The 2008 Notre Dame Forum, which will focus on sustainable energy, will be held on Wednesday, September 24 in the Joyce Center Arena from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. To date, we have confirmed the participation of the following individuals as panelists: Jeff Immelt, chairman and CEO of General Electric; Ernest Moniz, the Cecil and Ida Green Distinguished Professor of Physics, director of the Laboratory for Energy and Environment, and director of the Energy Initiative at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; and Anne Thompson, chief environmental affairs correspondent for NBC News and a Notre Dame alumna, who will serve as moderator.
Pope Benedict XVI recently called attention to the world’s growing energy needs and “the unprecedented race for available resources.” He expressed special concern for regions of the world in which development is blocked by rising energy costs and scarce energy sources, and he urged nations to continue their dialogue and search for more efficient ways to consume and invest in resources.
These views are among many that are beginning to emerge at the intersection of energy utilization and Catholic social teaching. How do Western nations, and the United States in particular, reconcile their consumption with the energy poverty afflicting billions of people in the Southern Hemisphere and Asia? Is there a sustainable energy future that can maintain an acceptable standard of living for all humans without jeopardizing the environment and future generations?
The 2008 Notre Dame Forum will build on current institutional initiatives that collectively support, across all of the University’s endeavors, the development of a comprehensive course of sustainability. The issues addressed will extend across multiple disciplines and can engage the entire University community.
We expect to be able to announce additional panelists soon, and we will keep you informed of other Forum-related details in the weeks ahead. For more information on sustainable energy and activities surrounding the Forum, you may visit the new Notre Dame Forum website at enlighten.nd.edu