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Dallas' EarthX fest draws high-roller speakers including ex-Starbucks guy

Dallas' EarthX draws high-roller speakers including ex-Starbucks guy

Rick Perry glasses
He'll probably wear his glasses, they make him look smart. NBC Nightly News/ NBC.com

The 2019 EarthX conference, billed as the world's largest environmental experience, returns to Dallas' Fair Park April 26-28 with some serious high-roller speakers in tow.

The event is a three-pronged affair combining a conference, expo, and film festival; but it's the banquets where the real upper-crust action will go down. Attendees will get to see politicians and other masters of the universe offer their gold-plated 2 cents on topics such as energy, conservation, and marine life.

Speakers include a former Starbucks exec and one of the highest-ranking Republican politicians in office.

Ticket prices are $125 for the general public, $100 for government/nonprofits, and $50 for students.

The banquets are as follows:

April 25 at 6 pm, The Theodore Roosevelt Banquet, where the topic is "The Future of US Energy!" The keynote speaker is Rick Perry, Secretary for Department of Energy, and the panel includes Senator Lindsay Graham, Chair of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, and Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, U.S. Senator for Rhode Island.

April 25 at 6 pm, Michael Levy, CEO of Crow Holdings, and Joel Sartore, 2018 National Geographic Explorer of the Year, will discuss "Celebrating Business Global Impact" at the Buckminster Fuller Banquet.

Both of those events take place simultaneously at the Adolphus Hotel. Maybe attendees can run from one room to another so they don't miss anything important.

April 26 at 7:30 am, Mark Victor Hansen, author of Chicken Soup for the Soul, will preside over a breakfast at the Music Hall at Fair Park. Yikes 7:30 am, he drew the short straw.

April 26 at 12 noon, an "Energy Lunch" at the Women's Museum at Fair Park features Starbucks ex-CEO Howard Schultz, who is famous for his speech about what happens when you drink a cup of coffee. (In short: It takes you to other places.) Perhaps he can also be persuaded to talk about what it's like to be called a "billionaire, egotistical asshole" in response to his considering running for president. Or maybe you can ask him what on earth he was thinking with that unicorn Frappuccino they put out last year.

April 26 at 5 pm, National Geographic shows up again at the John Muir Banquet at the Women's Museum in Fair Park, where the magazine's VP Emma Carrasco will chat with Dr. Kirk Johnson from the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History and climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe about celebrating nature conservation.

April 27 at 5 pm, you'll find two genuine eco-warriors: Fabien Cousteau, son of Jean Michel Cousteau and grandson of Jacques-Yves Cousteau, listed as an aquanaut, ocean conservationist, and documentary filmmaker; and captain Paul Watson, founder of the Sea Shepherd, the non-profit marine wildlife conservation organization and a return speaker. They'll be at the Rachel Carson Banquet at the Hall of State building at Fair Park, talking about celebrating oceans and marine life.

April 27 at 5 pm, there's a heavy-hitter group that includes the Honorable Felipe Calderon; Jim Falk, president & CEO of the World Affairs Council; David Yarnold, president and CEO of the National Audubon Society; and Senator Eduardo Enrique Murat Hinojosa, Senator of the Republic of Mexico. They'll preside at the Isidro Baldenegro Lopez Banquet at the Women's Museum, where their topic will be "Environment Without Borders."