YERT Awarded Best Eco Film at SOAPIFF + More News

Dear YERTians,

We continue to receive overwhelmingly positive feedback about the YERT film, as we travel from screening to screening to meet audiences around the country. It seems that people everywhere are ready for, as we like to say, “an environmental documentary film that isn’t depressing.” Read on for more news…

  • YERT is “Best Environmental Film” at SOAPIFF!
  • The International Premiere of YERT in COSTA RICA
  • More Upcoming Screenings (KY, CA, CT, MO, GA, PA)
  • DC Screening Success!
  • Exploring Distribution Options

YERT is “Best Environmental Film” at SOAPIFF!
We’re thrilled to announce that the YERT film received another award – this time from the Southern Appalachian International Film Festival, or SOAPIFF for short. We have a special chapter in our film that specifically grapples with mountaintop removal mining (MTR) in West Virginia, featuring a flight on SouthWings, an interview with several MTR activists including Larry Gibson, and beautiful music by Ben Sollee (in this case, “Panning for Gold“). It is our small tribute to those working hard to rescue Appalachia from mining companies that are actively working to scrape life from the region. Learn more and get involved at

The International Premiere of YERT in COSTA RICA
Ben will be heading down to one of the most environmentally forward-thinking countries on earth for the International Premiere of YERT at the Costa Rica International Film Festival! The YERT film’s reputation is starting to open doors on its own, and we were invited by the festival to apply. One thing let to another, and now Ben is going to need some non-toxic sunscreen for his hop down to Costa Rica for the big event: Wednesday, Nov. 16, 8pm, at the El Sano Banano in Montezuma, Costa Rica (Nicoya Peninsula). I know that most of you probably aren’t planning to swing down there next week, but we definitely want you all to know about it. (For the record, in 2010 Costa Rica ranked 3rd in the world on the Environmental Performance Index developed at Yale and Columbia Universities. The United States placed 61st.)

More Upcoming Screenings
There can never be too many YERT screenings, and we’re glad to announce a fresh batch of events before Thanksgiving! We have over 10 screenings planned around the country during the next week. Check out our screenings page for more details and our calendar of events. And don’t forget to tell your friends and family to go see the YERT Film in their area! Here’s a quick reference list of events coming up through the end of November:

(click each for details or here for full calendar)

*Mark attending for Q&A
**Ben attending for Q&A
***Mark + Ben attending for Q&A
°Mark or Ben for videochat Q&A

DC Screening Success!
With barely two days of lead time, we packed the house with over 40 very enthusiastic viewers at last weekend’s YERT screening in Washington DC, then sold 17 DVDs after a standing ovation and extended Q&A with both Mark and Ben. The screening was designed to coincide with the Tar Sands Action, and we handed out over 1,000 fliers to a huge crowd of activists (10,000+) gathered all around the White House. Not only did the screening go well, but the larger event (protesting the possible KXL pipeline from the tar sands in Canada) was a great success! Obama decided to delay approval of the pipeline – and most analysts believe that the news spells the end for the project. A W E S O M E. Read Bill McKibben’s full report here.

<--Photos from the screening in DC! Exploring Distribution Options
We don’t have a lot to report here yet, but we have received a steady stream of interest from distributors, agents, and others interested in helping us get the YERT film seen more widely around the country, and the world. Stay tuned – we’re looking at possible screening tours, Earth Day/Week/Month events, and generally brainstorming about how to get the film in front of more peole. Got ideas? Please e-mail them to us at

Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and we have so much to give thanks for here at YERT. Thank you for your enthusiastic support and encouragement. And don’t forget to join the conversation on Facebook. Peace out.

