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News Release

October 1, 2007


Kathleen J. Sullivan, Stanford News Service: (650) 724-5708,

Panelists to address global problems stemming from demand for natural resources

Leaders in the fields of energy development, environmental health, law, media and the military will participate in the second annual Roundtable at Stanford, "Courting Disaster: The Fight for Oil, Water and a Healthy Planet, " from 9:15 to 11 a.m. Oct. 13 in Maples Pavilion.

The panelists will discuss how world population increases, surging economic growth in new economies and an unabated appetite for fossil fuels are driving demand for the world's natural resources—at a time when nations are struggling to address the environmental threats posed by global warming.

Carlos Watson, JD '95, a former political analyst for CNN and host of Conversations with Carlos Watson, which premiered on NBC earlier this year, will moderate. President John Hennessy will host the event and participate on the panel.

Other panelists will be:

  • Retired Army Gen. John P. Abizaid, former commander of U.S. forces in the Middle East and, since June, the Annenberg Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Hoover Institution, where he focuses on the fields of national security and foreign policy;
  • Associate Justice Stephen G. Breyer, AB '59, who was appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1994 by President Bill Clinton;
  • John E. Bryson, AB '65, chairman and chief executive officer of Edison International, parent company of Southern California Edison; former Stanford trustee; and co-founder of the Natural Resources Defense Council, a nonprofit environmental action group;
  • New York Times foreign affairs columnist Thomas L. Friedman, author of the 2005 book The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the 21st Century; and
  • Pamela Matson, dean of the School of Earth Sciences at Stanford and the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Professor of Environmental Studies, who works with multidisciplinary teams to develop approaches to land management that are economically and environmentally sound.
  • They are expected to engage a variety of questions, such as: How, in the face of extraordinary circumstances, do we understand the complex interconnections among these issues? What can we do as individuals and as a nation to address them? What is the way forward when instability, violence, and the threat of terrorism in many energy-producing regions put us on a razor's edge?

    "This promises to be another terrific roundtable—timely issues, insightful panelists. The audience is in for a very lively and engaging conversation," said David Demarest, vice president for public affairs at Stanford. "It will be emblematic of the kind of dialogue Stanford University has come to represent."

    The event is open to the public and free for students, staff and faculty. Tickets for the general public are $10 and go on sale Oct. 1 at the Stanford Ticket Office in Tresidder Union. Tickets can be ordered by calling (650) 725-2787 or online at Stanford Reunion Homecoming participants will be admitted with their reunion nametags.



    Melinda Sacks, Stanford Office of Public Affairs: (650) 521-1906,

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