When an industrial-scale wind energy project is proposed, should nearby communities accept it, fight it, or seek another alternative? Some have touted wind power as a simple move away from the pollution of fossil fuels. In the next Upper Peninsula Environmental Coalition Livestream, Professor Jim Mihelcic will make the case that his personal and professional journey as a civil and environmental engineer has led him to the conclusion that simple technological solutions don’t exist for a complex global problem like climate change. Mihelcic will discuss a protest movement he helped found in the western UP, called Guardians of the Keweenaw Ridge, where residents rejected plans for a large wind farm. There are other areas around the country that are facing similar challenges. Does an overly technical approach to solving the need for green energy lead to a dead end by ignoring the social and economic problems that come with all forms of large-scale electric power generation?
James Mihelcic was Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Michigan Tech for 19 years and still resides in the UP part of the year. Jim is currently a professor at the University of South Florida (Tampa) where he holds the Samuel L. and Julia M. Flom Endowed Chair in Civil Engineering. He has achieved Fellow status with two national organizations (AEESP and WEF), is a board certified environmental engineering member with the American Academy of Environmental Engineers & Scientists, and served two terms on U.S. EPA’s Science Advisory Board (nominated by the EPA Administrator). Professor Mihelcic is well known for his teaching and research in the area of sustainability and design of critical infrastructures. He currently serves as an Associate Editor for two prestigious scientific journals, including Environmental Science & Technology, and is lead author for several engineering textbooks focused on sustainability, including Environmental Engineering: Fundamentals, Sustainability, Design (3rd Edition, John Wiley & Sons, 2021).
This livestream and all archived past events available at https://facebook.com/upenvironment/live