Ben, Mark, and Julie

— New Endorsements of the YERT Film —

“Here’s a trip you’ll wish you’d taken, and you’ll be glad you get to watch!”
-Bill McKibben, Author and Environmentalist

“Our whole family digs it! The YERT eco-cinematic journey is an important, funky, infuriating, dirty, corny, (nearly) trash-free, wiggly, personal, yummy, hilarious, timely, irreverent and heart-warming exploration of the creative American mind as it faces it’s greatest challenge. Ever.” -Dr. Wallace J. Nichols, Research Associate, California Academy of Sciences

Activists marching with a giant fake oil pipeline outside the White House.

Special YERT Screening in Washington DC on 11/6 for Tar Sands Action!

Tar Sands Action Logo
We have quickly assembled this screening to coincide with the Tar Sands Action in Washington DC – but everybody is welcome to join. It is open to the public. Mark Dixon, YERT Producer, will be available during and after the screening for Q&A. Feel free to share the following “blurb” widely!

The award-winning environmental docu-comedy called “YERT – Your Environmental Road Trip” will be screening in Takoma Park/Washington DC, and you’re invited!

“Here’s a trip you’ll wish you’d taken, and you’ll be glad you get to watch!”
-Bill McKibben, Author and Environmentalist

Please join YERT Producer, Mark Dixon, at this very special screening, arranged specifically to coincide with the Tar Sands Action at the White House. Details are below…

Sunday, 11/6/11, 8pm
Seekers Church
276 Carroll St., NW, Washington, D.C. 20012
METRO: One block from Takoma Station, RED line. Details below.

Here’s a quick synopsis: 50 States. 1 Year. Zero Garbage? Called to action by a planet in peril, three friends hit the road – traveling America with hope, humor…and all of their garbage – to explore the good, the bad, and the weird across every state in search of the extraordinary innovators and courageous citizens who are tackling humanity’s greatest environmental crises. As the YERT team layers outlandish eco-challenges onto their year-long quest, an unexpected turn of events throws the project for a loop in this award-winning docu-comedy. Featuring Bill McKibben, Wes Jackson, Will Allen, Janine Benyus, Joel Salatin, David Orr, and music by Ben Sollee, Daniel Martin Moore, Mark Geary and more.

Winner, Audience Award, 2011 Environmental Film Festival at Yale
Winner, Best Environmental Documentary, 2011 DocuFest Atlanta
Winner, Chris Award, 2011 Columbus International Film and Video Festival
Winner, Best Environmental Film, 2011 Southern Appalachian Int’l Film Festival

METRO INFORMATION FROM WHITE HOUSE: The Seekers Church is located about one block east of the Takoma Metro Station on the RED line. (Please note: there is some construction of the Takoma station, so you might need to take a shuttle bus. They’re advising folks to add 30 minutes to their travel time.)
– From the corner of 15th St. NW and G St. NW (East of the White House) walk three blocks on G St. NW to the Metro Center Metro Station (12th NW and G NW).
– Catch the Red Line toward Takoma Park. Travel ~17 minutes/8 stops to Takoma Metro Station.
– Exit the metro station and walk about one block East (away from the tracks) along Carroll/Cedar St. NW. The Seekers Church is on your right (276 Carroll St. NW) at the intersection with Cedar St. NW.

More YERT videos and info at .
Facebook event at .



Scott Brusaw
(208) 263-2537 Voice & Fax



After successful completion of a Phase I SBIR (Small Business Innovative Research) contract, Solar Roadways Incorporated announced today that it has been awarded a follow-up $750,000 Phase II SBIR contract by the Federal Highway Administration.

“This will give us the funding needed to continue our research and development for a project that may very well become the New Deal of the 21st century”, said Scott Brusaw who, with this wife Julie, created the Solar Roadways project and founded Solar Roadways Incorporated.

Solar Roadways Incorporated is a company with a single purpose: to replace our nation’s deteriorating highway infrastructure and crumbling power grid with an intelligent highway system that pays for itself through the generation of electricity and doubles as an intelligent, self-healing, decentralized power grid. The Solar Roadway is made of structurally engineered solar panels that are driven upon. These Solar Road Panels contain LEDs for illuminating the road lines from beneath the surface, a heating element to prevent snow/ice accumulation in northern climates, a microprocessor board for real time control and communications, and a host of other safety features. 

