Meeting Minutes from InspireSeattle Social on March 14, 2015

Unintended Consequences of Energy
Production and Usage

Clearly energy drives our economy, communities and culture. Energy is core to our way of life today and in the future. We all understand that energy comes at a cost, both to our wallets and to our environment. The politics and power around energy production and usage are arguably the most perverse of any issue, both in the US and throughout the world. As with many things, often there exist unintended consequences with both energy production and usage. Also often these consequences are not well known, or even purposely kept from public view.

This evening's panel discussed multiple unintended consequences of energy production and usage. Topics included hydraulic fracturing (or fracking ), the recent game-changer in US energy production that has dramatically increased US oil and gas production and has been a key in our recent oil and gasoline price declines. A carbon-free energy source, nuclear energy, will be discussed. Of course climate change will be part of this discussion, but also key planetary boundaries needed for safe operations of life on our planet.


Guest Speakers: 

Darrin Morgan: 

Darrin Morgan is the director of Boeing s Sustainable Biofuels Strategy, where he leads Boeing s Sustainable Aviation Fuels Program. He is a co-founder of the Sustainable Aviation Fuel Users Group, whose goal is to diversify aviation's fuel supply and reduce carbon emissions. Darrin has served as co-chairman of the world's first global algae-for-energy trade association and on the National Academies of Science Transportation Review Board Panel on alternative fuels integration.

W. Douglas Smith:

Doug is an environmental scientist, environmental diplomat, explorer and educator.  As a Senior Compliance Investigator in the U.S. EPA, he conducted inspections and investigations, developed protocols and training materials for EPA, the World Bank Institute, and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). From 1962 through 1992 he was the owner/operator of an adventure travel company that began the concept of eco-trekking in the Himalayas and around the world.

Sarah Fox: 

Seattle author Sarah Fox is a historian, mother, and waitress.  Her work has appeared in Montana: The Magazine of Western History, the Western Historical Quarterly, and Sunspace.   Her first book, Downwind: A People s History of the Nuclear West was published by University of Nebraska Press in November 2014 ( Sarah recently attended the 3rd International Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons in Vienna, Austria and served as a guest faculty at the Northwest Institute of Literary Arts Whidbey Writers Workshop. 

Michael Foster:

Michael Foster, M.Ed. has counseled individuals and families since 1995. Currently he offers Carbon Recovery Counseling to break addictive, abusive patterns of thinking and consumption on the long road to climate recovery. He is honored to serve on the Steering Committee for the International Transitional Resilience Coalition, a new organization of mental health and healthcare professionals whose mission is to prepare resilient communities for climate impacts already in the pipeline . He is an active speaker on climate topics for all audiences, including all schools and colleges. Mostly he volunteers by organizing children and teens who speak out for their future, Plant-for-the-Planet, Our Children s Trust,, and The Climate Reality Project. Michael asks: Have you planted your tree today?


Many thanks to our speakers and Dave Gamrath for organizing and hosting this panel discussion.


Previous meeting minutes


Previous IAN Events



Dave Gamrath, organizer and host


Panel Speakers: (from left to right)
  • Michael Foster
  • W. Douglas Smith
  • Darrin Morgan
  • Sarah Fox

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