Arizonans are living in a period of energy transition. Cleaner, renewable energy sources are becoming cheaper than traditional fossil fuel energy sources. Although this transition may be better for the environment, its effects on the economies of some Arizona communities can be devastating. The rapid shift from fossil fuels such as coal, oil and natural gas, to renewable energy is having a profound impact on the Navajo and Hopi nations. How do we respond locally, regionally and nationally to the impact of these energy transitions? What can be done to lessen the negative effects? Join us for a lively discussion about the economic, social and moral impact of energy transitions in Arizona.
Paul Hirt is a Professor of History, Senior Sustainability Scholar, and member of the public history faculty at Arizona State University. He specializes in the American West, environmental history, and sustainability studies. Hirt’s publications include a 2012 monograph on the history of electric power in the US Northwest and British Columbia titled The Wired Northwest, a monograph on the history of national forest management since WWII, titled A Conspiracy of Optimism (1994), and more than two dozen articles and book chapters on various topics in environmental history, including two essays on water and sustainability in Arizona. Dr. Hirt conceived and directed the “Nature, Culture, and History at Grand Canyon” project funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities he chairs the American Society for Environmental History’s Advisory Board for Professional Development and Public Engagement, and he is an elected member of the Board of Directors of the Salt River Project.