The goal of the Phase II research is to ready Solar Roadways Incorporated for manufacturing panels for parking lots, driveways, walkways, etc. Solar Roadways Incorporated will begin with this type of installation and continue to test and modify before moving on to roadways. Other applications include playgrounds, amusement parks, patios, bike paths, airports, racetracks… virtually any surface that is walked or driven upon. More information about Solar Roadways can be found at the website

During Phase II, Solar Roadways Incorporated will create a fully functional prototype parking lot for testing. The work will be performed with different glass surface textures, different solar cells, methods for heating the surface to prevent snow/ice accumulation, stormwater redistribution, etc., to determine the best components and methods for the Solar Road Panels.

# # #

Building buzz for our next screening – in Oklahoma City @ deadCENTER!

Hello YERTians!

Fresh off an Audience Award-winning world premiere at the Environmental Film Festival at Yale, we’re very excited to kick off YERT’s major festival run on 6/9 and 6/11 at the 11th Annual deadCENTER Film Festival – one of MovieMaker Magazine’s “Top 20 Coolest Film Festivals in the World” – and we need YOUR support (in person OR remotely from distant lands)! Even if you’re nowhere near Oklahoma, you can still help us easily, painlessly, and hugely – simply click on our festival link below and click “Like”. That’s it.

Clicking on the link is a quick, simple, and free way to help us build crucial BUZZ for the YERT film heading into this important festival and beyond. This link will be a portal for us for a number of festivals to follow, so building positive BUZZ early on at this festival is extremely important and will really help us down the road at future festivals as we try to get the YERT film out to as wide an audience as possible (hopefully at a screening near you :)). So please do take a second if you can to click on the link – and “Like” us once you get there.

And if you’re in or near Oklahoma, we’d love to actually see you at the festival. You can add us to your festival calendar at that same link above – that really helps too.

We’re looking forward to sharing the full film in person with all of you as soon as possible – festival by festival, screening by screening. In the meantime, you can help us get one step closer to that dream by BUZZing us up for this festival at that link. After all, BUZZ for YERT = BUZZ for the planet. 🙂

Thanks in advance!

Ben, Mark, & Julie


The deadCENTER Film Festival has been around for 11 years, providing a platform for great independent film in the heart of Oklahoma. Over the years, we’ve grown from a one night screening to a five day, world renowned festival.

The 2011 deadCENTER Film Festival is June 8-12 and includes over 100 films from around the world playing in seven locations in downtown Oklahoma City.

From hilarious comedies and inspiring documentaries to visionary shorts and zombie musicals, deadCENTER features films from a hundred different perspectives for a thousand different tastes.

For complete festival info and to purchase festival tickets, head to .

“YERT Blockbuster” Featured on

Dear YERTians,

We recently caught up with Jeff Biggers and he wrote a great interview about the YERT film and project to the Huffington Post! You can check out the article here:

And a little snippet or two from the article:

Years in the making, YERT is a hilarious, powerful and often poignant chronicle of the year-long journey of three filmmakers, engineers and acclaimed Off Broadway performers — Julie Dingman Evans, Mark Dixon and Ben Evans — to explore breakthrough approaches, from the bizarre to the mind-blowing, for environmental sustainability in all 50 states.

BEN: It’s really a roadmap past clean energy toward LOW energy…and a sustainable, sane civilization based on how natural systems work. Clean energy is critically important, but it needs to take place in the context of powering down and maturing out of our extractive relationship with the planet into a mutually beneficial regenerative, restorative one. Ultimately, it’s about stopping deficit spending… of all kinds.

Please forward as much as you’re able– we need to get the word out about this film!

Ben, Mark, and Julie

YERT Feature Film Poster!

