The Cape Cod Climate Change Collaborative (Climate Collaborative) will host an evening with climate leaders and visionaries Bill McKibben, founder of 350.org and Third Act; Soren Hermansen, community energy leader and CEO of the Samsø Energy Academy in Samsø, Denmark; and Melissa Hoffer, the first-in-the-nation state climate chief under Gov. Maura Healey.
The event will be held at 7 p.m. Monday, June 12, at Barnstable High School on 744 West Main St., Hyannis.
The free event, “It’s Time for Climate Collaboration,” will feature talks by each of the presenters, who are accomplished leaders in the fight to address and mitigate climate change and build adaptation and resilience to its effects. They will share their views on what citizens and local organizations can and should do locally on Cape Cod to address the causes and effects of climate change.
Tickets for the event are available on the Climate Collaborative website https://capecodclimate.org/its-time-for-climate-collaboration/
“We are thrilled to bring these three luminaries in the climate change field to Cape Cod, who individually are incredible, and together are a force not to be missed as they inspire collaborative climate work on Cape Cod, ” noted Dorothy Savarese, Board President of the Climate Collaborative noted.
McKibben, an author and activist, is the founder of Third Act, which organizes people over the age of 60 for action on climate and justice. He also helped found 350.org, the first global grassroots climate campaign, which has organized protests around climate change on every continent, including Antarctica. McKibben’s 1989 book, “The End of Nature,” is regarded as the first book for a general audience about climate change. He has since written 20 other books, and his work has been featured in publications like the New York Times, the New Yorker and Rolling Stone. He serves as the Schumann Distinguished Scholar in Environmental Studies at Middlebury College, as a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Science, and he has won the Gandhi Peace Prize as well as honorary degrees from 20 colleges and universities.
McKibben will speak about the need to “bring people together and push them forward”.
Hermansen, who keynoted at the Climate Collaborative’s “Net Zero” conference last October, is the director of the Samsø Energy Academy on Samsø Island, Denmark. He was the driving force behind the transformation of the island into a carbon-negative island through the use of alternative energy sources. Over a 10-year period in the early 2000s, Hermansen helped set up investment plans for island residents to buy into a collection of alternative energy sources, including solar. In addition to other measures, residents bought shares in new land-based wind turbines. With 11 wind turbines on the island and 10 offshore and, together with other sources, Samso generates enough energy to meet the entire island’s electricity needs.
Hermansen, who has been called the “Energy Magician of Samsø,” will share information on how the island created its current negative-carbon status. The theme of his remarks will be “If we could do it on Samsø, you can do it here.” He will outline steps his region took to get it done, as well as his thoughts on how Cape Cod could achieve a carbon-negative future.
Prior to her post with the state, Hoffer served in the Biden Administration as Acting General Counsel of the Environmental Protection Agency. Before assuming the Climate Chief post, Hoffer, who is an attorney, led then-attorney general Healey’s lawsuit against ExxonMobil alleging the company deceived the public about climate change. Hoffer has described climate change as “a defining issue of our time,” and will share some of the things the Healey Administration is doing to address it.
Following McKibben’s, Hoffer’s and Hermansen’s presentations, they will convene in a “fireside chat” format for a Q&A with audience members. Questions will be solicited in advance.