Monday, March 05, 2007

EPIIC - Some of Saturday

Somehow I managed to be only 20 minutes late for the first panel at 9 am "Confronting Pandemics". I missed the beginning of Frances Townsend's remarks on avian flu, but what I caught was good. Then onto a favorite from last year, Gwyn Prins from the London School of Ecomonics. He spoke about AIDS and mentioned a paper he wrote for the UN "HIV/AIDS and Security". I haven't read it yet, but I intend to (as you can imagine, I have a whole new reading list). He sat next to me on Friday night and broke into one of the panels. I teased him for being a troublemaker. He is a very engaging person. Lots of the questioned bristled about the lack of money being spent on AIDS research, etc. He brought up a very interesting point about the anti-retro-virals and how if people are not taking them correctly they are just creating stronger bugs. The questions are often where the most interesting info comes out. One student asked Ms. Townsend about closing the borders if/when the avian flu hits our continent. She told us that according to the experts it only buys you 2 weeks and that's not enough time to create the vaccine so that's not part of the plan.

Next up "Global Enviromental Crises: From Climate Change to Water Scarcity"
Leon Fuerth - Gore apologist, long pauses, made me sleepy.
Jin Zidell of Blue Planet Run Foundation - great speaker, great video, good points, good cause. He wants everyone to give just $25.00 to provide one person with clean, safe drinking water for life. He stated that 50% of hospital patients worldwide were there because of unsafe drinking water. I did my part.
Gwyn Prins - again, I adore him.
David Jhirad - Ethanol is not the answer, Bush took a hit. Carbon footprint needs to be reduced.
Overall, what you learn is that in the future water security is going to be as important as energy security and I've already heard this from SB (that SB is a smart cookie). Still, very interesting. Gore's film is premeiring on Flix Sunday night and Jen and I will watch it. I never said I wouldn't watch it, I said I wouldn't pay for it.

After this panel finished up, people were milling about while they set up for the next one. I looked up and saw Peter Roudik of the Library of Congress, (where he is a senior foreign law specialist). He came over to say hello. He absolutely stunned me when he asked about the blog and I realized he read it, lol. Yeah, that's right, I was speechless.......too bad the rest of you weren't there to enjoy it, it's a rare occurrence.

It's late and I will pick up with the next panel tomorrow.

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