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March 29, 2006 - One of the leading authorities on the interaction of the economy and the environment will deliver a speech free to the public on Tuesday, April 11, at 4 p.m. in Aquinas College's Performing Arts Center, 1703 Robinson Road S.E. James Gustave "Gus" Speth, Yale University's Dean and Professor in the Practice of Environmental Policy and Sustainable Development, will speak on Environment and Economy: On Course for Collision or Reconciliation?

In his recent book Red Sky At Morning: America and The Crisis of the Global Environment, Speth offers his views on what The Seattle Times describes as "a remarkably well-researched and well documented warning of potential global disaster." Former President Jimmy Carter noted that Speth brought global environmental concerns to the world's attention nearly a quarter century ago. Carter called Speth's book "extraordinary" - one that makes an "impassioned plea to take these issues seriously before it is too late."

This is the tenth annual lecture in Wege Speaker Series, sponsored by the Wege Foundation. A Rhodes Scholar, Speth studied economics at Oxford University for two years and earned a M. Litt. He graduated from Yale Law School in 1969 and went on to clerked for Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black. In 1970, he was one of the cofounders of the Natural Resources Defense Council and worked as senior attorney leading its programs in energy and water. Former President Jimmy Carter recruited Speth for the White House Council on Environmental Quality in 1977. From there he went on to teach environmental and constitutional law at Georgetown University and soon founded the World Resources Institute and where he served for about ten years. He was on President Bill Clinton's transition team and went on to serve as administrator of the United Nations Development Program.

Speth was one of the cofounders of Natural Resources Defense Council - now one of the most influential leaders in crafting the nation’s environmental policies. He followed that in 1982 with the founding of the World Resources Institute bringing in world leaders to address the issues threatening the Earth's ecosystems with scientific evidence.

Among Speth's many awards are the National Wildlife Federation's Resources Defense Award, the Natural Resources Council of America's Barbara Swain Award of Honor, the Keystone Center's National Leadership Award, the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Environmental Law Institute and most recently, the Blue Planet Prize.

Lecture seating is limited. Please reserve your seat by April 6, 2006. Reservations can be made by calling (616) 632-2811 or e-mail