2009 FORUM











Friday Events

1–2:30 p.m., Welcome and Plenary Session l, Skoglund Center

Welcome: St. Olaf College President David R. Anderson

Remarks: Aud Kolberg, Deputy Chief of Mission with the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Washington D.C.

Remarks: Geir Lundestad, Director of the Norwegian Nobel Institute

Remarks: Wade Hauser '09, President of the St. Olaf Student Government Association

Projecting Peace: The IPCC and the Science of
Climate Change

Richard B. Alley, Evan Pugh Professor of Geosciences at Pennsylvania State University

Human burning of fossil fuels and other activities are altering the atmosphere, causing warming and other climate changes with subsequent impacts on economies and ecosystems; these climate changes and their impacts will accelerate if we continue with business as usual, but cost-effective options exist for minimizing these changes and adapting to them as they occur. An interwoven web of scientific results supports these conclusions and was communicated to policymakers in a publicly accountable way by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).   Alley assisted the IPCC in their deliberations, and will attest to the well-known integrity of the process.

2:45–4 p.m., Concurrent Presentations

  1. Approaching Peace Through the Lens of the Arts
    Regents Hall 190

    Mac Gimse '58, professor emeritus of art and art history at St. Olaf College and Anthony Roberts, artist in residence in dance at St. Olaf College

    Gimse and Roberts will discuss intuition and intention and how it is reflected in their work. Gimse, “My hands create the sculpture, which has no voice. My mind composes poetry, which informs the sculpture. They come together in my heart, which creates passion."

  2. Spiritual and Religious Dimensions of Climate Change
    Regents Hall 150

    Larry Rasmussen '61, Reinhold Niebuhr Professor of Social Ethics Emeritus, Union Theological Seminary and Patricia Benson, Creation Care Coordinator, Lutheran Coalition for Public Policy in Minnesota

    This session will focus on the role religion and ethics have in understanding climate change and constructing our responses to it.  Presenters will discuss the link between environmental degradation and current social issues.

  3. Science and Adventure in the Siberian Arctic
    Science Center 280

    The Polaris Project team members

    The mystery of the Arctic has captured public attention, in part because of the rapid pace of climate change there. In July 2008, participants in the Polaris Project traveled to Siberia to increase awareness of climate change in a relatively unexplored part of the world; they will share this experience through pictures and discussion.

  4. Homegrown Renewable Energy
    Regents Hall 210

    John Farrell '01, research associate at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance

    The best hope for combating climate change and building a sustainable society is to unlock the capability of individual citizens and communities.  This presentation examines some of the key ways public policy can promote sustainable living through self-reliance on renewable energy.

  5. Climate Change and Prairie Wetlands
    Regents Hall 390

    Brett Werner '03, Ph.D. candidate at the University of Minnesota

    Over the last twenty years, the Climate Change and Prairie Wetlands research group has developed two computer simulation models for wetland dynamics: WetSim, which simulates a single wetland basin, and WETLANDSCAPE, which simulates a complex of wetlands. In this talk, Werner will discuss the wetland models, the climate of the prairie pothole region, and the implications of this research for biodiversity conservation and land management.

  6. Local Energy Action Now: Engaging Local Citizens to
    Mitigate Climate Change

    Buntrock Commons, Black Ballroom

    George Kinney, Bruce Anderson and Pat Allen

    This presentation will describe how the Northfield Energy Task Force prepared a series of recommendations, as required, to the Northfield City Council to meet the Cities for Climate Protection milestones. Along the way, the task force catalyzed citizen groups to form around the topics of wind energy, car pooling, energy conservation, and other issues.

  7. Making American Environmental History
    Buntrock Commons, Gold Ballroom

    Fredric Quivik '71 and James Farrell, professor of history at St. Olaf College

    Quivik and Farrell will talk about the ways that the practice of history (even in classrooms) equips us with skills and perspectives that help us to make history in our own time.  Quivik will focus on the ways in which historic sites can (or could) help us understand the complexity of America energy history.  And Farrell will focus on changing ecologies of everyday life, and some of the histories of hope that can serve as a usable past for making history in the 21st century.  Together, they'll show ways that students of the Arts and Humanities can also contribute to climate change solutions.

  8. Norway and Climate Change:  Adaptation and Peace-Making
    Regents Hall 356
    Aud Kolberg, Deputy Chief of Mission with the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Washington D.C.

    With a tradition of peace-making around the world, Norway is at the center of global efforts to respond to geo-political tensions created by the scarcities of natural resources that climate change causes. As an energy-rich country, Norway plays a special role in developing effective strategies to approach climate change and as a country of the far north, Norway is directly affected by the impact of climate change on the polar ice caps.

  9. Food & Climate Change: Something New to Chew On
    Buntrock Commons, Sun Ballroom
    Heléne York, director of the Bon Appétit Management Company Foundation

    Learn about how our food choices affect the global environment by touching on environmental science, ethical issues and personal choice.

  10. Re-Generation: The Youth Climate Movement
    Buntrock Commons, Valhalla Room

    Timothy DenHerder-Thomas, partnerships and development coordinator for The Summer of Solutions

    Explore the emergence and growth of the Youth Climate Movement, an extraordinarily diverse, multifaceted movement of young people that is shaping international climate negotiations, shifting American politics, and uniting climate and energy solutions with economic revitalization and community building on campus and beyond. Learn how you can join in.

