SS 4 - A Debate on the Sustainability of Biomass Production for Energy

Monday, August 6, 2012: 10:15 AM-11:30 AM
Portland Blrm 254, Oregon Convention Center
Caroline E. Ridley, US EPA, National Center for Environmental Assessment
Zakiya H. Leggett, Weyerhaeuser Company; Christopher M. Clark, US Environmental Protection Agency; and Yetta Jager, Oak Ridge National Lab
Darren Miller, Weyerhaeuser Company; Rebecca Efroymson, Oak Ridge National Laboratory; Doug A. Landis, Michigan State University; and Charles Kwit, University of Tennessee
Differing opinions exist within the scientific community concerning the ability of ecosystems to sustain multiple functions. As a prime example, evidence presented in the literature seemingly supports the divergent conclusions that the production of biomass for energy is and is not compatible with conservation of habitat and biodiversity. In order to explore the merit and validity of such conclusions, we will conduct a formal, moderated debate on the following proposition: Producing bioenergy can be sustainable for habitat availability and biodiversity, and can eschew the risk of new invaders. Two experts will argue in the affirmative and two will argue in the negative. As per tradition, there will be opening statements from each expert, followed by rebuttals. The audience will be encouraged to ask questions in the final 30 minutes. In order to determine the effectiveness of arguments, we will conduct a poll of audience members using mobile devices and real-time tabulation to determine their pre- and post-debate positions. Note: Debaters will be taking a position for the purpose of the special session only; views expressed do not necessarily reflect their personal or professional views or those of their respective organizations.
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