NEW ULM - It may sounds the like the setup for a joke, but Sunday's public forum on climate change and clean energy will feature a polar explorer, a scientist and a bishop with very serious things to discuss.
The "Clean Energy, Climate and Health" forum will start with polar explorer and climate change expert Will Steger, who will discuss through photographs and video of what he calls "an unbelievably big change" in the polar areas due to climate change.
"I've been up there for 50 years and I've seen what is happening first-hand. I want to show what I'm witnessing first-hand. Seeing is believing, and there's a lot of misinformation out there on the topic," said Steger. "The ironic thing is I've been seeing the big effects of climate change for years, but now people almost don't need me to see it. They've witnessed bizarre weather, like the flooding in Duluth, the severe drought and now Hurricane Sandy."
Steger's presentation will be followed by Jay Hamilton, science policy director for the Minnesota-based clean energy policy group Fresh Energy, who will discuss efforts to combat global warming and Minnesota's work on clean energy initiatives. She said that Minnesota now ranks fourth in the country in leading on wind energy, with 13 percent of Minnesota's energy coming from wind compared to the 3 percent national average. She also said she would discuss clean energy policies Minnesota initiated five years ago, which now have enough data collected to show their health benefits and money saving benefits.
Finally, Jon Anderson, Bishop of the Southwestern Minnesota Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA) will discuss the religious requirements and teachings on caring for the Earth.
The forum will be held tomorrow on Sunday at 7 p.m. at Our Savior's Church at 1400 S. State St. in New Ulm.
Josh Moniz can be e-mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org.