We’re jazzed to reveal the new YERT Feature Film Poster for you all to print and share and upload wherever you please:

YERT Film Poster

And don’t forget to tell your friends that the world premiere of the YERT feature film will take place at the 2011 Environmental Film Festival at Yale (EFFY) on April 2, 2011.

Here are the details:

7:00 P.M. on 4/2/2011
Yale University
Whitney Humanities Center
53 Wall Street, New Haven, CT

Tickets are free, but please RSVP (on Facebook or here if you aren’t on Facebook.) so we know you’re coming!

Once the film has premiered, we will be eager to screen it at festivals and events around the country. If you’re interested in arranging or attending a screening, please visit: .

Thanks again for all your support!!

Ben (and Mark and Julie)

YERT’s World Premiere at EFFY

The day you thought might never arrive finally has. Four and a half years after the birth of YERT, we are pleased to announce that the world premiere of the YERT feature film will take place at the 2011 Environmental Film Festival at Yale (EFFY) on April 2, 2011.

Oh, and you’re all invited!

The entire YERT team (Ben, Julie, and Mark) will be at the event, and we would love to see you there. You’ll even get to meet the YERT baby…Bailey!

Here are the details:

7:00 P.M. on 4/2/2011
Yale University
Whitney Humanities Center
53 Wall Street, New Haven, CT

Tickets are free, but please RSVP (on Facebook or here if you aren’t on Facebook.) so we know you’re coming!
Seating is on a first-come-first-served basis, so get there early if you can. The screening will be followed by a special live Q&A with the YERT team and a premiere party after that.

Once the film has premiered, we will be eager to screen it at festivals and events around the country. If you’re interested in arranging or attending a screening, please visit: .

We will never be able to thank you all enough for the incredible support that you have given to us and the YERT project over so many years. Rest assured that the film would not be premiering if it were not for the diverse contributions of hundreds of thoughtful supporters.

Thank you!!

Ben, Julie, and Mark

P.S. Now is your last chance to get into the official film credits. We have raised enough to *finish* the film, but now we need to fund our distribution phase so that we can apply ourselves full-time to setting up screenings and getting the word out about the film and its message. If you would like to lend a hand AND see your name in the credits, stop by our donation page to make a contribution in any amount before March 15: . If you mail your contribution, please e-mail as soon as it is in the mail so that we can add your name even if the check doesn’t arrive before the credits are finalized.

I am a Pro-Life, Conservative, Capitalist!

Speech delivered at Fight Washington Corruption Rally
Louisville, KY – August 10th, 2010
by Ben Evans

I am pledging to clean up Washington because…I am a pro-life, conservative, capitalist. Strange right? Now say it with me – I am a pro-life, conservative, capitalist. Let me unpack that statement a little bit.

I am pro-life because I believe that not just human life is important and sacred but that all life is important and sacred – that we must stand humbled and awed in the face of this sacred and fabulously diverse web of life that supports and nourishes us and that we should do everything in our power to honor, protect, and support that web and all of its inhabitants. THAT is pro-life and we cannot allow our language to be hijacked by those who would restrict us to some narrow view of what kind of life is valuable.

I am a conservative because I believe in conserving our most valuable assets – our true wealth – our water, air, land, climate, and biosphere. I am a conservative because I reject the utterly rash and unforgivably radical idea that we can use our planet as humanity’s open and unregulated sewer without devastating consequences for us and all life that supports us. Conducting that kind of uncontrolled experiment on the only home we have – an experiment that we are currently carrying out at full-throttle – is the most insanely radical idea I can imagine and it flies in the face of the very word “conservative.”

