Ted Turner and James Cameron are just two of the presenters appearing at the AREDAY Renewable Energy Expo in Aspen, starting today.

Ted Turner, T. Boone Pickens and Oscar-nominated film producer James Cameron will present their views about non-fossil fuels and bridging the gap to complete usage of clean energy at the 7th annual AREDAY (American Renewable Energy Day) in Aspen, Colorado. The four-day forum on finding solutions to the myriad environmental problems of our planet takes place August 19 through 22 at venues throughout Aspen.

A highlight of this year’s AREDAY will be an armchair conversation between Ted Turner and T. Boone Pickens, addressing the United States’ capability of replacing greenhouse gas-intensive coal and oil – first with natural gas, a 40 percent-cleaner-burning transition fuel, and then with clean energy sources. The pair will discuss the economic viability of moving to 100 percent clean energy, including wind, solar and geothermal, helping the United States to realize energy independence and amplified national security.

“This conversation between two of the most powerful, respected business leaders on the planet will emphasize what a good idea it is to stop giving a trillion dollars per year to foreign countries for their oil, and instead invest in America’s emerging New Clean Energy Economy,” says Chip Comins, founder and director of AREDAY. Turner – the largest private land owner in the United States – will receive the AREDAY Green Leadership Award during the conference for the conservation of his land.

A major theme of this year’s event is how pop culture can change the mindset of the public at large, influencing public awareness of environmental problems and solutions. An example of this idea is James Cameron’s Oscar-winning 2009 film, Avatar, the highest-grossing film in history, seen by millions. The film was based on the inhabitants of a fictional planet fighting to save their land from environmental destruction. Cameron will present a special edition director’s-cut screening of Avatar as part of AREDAY’s Environmental Film Series.

“The fact that climate change is real is permeating the public psyche through films such as Avatar, television, music and art,” says Comins. “It’s imperative to connect the science of climate change to these outlets, because popular culture has such a pervasive effect on public perception.”

Other films in the series include the 2009 Oscar-winning documentary, The Cove, with Director Louie Psihoyos participating; Sebastian Copeland’s Into the Cold: A Journey Into the Soul; and Michael Nash’s Climate Refugees.

Further highlights of this year’s AREDAY include talks by Department of Energy Under Secretary Dr. Kristina M. Johnson and Assistant Secretary Cathy Zoi of the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, as well as forums about Putting Wealth to Work; Renewable Energy Technology; Food Security; Ocean Systems; Renewable Energy Finance; The Lungs of the Earth: The World’s Forests; Politics of Climate Change and Youth and Climate. Also, Sunday’s lineup of events include the AREDAY Expo on the Cooper Avenue Mall, which is free and open to the public, including displays, educational presentations, live music and family activities.

This year, a limited number of Locals Appreciation Passes are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Priced at only $300 for a full weekend pass, this represents an 80 percent discount off the full pass price. A driver’s license with a Roaring Fork Valley address is required for those purchasing Local’s Passes. Early Bird Passes are on sale now through August 2 and cost $995. The price for a full pass goes up to $1,295 from August 3 through 18, and to $1,500 on the day of the event. Day passes are available for the Turner/Pickens armchair event and screening of Climate Refugees on August 21 for $125. Day Passes are also available for the James Cameron talk and screening of Avatar on August 22 for $300. To purchase tickets, visit www.areday.net and click Register Now. Tickets are also available through Aspen Show Tickets at the Wheeler Opera House in Aspen, 970-920-5770.

Since 2004, American Renewable Energy Day has been bringing top leaders and educators together to promote rapid deployment of renewable energy and energy efficient strategies via demonstrations, presentations, performances, film screenings and dialogue. Each year, AREDAY has hosted nationally- and-internationally-known and -respected speakers, along with participants from all over the world, all of which has attracted thousands of guests. For more information and a complete agenda, visit www.areday.net.

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