Cogwheel Archive

Rotary Cogwheel | 05.05.2016

May 3, 2016

Today: Robert Garcia, Cinco de Mayo (Kallestad)

Birthdays: Geralyn Sheehan (5/2), Rick Estenson (5/4) and Charlie Cogan (5/6)

Next Week: The Fabulous Troubadours and lunch at Community Resource Bank

Last Week:

Global warming presents tremendous geopolitical challenges in the years ahead, says Tom Hanson, Diplomat-In-Residence at the Royal A. Alworth Institute for International Studies at the University of Minnesota, Duluth.

He said global warming threatens to destabilize vulnerable nation states, limiting their ability to govern. He predicts increasing global instability due to shortages of food and water and the refugee migration that will inevitably follow. By the end of the century, our worldwide population will have grown to 4 billion people; 80 percent will live in China, India and Africa, all of which will need to play key roles if global warming is to be addressed in a meaningful way.

There are some indications the issue is finally being recognized for the threat it is, Tom said. Last December, 196 countries signed on to an agreement reached at the United National Climate Conference in Paris. The goal is to limit global warming to an increase of 2 degrees Centigrade. We are now on track for a rise in the range of 4 to 5 degrees.

The implementation hinges on China delivering on its pledge to turn its emissions around by 2030 and the United States’ pledge to reduce emission by 25 percent by 2025. However, a challenge to President Obama’s plan is currently being challenged in the U.S. Supreme Court.

Tom said another encouraging development is that the business community is beginning to recognize climate change as a threat and is organizing to address the issue. Henry Paulson, former Secretary of the Treasury, and Michael Bloomberg, former mayor of New York City, have founded Risky Business, an organization dedicated to addressing climate change. Most major Twin Cities companies now have a vice president for sustainability, he said.

In addition, young billionaires, such as Microsoft’s Bill Gates and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, are backing the development of an artificial photosynthesis process they believe will be a “magic bullet” for addressing global warming.

And yet, there are worrisome signs that short-term thinking could crowd out long-term strategies. India is looking to coal to fuel its quest to raise living standards for its people, Tom said. A deadly mix of growing populations and the lack of meaningful employment remains an obstacle to combating violent extremism.

Tom said Tibet will play a pivotal role in this unfolding drama. It is the major source of water for all of Southern Asia. It is now under the control of China, but who ever controls Tibet will control the destiny of heavily populated countries such as India and Myanmar, Tom said.

Robert Flaten spent his first 22 years growing up in Northfield, watching his father establish the Art Department at St. Olaf College and graduating from that same school. He spent his professional life wondering the world working in the Foreign Service. He retired as the United States Ambassador to Rwanda.

Special Appeal
Phillip Ehresmann spent a Rotary Youth Exchange year in Ecuador in 2000-2001. He sent this appeal to our club in response to the recent earthquakes in Ecuador.

Hello Ms. Dilley,

My name is Phillip Ehresmann. I was a Rotary Youth Exchange student in Ecuador in 2000-2001. I lived in Portoviejo. It was a life-changing experience; it made me the person I am today….I met wonderful people throughout my time with the Rotary program, officers in my patron and host clubs, my fellow exchange, my school classmates, my host families, the Pavons, the Meras, and the Cevallos’, and all the people who are the heart and soul of Ecuador. I feel a little broken inside being so far away from this place that was so special to me and knowing about the terrible misfortune of a shaken earth and wanting to help but not know how. 

 I would like to work with you to organize a donation from the Northfield Rotary Club to help the citizens who are suffering. I have in mind four possible recipients, 


and am willing to let those who donate choose as a group.

 I would appreciate input from you on how best to approach the club and organize donations according to your customs.

Thank you to all the Northfield Rotarians who have proven their dedication to a most worthy human exchange of ideas. I look forward to your reply.

Muy sinceremente

Y Attentamente,

Phillip Ehresmann 

Guests: Gunho Park, former exchange student, now in school in British Columbia, and Kathleen Brenton (V. Dilley)

Scholarship Enhancement: Laurie Williams

Neil Lutsky has declared Thursday, May 19, Ride Your Bike to Rotary Day. Members are encouraged to saddle up and go green for their transport to and from our meeting that day.

Jake Conway and Ron Linde are organizing river cleanup projects along the Cannon River for Saturday, May 14. Talk to them if you are interested in helping.

The graduation party for our inbound students, Nicole and Carson, will be Wednesday, May 25, 5:30 p.m. at the Estenson Event Center. Details to follow.

Northfield will host the District’s farewell party Saturday, June 11, for 60 inbound exchange students. We need chaperones for this overnight event. If you can help between 9 p.m. and 8 a.m. let Jean Wakely know.

The club will pay your entry fee if you would like to participate in the District golf tournament Thursday, May 12. Let President Russ know if you are interested.

Polio Plus night at the Twins-Yankees game will be Saturday, June 18. It’s a great opportunity to raise awareness for the campaign.

Richard Collman reports that Sam Carlson is having a great time in Argentina. He recently returned from a trip around South America with other Rotary Exchange students.

Here is a list of our outbound students.

  • Beimers, Henry – Norway
  • Beimers, William – Brazil
  • Carlson, Samuel -Argentina
  • Estrada, Gabriella – France
  • Hahn, Erin – Thailand
  • Hodel, Christoph – Indonesia
  • Kelley, Caitlin – Chile
  • Lunderby, Jack – Brazil
  • Mandsager, Erik – Zimbabwe
  • Muir, Mason – Taiwan
  • Olson, Josiah – Colombia
  • Regnier, Eli – Brazil
  • Rodriguez-Vazquez, Leslie – Brazil
  • Scheffert, Jenna – Italy
  • Seitz, Zoe – Denmark
  • Washburn Chapman, Ahna Cole – South Africa
  • Woitalla, Jessica – Brazil.

Past Northfield Rotary Club meeting videos on YouTube

Coming Up

May 19 — Kim Briske, Classification (Hillmann)

May 25 — Graduation party for Carson and Nicole, Estenson Event Center

May 26 — Griff Wigley and Marty Larson, CROCT (Heinemann)

June 2 — Wendy Sivanich, Classification (Estenson)

June 9 —Jennifer Dunn-Foster, Classification (V. Dilley)

Quote of the Day
“Those who are happiest are those who do the most for others.”
― Booker T. WashingtonUp from Slavery