufacuturer’s Deka ultrabatteries are currently providing 3 MW of backup storage for the PJM Interconnection, the largest regional transmission operator in the US.

June’s topic will be backyard chickens, an important and satisfying way to get more involved in our food production. 

In July, we will premier a new movie produced by MAREA and Bull Frog Films on the use of battery backed solar electric systems in distributed generation.  This is the next wave of integrating solar generation with batteries to provide both grid-tied net metering and a back-up system when the grid goes down instead of that dirty, uncertain back-up gas generator people have been turning to when the power goes out.

In August, the topic will be electronics recycling.

It sounds like you have quite a range of topics, Phil.  Please give us the particulars about the events.

The next meeting, Dr. Michael Mann on climate change, is Tuesday, April 30 at 7PM at TekPark in Breinigsville.  TekPark is the former AT&T/Lucent Technologies building on 9999 Hamilton Boulevard (Route 222) on top of the hill near the intersection with Schantz Road on the west end of the Lehigh Valley.  Follow signs for parking and the new entrance to the room location.  It is important to note for those who have attended previous meetings, the parking location and entrance to the building is now different than previous meetings, but the meeting is in the same location.   All the meetings are the last Tuesday of each month at TekPark.   You can get directions at www.theMAREA.org.  It is a great place to meet others involved in renewable energy and sustainable living.