  11. Hope for a Heated Planet: How You Can Win a Nobel Peace Prize
    Holland Hall 501

    Robert K. Musil, Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow at St. Olaf College

    Long-time CEO of the Nobel Peace Prize-winning Physicians for Social Responsibility, Musil discusses the critical role of ordinary citizens and organizations, including students, behind the 2008 Nobel Peace Prize to Al Gore and the IPCC as well as his own organization' s Nobel and others. Musil explains that every Nobel Peace Prize has a cast of thousands of what President Obama calls "unsung heroes" behind it and how today's students can join in earning the next one.

  12. Bold Federal Action on Climate Change
    Regents Hall 310

    J. Drake Hamilton, science policy director, Fresh Energy
    Kate Ellis, 1Sky Minnesota organizer
    2009 is the year! Fresh Energy’s global warming solutions program will present the latest information on national action to achieve reductions in global warming pollution that are science-based and create millions of new jobs in clean energy as well as pathways out of poverty.  Presenters will highlight national actions needed this year on real climate solutions.

  13. Panel on State Government Policy and Action
    Buntrock Commons, Viking Theater

    Paul Eger '96, commissioner, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency State Sen. Satveer Chaudhary '91, chair of the Senate Environment and Natural Resources Committee

4:15–5:15 p.m., Plenary Session, Boe Chapel

Redefining Environment
John Francis

Known the world over as the Planetwalker, Francis will discuss how the current environmental crisis is a reflection of world‐wide social and economic inequity and that any attempt to resolve the crisis must not only address the scientific issues, such as climate‐change and deforestation but also the humanitarian issues. From peace and justice to everyday civility, Francis contends that our connection to the earth as well as each other is at the heart of the environmental crisis.

4–7 p.m., Peace Fair, Buntrock Commons, Crossroads

The Center for Experiential Learning, in conjunction with the 21st annual Nobel Peace Prize Forum and Globalization and Social Responsibility Conference, hosts the 11th annual Worldwide Service Fair (titled the Peace Fair this year under the auspices of the Peace Prize Forum) to provide an opportunity for students to connect with volunteer/service organizations and advocacy opportunities. Many of the fair’s organizations have missions that relate to the Peace Prize Forum’s theme of combating climate change, and all work to promote peace and justice domestically and internationally.

Visit the Peace Fair website for a list of participants.

7–8:15 p.m., Plenary Session, Skoglund Center

Jazz by The Shamen
Ben Baker '09, Jacob Dalager '09, Chris Hanley '09,
Paul Sauey '10, Natalie Warren '10

The Human Consequences of Climate Change
James R. Lyons, Vice President for Policy and Communications with Oxfam America and lecturer and research scholar at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies

Climate change affects the lives and livelihoods of everyone, but the impact is dramatically greater on poor communities and women and children in developing countries. Through no fault of their own, climate-vulnerable communities face increased risks to their health, livelihoods and security. As a result, climate change represents a humanitarian threat of global proportions. Oxfam America is working to bring attention to this crisis and ensure that helping vulnerable communities adapt to global warming, building climate resilience, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions are a high priority for President Barack Obama, the United States Congress, and U.S. negotiators in Copenhagen. 

8:30–10 p.m., Special Events

The Wedge Game: Using Existing Technology to Solve the
Climate Crisi
Buntrock Commons, Ballroom

Solving the climate crisis means reducing carbon emissions. This sounds simple. But how can we hope to reduce emissions by 175 billion tons by 2054? This interactive exercise will explore this question by examining the promise of employing a portfolio of current technologies to reach this goal.

The Listening Project
Science Center 280

Carrie Lennox and Bob Roeglin '73

The film follows four unique Americans through 14 countries – from a Shanghai hip-hop club to a war-ravaged Kabul neighborhood to a village at the foot of Mt. Kilimanjaro — in each place asking "what do you think of America?" In beautifully-photographed locales, we encounter fascinating and diverse characters who reveal not only the impact of the U.S. on their lives, but also their perspectives on crumbling empires, human fellowship, and what it means to be a citizen in a globalized world.
The Listening Project has won the Best Documentary award at four recent film festivals; the Santa Cruz Film Festival, Durango Independent Film Festival, the Oxford Film Festival, and the Omaha Film Festival.

A discussion will follow the film.

Peace Piece
Dittmann Center, Studio One

Anthony Roberts:choreographer and artist in residence in dance at St. Olaf College, Jen Berghs '09, Shannon Denzel '12, Libby Nail '11, Megan Parlanti '09, Brittany Paulsen '10, Meagan Smith '11,
Tiela Talley '12, Britt Were '11

Peace Piece was conceived from a single gesture and with the broad conceptual theme of peace in mind. As a political in-activist, Peace Piece represents my ambivalence and frustration toward the concept of achieving peace through non-peaceable means and the business of politics. In its essence, Peace Piece's abstract negotiation between human bodies, minds and spirits in space, time and energy is a metaphor for the complex struggle inherent in achieving and maintaining peace.”

10 p.m., Concert. Cloud Cult, Buntrock Commons, Lion's Pause - Mane Stage

This concert is for students only. Your nametag is your entrance ticket.


St. Olaf College is one of five Midwest ELCA colleges that collaborate with the Norwegian Nobel Institute to host the annual Nobel Peace Prize Forum. This prestigious forum is held in cooperation with the Norwegian Nobel Institute and is the institute’s only such program or academic affiliation outside Norway.
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