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ROTHBURY, Mich. (WOOD) - When Guster's Adam Gardner was asked to be a Rothbury panelmember, discussing the path to sustainable energy, it was ano-brainer. Of course. But when he was asked to perform, hisinitial reaction was a big NO.
But there he sat at Sunday's Think Tank panel, perched in achair, guitar in hand, ready to kick off the session.
"I've never played solo before, this is my debut as a soloartist," said Gardner, adding that the song he was about to playwill be released on Guster's next album.
About 50 people attended the panel discussion, although 50 moreprobably dropped in and out of the stage area while roaming thefairgrounds. Think Tank sessions seem to be what Rothburyorganizers are most proud of - intended to explore ideas on how tosolve some of the planet's most pertinent problems. They integratemusic and dialogue into short, focused sessions.
This particular one was moderated by Dr. Jamie Reaser, founderof the Energy Action Coalition "and a self-described countrygirl."
The goal of the following hour and 15 minutes? Building pathwaysto sustainable cities.
Panelist Mike Tidwell quoted Thomas Friedman of the New YorkTimes when describing his take on the current situation.
We're really not having a green revolution in this country rightnow, we're having a green party, said Friedman in a recent column.Tidwell, an author, filmmaker and frequent guest on "Meet ThePress" and NPR, agrees.
"There are pockets of green-ness, but it needs to go further,(we need to) push municipal leaders, and more so, nationalleaders," he said.
Tidwell also is the founder and director of the ChesapeakeClimate Action Network, a grassroots nonprofit that strives toraise awareness about the impacts of global warming in theWashington, DC area.
"People will go green faster if we acknowledge the fact thatthis is a nation of laws, and if you really want to change thenation, you have to change the laws," he said.
He went on to discuss individuals, businesses and cities, whichhave the moral responsibility to make a change.
"I'm obnoxiously green. I mean, I got solar panels on my roof,I'm a vegetarian, I heat my house with sustainably locally growncorn," he said. "I get the go green personal thing, but I'm alsosimultaneously very committed to pushing my city, and pushing theUnited States Congress to make green change on the statutorylevel."
Some of the other panelists included Sustainable South BronxExecutive Director Miquela Craytor and Energy Action Coalitionfounder Billy Parish.
Other sessions throughout the weekend addressed the greeneconomy, how to find and land a green job, voting for change andgreen energy.
Attendees are able to inquire in a question/answer-typesetting.
This year's Think Tank director is Dr. Jonathan Gelbard, theexecutive director of the Conservation Value Institute.
The theme across the festival was Finding EnergyIndependence.
"What a great opportunity to celebrate this great miracle ofmusic and the great outdoors; to have a festival that's committedto lowering its carbon footprint and to going green insustainability," said Tidwell of Rothbury Festival.
A very dangerous situation was averted when crews contained a chemical leak during a fire at a business in Grand Haven Tuesday morning.
World leaders and joyous, singing South Africans honored Nelson Mandela on Tuesday at a rainy Soweto soccer stadium where U.S. President Barack Obama praised him as a "giant of history" and the last great liberator of the 20th century.
Celebrating one of his personal heroes, President Barack Obama praised Nelson Mandela as the last great liberator of the 20th century, urging the world to carry on his legacy by fighting inequality, poverty and discrimination.