Pete Ferrell is a wind farmer, not a guitar god.
Schedule of speakers at this year's "Sustainability Symposium" at the Wakarusa Music & Camping Festival:¢ 7:30 p.m. to 7:50 p.m. Friday at the Revival Tent: journalist Jeff Goodell, author of "Big Coal."¢ 10 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Saturday at the Prairie Stage: wind farmer Pete Ferrell.¢ 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Saturday at the Prairie Stage: Wes Jackson, founder of the Land Institute.¢ 11:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Saturday at the Prairie Stage: panel discussion.¢ 7:45 p.m. to 8:05 p.m. Saturday at the Revival Tent: Nic Thiesen, "sustainability specialist" for New Belgium Brewing Co.
But he hopes to energize the crowd this weekend at the Wakarusa Music & Camping Festival when he takes the stage to talk about sustainable power.
"I guess what I'm going to question the crowd about is 'where's your sense of outrage?'" said Ferrell, 52, a rancher who has wind turbines on his land in Beaumont, about 45 miles east of Wichita.
"I'm going to hit them with the hellfire and brimstone. : Carbon is the issue of our time. My whole thing is that we have an elegant and viable alternative. It just takes political and financial will."
Ferrell is one of a group of people scheduled to speak to Wakarusa concertgoers throughout the weekend as part of the festival's first "Sustainability Symposium."
Festival promoter Brett Mosiman said that adding speakers to the lineup was a natural next step, given the efforts to minimize the festival's environmental footprint.
"We want to be a beacon for information and education and discussion of these kinds of topics," Mosiman said.
From its start in 2004, the festival has had a recycling program. Last year, organizers began buying "green tags" to offset the energy they use and support development of renewable energy. This year, the festival is using biodiesel for generators, requiring vendors to use biodegradable utensils and plates, and trying to limit the use of bottled water by streamlining the water distribution system.
Other people scheduled to speak at the festival include Wes Jackson, founder of the Salina-based Land Institute, and journalist Jeff Goodell, author of the book "Big Coal," which the New York Times called a "compelling indictment of one of the country's biggest, most powerful and most antiquated industries."
The program includes a mix of paid speakers and others, such as Ferrell, who are speaking for free.
"We think that we're giving them a big platform to raise these issues," Mosiman said. "It's an audience that gets it."
The symposium is also sponsored by Lawrence-based Zephyr Energy and by New Belgium Brewing Co.
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