Gore, experts gather at UH-Manoa for sustainability conference

Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore spoke at a free public lecture at the University of Hawaii at Manoa’s Stan Sheriff Center Tuesday.

The lecture is part of Ascent, a day-long conference on clean energy and a sustainable future for Hawaii, hosted by UH’s Sea Grant College Program, Chancellor Tom Apple and U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz.

Tickets are currently sold out, but should seats become available due to no-shows, they will be released on a first come, first served basis at the door.

In addition to Gore, world-renowned experts from across the state and nation are expected to attend the invitation-only conference, including U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer, chair of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works; Geoffrey Anderson, president of Smart Growth America; Kyle Datta, Ulupono Initiative co-founder; Dr. Stephen Meder, UH-Manoa Assistant Vice Chancellor, Physical, Environment and Long-Range Planning; Hermina Morita, Hawaii Public Utilities Commission chair; Bruce Karas, North American Vice President for Sustainability and the Environment, The Coca Cola Company; and Nainoa Thompson, president, Polynesian Voyaging Society.

They will address key underlying issues of sustainability, examine risks and propose solutions to energy and water resource security, and engage directly with high school and college students who are poised to lead these efforts in the future.

On Wednesday, Sen. Schatz will hold a field hearing of the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources at the East-West Center at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. The hearing will focus on meeting sustainability goals in Hawaii and the Pacific.

“By teaming together, we can tap into new resources and move forward with solutions that are good for our state, the nation and the world,” said Sen. Schatz.

“A future in which we create economic and social opportunities for all, advance an enriching quality of life, preserve cultural inheritance, and promote stewardship of our natural resources for future generations is within reach,” said Professor Gordon Grau, UH Sea Grant director. “Through this conference, we have an opportunity to bring the best and brightest minds together to focus on Hawaii and start to build our sustainable future.”

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