Friday, April 16, 2010

HOPES conference was a huge success (except for getting really sick)

The HOPES conference was very successful, and I will be posting about some of the talks I attended soon.  I haven't posted anything yet because while I was at the conference I got a really nasty bug which has been keeping me from doing anything above baseline productivity for the past several days.  However, I am now feeling much better and ready to get back to projects which, like this blog, give me no direct monetary reward.

The atmosphere at HOPES was very exciting, it was great to see so many energetic young students mixing with researchers and working professionals, all brought together by their common interest in sustainability.  It was a pleasure to be part of the program, and it was a much greater pleasure to hear other panelists and speakers share their ideas with the community.  The speakers came from as far away as Florida, and there were many from all over the west coast.  The audience, though more predominantly local I think, also had several individuals from out of state.

I will talk a little bit more in depth about this in a future post, but one of the most interesting keynote addresses was by Anthony Perl, Director of Urban Studies at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver BC.  He is co-author of the book Transport Revolutions: Moving People and Freight Without Oil, the second edition of which is available later this month.  Basically, it outlines the argument for building high speed trains in this country, along with light rail, all electrified.  When you look into it, it is really hard to imagine a good argument against building high speed passenger and freight trains in this country, especially since they could quickly provide a cheaper alternative to travel by airplane, which I think everyone agrees is a very unpleasant experience.

That is it for today, but I will try to add a few more posts this Sunday.  Tomorrow I am off duty, because it is Courtney's B-day, and I have to spend the entire day doing whatever it is she wants me to, which includes trying to come up with what that will be ahead of time and planning for it in advance.
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