Cogwheel Archive

Rotary Cogwheel | 03.27.2014

March 26, 2014

Today: Spring Break Surprise

Birthdays: Yogi (3/27)

Next Week: John Sinning, Classification.

Last Week:

Bob Jacobel is unequivocal. Our current dependence on fossil fuels is responsible for unprecedented global warming, and the planet’s resilience is being tested as never before.

Bob is a professor of Physics and Environmental Science at St. Olaf College. For the better part of his career he has been part of the U.S. Antarctic Research Program, studying internal ice layering, which provides a window to climate trends over time.

“We’re doing an experiment on the earth the likes of which we haven’t seen in 800,000 years,” he said, referring to the human contribution to global warming.

Bob has had a front row seat to the vanishing ice shelves in Antarctica. Over the last 50 years, the temperature on the Antarctic peninsulas has risen by 5 degrees Fahrenheit. Ice shelves, the size of Connecticut, are disintegrating. He sees similar evidence in Greenland.

Polar regions are the canaries in the coal mine. They are the first to register the effects of climate change. As ice from the polar region melts, the high heat capacity of open water — and there is now more of it — accelerates the climate changes unfolding around us.

“We’re on a course for zero sea ice by the middle of the century,” he said.

Because of the “wiggles and wobbles” of the earth’s orbit, there the planet has seen interglacial periods repeat six times over some 600,000 years. But what’s happening now is different, and it could be transformative. The question, Bob says, is how do we maintain our standard of living without depending on fossil fuels.

Last Week’s Guests: Kalina Hall (Hall), Deb Anderson (Alan Anderson), Yoshino, Rodolfo, Lucas and Gungho (Dilley).

Scholarship Enhancement: John Ehresmann.


It will be St. Paul Rotary Night at the Minnesota Wild game Thursday, April 3. We are all invited. There will be a pre-game reception in Rice Park. Tickets are $65. A portion will be donated to the Rotary Foundation.

We will be hosting a Group Study Exchange (GSE) team from Sweden April 30-May 3. We will need host families and other support for this visit. If you can help, contact Lee Dilley.

Our District conference is scheduled for Thursday, April 24, through Saturday, April 26. Details are on the district website.

President Prichard said the board is looking for a speaker with some name recognition to schedule for a “Invite a Guest” Thursday, date to be determined. The board is also looking for one or two local projects to be considered for Rotary support.

Coming Up

April 10 – Susan Lohmann, Advanced Care Planning (Barry Carlson)
April 17 – Tami O’Brien, Director of Northfield Hospital’s Cancer Care & Infusion Center (S. Richardson)
April 24 — Vicki Langer, Classification (Williams)