Susanna Sutherland talks about The Infinite Resource at Books Sandwiched In

Communications Director

Kristin Farley
(865) 215-2589

400 Main St., Room 691
Knoxville, TN 37902

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Susanna Sutherland talks about The Infinite Resource at Books Sandwiched In

Posted: 11/04/2014
November 4, 2014 - The most valuable resource on Earth is not oil, gold, water, or land, according to Ramez Naam. Rather, he says, the power of humanity's capacity for innovation and knowledge are what will meet the very real and enormous environmental challenges we face. Join Susanna Sutherland, Principal, Sutherland & Associates for a consideration of Naam's book The Infinite Resource: The power of ideas on a finite planet, Wednesday, November 19 noon to 1:00 p.m in the East Tennessee History Center auditorium, at this month's Books Sandwiched In, a program series of Knox County Public Library.

"The Infinite Resource outlines the pragmatist's approach to climate change," Sutherland says. "Naam encourages the reader to be informed, flexible, proactive, and not to sacrifice the good for the perfect."

Along with the pragmatism is a message of optimism. Naam argues that the natural resources on our planet are plentiful and that there is enough water and arable land on the Earth's surface, minerals in the Earth's crust, and energy from the sun to feed the growing appetite of humanity.

But, as a member of this human collective, we each bear individual responsibility for our impact. "Though dealing with global issues, this book notes that individual choices drive big picture outcomes," Sutherland says."It contends that what you and I choose to think, say, do, not do, support, or oppose - here in Knoxville - impacts more than just Knoxville. It reminds us that the incredible quality of life we enjoy comes with a caretaker's responsibility."

Susanna Sutherland holds a Environmental Studies and an Biosystems Engineering Technology) from the University of Tennessee. She began her career with the Tennessee Valley Authority's Environmental Policy and Planning division, later joining TVA's River Operations and Environment division. In 2007, Susanna was recruited by the city of Knoxville as Project Manager for a market driven waterfront redevelopment effort and in 2009 became the Knoxville's first sustainability director. She contributed to the U.S. EPA's Green Book developed by the National Academies and is a co-author of Acting as if Tomorrow Matters: Accelerating the Transition to Sustainability. In 2013, she started a business working with North American Cities to advance sustainability. She expects to complete her doctorate in Energy Science and Engineering in 2017.

The public is invited to join the conversation. Bring your favorite sandwich or pick up something from a downtown restaurant. Soft drinks and bottle water will be available for 50 cents. Copies of the books are available at the Library if you'd like to read one before the program. Call 215-8700 or visit for more information.

Books Sandwiched In continues on December 17 when Todd Witcher, Director of Discover Life in America, will discuss The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History by Elizabeth Kolbert.