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Switch Energy Project: All Invited to Oct. 17 Film Screening at USU

Thursday, Oct. 11, 2012

dvd cover for the documentary 'Switch'

USU hosts a screening of the award-winning documentary 'Switch' Wednesday, Oct. 17, at 7 p.m. in the Emert Auditorium, Room 130, of the Eccles Science Learning Center. The film explores the world’s energy challenges. Admission is free.

men observing a liquified natural gas plan in Qatar

'Switch' documentary creator Scott Tinker, left, visits a liquefied natural gas plant in Qatar. The film includes interviews with executives and scientists in the fossil fuels, nuclear and alternative energy industries.

Ignore, for one second, the strident, partisan din of election season and consider the juice that keeps you connected, mobile and shielded from the elements. No matter your political leanings, no matter your carbon footprint; energy powers your life.

Wednesday, Oct. 17, Utah State University hosts a screening of Switch, an award-winning documentary aimed at providing a practical, balanced look at the world’s energy challenges. The showing begins at 7 p.m. in the Emert Auditorium, Room 130, in the Eccles Science Learning Center. Admission is free.

“As a land grant university, Utah State is all about meeting big challenges,” says Mark Brunson, professor and head of USU’s Department of Environment and Society, which is sponsoring the event. “And to my mind, the biggest challenge confronting our society is finding a sustainable path to a future in which we can meet our energy needs while protecting human well-being and the environment.”

Switch is part of the Switch Energy Project, a non-partisan, multi-prong effort designed to build a balanced national understanding of energy. The project is sponsored by the Geological Society of America, the Verizon Foundation and the American Geological Institute.

“The first step in meeting our energy challenges is gathering the best information we can,” Brunson says. “This film does a great job of presenting information about this complex topic in way that’s never boring or politicized.”

Switch is narrated by Scott Tinker, director of the Bureau of Economic Geology, State Geologist of Texas, as well as acting associate dean and professor in the Jackson School of Geosciences at the University of Texas at Austin.

“Everything depends on energy but everything is changing,” says Tinker, who spent 10 years traveling the world to interview energy company CEOs, energy scientists and policy makers for the film. “To best understand these issues, we first need to understand energy — and that’s the goal of this project.”

The documentary features interviews with executives and researchers in fossil fuel, nuclear and alternative fuel industries, which provide access to facilities never before seen on film.

“USU is one of only 40 universities across the nation selected for the initial schedule of screenings,” Brunson says. “This is an amazing opportunity to bring people of diverse disciplines and perspectives together in a positive atmosphere to dig deep and explore critical issues.”

Related links:

Contact: Mark Brunson, 435-797-2458,

Writer: Mary-Ann Muffoletto, 435-797-3517,

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