Conservation International expert continues DENIN Dialogue Series
Michael P. Totten


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10:19 a.m., Sept. 29, 2010----Michael P. Totten, chief adviser on energy, climate and green technology at the Center for Environmental Leadership in Business (CELB) of Conservation International, will be the featured speaker in the DENIN Dialogue Series on Tuesday, Nov. 30, at 7 p.m., in Mitchell Hall.

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The DENIN Dialogue Series is a semiannual lecture series sponsored by the Delaware Environmental Institute (DENIN) that brings experts of international renown in environmental research and policy to address the public at UD's Newark campus. Totten's presentation will be podcast on DENIN's iTunes U site following the lecture.

Totten will address the topic “Water in an Uncertain Climate Future.” Billions of people around the world are mired in poverty, are chronically ill, and lack adequate drinking water and basic sanitation services. Efforts to ensure water security now also contend with the impacts of climate change and the uncertainty in water flow and availability.

Water use is pervasive throughout the global economy but concentrated in agriculture (about 75 percent of water withdrawals worldwide) and thermal power plants (48 percent of off-stream use in the U.S.). A core concern is how to deliver water services for these needs at least cost and risk while addressing issues of social equity and ecological integrity.

Totten will present the case that there are win-win-win pathways in addressing these multiple crises, and he will highlight some of the evidence and experience to date in using innovative practices, policies and regulations in delivering water and water-related services.

He has nearly three decades of professional experience in promoting ecologically sustainable economic development at the local, national and international levels. At Conservation International's CELB, he engages corporations and public institutions in adopting strategies to shrink and offset the ecological footprints of goods and services throughout their lifecycle. He has given more than 1,500 presentations and written scores of publications.

Totten is the principal co-author of the 2008 book, A Climate for Life: Meeting the Global Challenge, an interdisciplinary perspective on preventing catastrophic climate change and human-triggered species extinction while providing robust economic growth. He received the Lewis Mumford Prize for Environment in 2000 for pioneering the creation of interactive multimedia and Internet tools for spurring ecologically sustainable development. As senior adviser to U.S. Rep. Claudine Schneider (R-R.I.), he drafted the 1989 Global Warming Prevention Act, cosponsored by one-third of the House of Representatives.

Article by Beth Chajes