Five Oceans, One Earth

Last weekend, I participated in the 22nd Annual Public Interest Environmental Conference at the University of Florida Levin College of Law. It was my first time returning to my alma mater after accession to the professoriate. I spoke about the perils and pros of offshore Florida energy exploration and development.

Marine biologist David Guggenheim delivered remarks at the dinner banquet. He described Cuba’s ocean ecosystems as a living time machine. Here is his 60 Minutes segment with Anderson Cooper. Cuba is calling…

Sr. Pat Siemen (Barry), Joel Mintz (Nova Southeastern), and Kathryn Andrews (Nature Conservancy) shared their insights at the closing plenary session on the future of our oceans and coasts. Mary Jane Angelo (Florida) moderated the session. They provided hopeful perspectives on legal mechanisms and strategies for ocean conservation and protection.

Below is an animation created by oceanographer Ian McDonald (FSU), who was one of my co-panelists, regarding the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico during 2010. Satellite radar images collected on a daily basis, data on the discharge rates, response efforts and average wind speed are culled together to create this animation. McDonald’s recent article, Natural and unnatural oil slicks in the Gulf of Mexico, is available here.

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World Future Energy Summit

imageAt the World Future Energy Summit, I presented on law and policy mechanisms to incentivize innovation and investment for second generation biofuels. I also attended the presentation of Zayed Future Energy Prizes and was most excited to see Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland, the former Prime Minister of Norway, be recognized for lifetime achievement.

International Renewable Energy Agency

The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) held its 6th Assembly on January 16-17 in Abu Dhabi. It was the first major intergovernmental meeting following COP21 in Paris. IRENA is a fledging organization that has grown by leaps and bounds with 140 member nations and 10 countries in the process of accession. IRENA supports countries in their transitions to clean energy and serves as a platform for international cooperation. I attended as a observer on behalf of my university.