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OVEC Director Keynote Speaker at Midwest Renewable Energy Fair

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OVEC Director Bady Keynoter at Midwest Renewable Energy Fair

Micro-power hailed as cheap, safe energy of future; Thinktank sees nuclear subsidy as bar to full use of renewables

Beautiful Kilowatts -- People Power in Action

June17-19, 2005
Photos by Vivian Stockman

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Midwest Renewable Energy Fair
While mountaintop removal perpetuators would have us believe coal is the only energy source that keeps the lights on, huge numbers of folks are proving them wrong and creating sustainable jobs, all while leaving a better world for their children.

Thousands of these green energy users and advocates and small-scale renewable energy manufacturers attended the 16th annual Renewable Energy and Sustainable Living Fair, held by the Midwest Renewable Energy Association (MREA).  OVEC's founder and co-director Dianne Bady delivered a keynote address at the fair, which is the largest such event in the world.

MREA president Mick Sagrillo asked Dianne to speak after he learned about her in On Wisconsin, the University of Wisconsin's alumni magazine. In introducing Dianne, Mick said after reading the article he thought, "This is a dangerous woman! We've got to have her speak!"

Dianne was a little worried her speech about mountaintop removal would be a downer amidst so much positive action and hope (there were hundreds of workshops and booths at the fair), but Dianne spoke of our successes on other issues and talked about the power of organized people. This audience clearly understood people power! People were shocked to learn that, in southern West Virginia, mountaintop removers use 3 million pounds of explosives on working days. The audience appeared deeply moved by the stories Dianne told about the human and ecological toll of mountaintop removal. We bet her speech bolstered many in both their personal and political commitment to renewable energy. 

MREA honored Dianne by planting a tree for her on their Avenue of the Advocates. Mick said they chose an oak for Dianne because it is such a strong tree!

OVEC staffer Vivian Stockman attended the fair with Dianne, and both say they learned a lot. For instance, Germany has committed to getting 100 percent of its energy from renewable sources! Everywhere people spoke up for the decentralization of our energy systems (as OVEC has called for, as well). Many called for a level playing field--either give renewable the same subsidization that fossil fuels in the United Sates receive, or better yet, take away the subsidies for fossil fuels, and don't even give any to renewable energy. Let the free market be free, and let the people choose what power they want. Our bet is parents will choose the power sources that don't poison their kids.

Dianne and Viv came away from the Midwest Renewable Energy Fair buoyed by the incredible group of people working and living everyday with sane, safe, reliable and just plain sweet renewable energy. These folks are bound and determined to change the future for the better, no matter what the fossil fuel fools in DC and certain state governments do to try to stop them.

We have seen the future, and it is people power, it is us!
 
OVEC's founder Dianne Bady hugs the pin oak, planted in her honor. The Midwest Renewable Energy Association chose to plant an oak for Dianne because it is such a strong tree.
OVEC's founder Dianne Bady hugs the pin oak, planted in her honor. The Midwest Renewable Energy Association chose to plant an oak for Dianne because it is such a strong tree.

Learning about harnessing the sun's power with photo voltaic panels.
Learning about harnessing the sun's power with photo voltaic panels.

Many folks arrived at the fair using direct people power. Now that's appropriate technology!
Many folks arrived at the fair using direct people power. Now that's appropriate technology!

Kids are eager to learn about renewable energy--after all, their future is at stake!
Kids are eager to learn about renewable energy--after all, their future is at stake!

People throng the booths.
People throng the booths.

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