And finally, I am a capitalist because I believe in the intrinsic value of natural capital – the real wealth upon which all of our seemingly important human wealth is based and without which none of this would exist. I am a capitalist because I believe in the ability of market forces to conserve and utilize this real capital wisely if, and only if, we have a truly open, accurate, transparent and distortion-free market that accounts for actual consequences and costs over all time frames. This means, among many other things, pricing carbon and adding the true and irreplaceable value of natural capital and the ecosphere to the ledger – because right now the “free-market” that we think we have could not be more distorted or backwards. Or, as noted author and economist David Korten once said to me, “What economic growth really measures is the rate at which the rich are expropriating the real resources of the poor in order to turn them into garbage at an accelerating rate to make money for people who already have more than they need.”

And so I am truly a pro-life, conservative, capitalist – and we need more of those in Washington. We can no longer allow our language to be co-opted by those who would distort and destroy it, anymore than we can allow our government to be. We need to take back Washington and remind them that they work for US. We need a government that recognizes that humanity does not live in a vacuum, that a sustainable human economy and a healthy vibrant ecosphere are not mutually exclusive but, rather, mutually essential – and we need a government that can legislate that way.

We can all do a tremendous amount as individuals in our own lives and communities to protect this planet that sustains us – and I’m definitely all for that. But there are certain essential things that only our government can do. Only our government can enforce true-cost accounting by putting a price on carbon to move us away from our dead-end fossil fuel obsession. Only our government can set renewable energy standards to allow the energy marketplace to function wisely and in our long-term best interests. And only our government can negotiate climate treaties with other nations to preserve the enduring health of our species. We need an effective government, and so long as Washington is run by those who see mowing down our forests, blowing up our mountains, and polluting our water in order to make a buck for the top tax-bracket as “economic progress”, we will not have an effective government.

BP is not a person. Goldman Sachs is not a person. Massey Coal is not a person. And yet, they have more rights than any person – without the same responsibilities. We cannot continue to live in a world run by the likes of BP, Goldman Sachs, and Massey – or we will simply not have a world to live in.

Now say it with me one more time: I am a pro-life, conservative, capitalist. And I want an honest and fair government that knows what those words REALLY mean, and acts like it.

GASLAND is coming to Pittsburgh! June 5, Byham Theater

(Just pasting in a message from Dr. Volz about this upcoming event. Please spread the news widely!)

On Saturday June 5th at the Byham Theater (at approximately 6th and Fort Duquesne Blvd.) at 7pm the award winning documentary Gasland will be shown. Doors will be open by around 6pm—-I am sending the email out with a poster so that each of you can also send information to your networks, members and friends about this important event. There will be a panel discussion following the film that will be facilitated by the filmmaker Josh Fox and will include Myron Arnowitt (Clean Water Action); John Stoltz (Duquesne University); Dave Levdansky (State House Rep); Ned Mulcahy (Three Rivers Waterkeeper) and me –Dan Volz (Center for Healthy Environments and Communities).. If you are a group and can donate a small amount of money—even 1-200 dollars would be helpful-please contact Steve—Myron listed in the cc group from Clean Water Action. Here are their email addresses since this is such a long list—Steve Hvozdovich – Myron Arnowitt

What we most need is for all of you to as actively as possible promote this event in your newspapers—through your listserves and memberships—to friends and colleagues-etc and for YOU to ATTEND. So I have attached a flier on the film from CWA that you can resend and if you are interested in donating attached are the associated costs for your review. Hope to see you on the 5th of June in the Byham before 7—lets try to fill it up—also for those colleagues who have students—and collaborating faculty—could you please send this to student –faculty listserves at your institutions—Thanks Dan

Conrad (Dan) Volz, DrPH, MPH
Bridgeside Point
100 Technology Drive
Suite 564, BRIDG
Pittsburgh, PA 15219-3130
office phone; 412-648-8541

Cell phone; 724-316-5408

Fax; 412-624-3040

University of Pittsburgh email address;

Assistant Professor, Environmental and Occupational Health, University of Pittsburgh, Graduate School of Public Health:

Director-Principal Investigator – Center for Healthy Environments and Communities (CHEC):

Director, Environmental Health Risk Assessment Certificate Program