Ralph Nader to Speak at U.Va. on 'Megawatts, Negawatts and You'

September 02, 2010

September 2, 2010 — Consumer advocate, author and former presidential candidate Ralph Nader will give a free public talk at the University of Virginia on Sept. 13, at 7 p.m., in the Newcomb Hall Ballroom.

He will speak about energy policy, global warming and personal energy choices, followed by a question-and-answer session. His talk is titled, "Megawatts, Negawatts and You."

"Negawatt" is a term coined by author and environmentalist Amory Lovins for a megawatt of electricity that either was not produced or not required, thanks to energy efficiency or conservation, similar to the concept of "a penny saved is a penny earned."

Event co-sponsors include People's Alliance For Clean Energy and Donal Day, a U.Va. research professor of physics in the College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences

The presentation will include a performance by local band Trees on Fire.

Nader is a consumer advocate, lawyer, author and four-time presidential candidate.

Born in 1934, the son of Lebanese immigrants, he attended Princeton University and Harvard Law School. In 1963 he left his private law practice in Hartford, Conn., to hitchhike to Washington, where he began public interest work.

His concern about unsafe car designs resulted in the best-selling book "Unsafe at Any Speed" (1965), which led directly to the passage of national auto-safety standards.

He and his associates, known as "Nader's Raiders," went on to found more than 100 public interest groups that have performed numerous studies on consumer health, safety and financial issues and have lobbied for greater government regulation of business and industry in a variety of areas.

His groups were instrumental in enacting the Freedom of Information Act (1966) and the Safe Drinking Water Act, and in creating the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

As the Green Party candidate in the 2000 U.S. presidential election, he won 3 percent of the national vote. Nader also ran for president as an independent candidate in 2004 and 2008.

-- by Brevy Cannon