Hurricane Harvey brought record rainfall and flooding to the Houston-Galveston region. The impacts of the storm and ensuing flooding included loss of lives, homes and livelihoods. In response, researchers from the region with expertise in hydrology, climate science, engineering, coastal resiliency, energy, community development and urban planning came together to strategize on solutions.
The Houston region has a dynamic economy, an exciting and diverse cultural identity, and a wealth of natural resources. This is due in large part to the region’s position as a major coastal metropolitan area and economic leadership in areas of energy production, healthcare, petrochemical industry, and international trade. Given the opportunities that are available, the Houston region is now recognized as the fifth largest metropolitan area in the US and is growing at a faster rate than the four largest cities in America. Ask almost anyone you meet and there is a sense that our region is on the verge of tremendous change. But in looking to the future, what do we want the Houston region to look like in ten, twenty, or thirty years and how do we begin to talk about and address the issues that are already confronting our economy, society, and the natural environment?
HARC is a nonprofit research hub that works with a variety of partners to find solutions to problems by balancing environmental quality, economic well-being, and social equity. HARC’s People & Nature Speaker Series will bring nationally recognized experts and the public together to talk about issues facing our growing region. It is our hope that attendees will learn about new ideas in support of a future in which the economy ensures well-being for this and future generations, natural resources are used sustainably and are equitably distributed, and society is engaged in the stewardship of nature.
On May 24, 2016 HARC will host its inaugural People and Nature Speaker Series event featuring an evening with author and award-winning teacher, Professor Michael E. Webber. Professor Webber will give an entertaining and informative lecture on the nexus of energy and water, sharing fun facts, historical snippets, and anecdotes from his new book, Thirst for Power: Energy, Water and Human Survival.
A leader and teacher in the field of energy development and resources, Dr. Webber explains how energy and water supplies are linked and how problems with either resource can paralyze the other. He shows that current trends in population growth, economic growth, climate change, and current policies are likely to make things worse. Yet, Webber asserts, integrated planning with long-term sustainability in mind can avert such a daunting future. Combining anecdotes and personal stories with insights into the latest science of energy and water, he identifies a hopeful path toward wise, long-range water-energy decisions and a more reliable and abundant future for humanity.
At the University of Texas at Austin, Michael E. Webber is deputy director of the Energy Institute, co-director of the Clean Energy Incubator, Josey Centennial Fellow in Energy Resources, and professor of mechanical engineering. Dr. Webber has served on the HARC Board of Directors since 2013.
We hope that you will be able to join us at 6:00 p.m. on May 24, 2016 at the Lone Star Community Building, located at 5000 Research Forest Drive, The Woodlands, Texas. Doors open at 6:00 p.m. and the lecture begins at 6:45 p.m. The event will include an evening social, lecture by Professor Webber, and book signing. Visit the event website for tickets and registration information.