Two nations – One Goal
“People want tools that help them act against global warming,” said Adam Markham of Clean Air-Cool Planet at recent climate seminars co-hosted by the Norwegian Embassy, in Chicago, Ilinois, and Racine, Wisconsin.
The conferences, which were also held in collaboration with the Johnson Foundation at Wingspread and Natural Resources Defense Council, reached out to an audience of business people, politicians and opinion leaders. The events brought together four leading scientists in the field of climate research: Dr. Eugenie Euskirchen, Adam Markham, Dr. Steven Nerem, and Dr. Nalan Koc.
Markham, who is the CEO of CA-CP discussed the effects of warming on Arctic ecosystems and potential catastrophic impacts on ice-dependent wildlife. He emphasized the importance of the contribution from all levels in society, “A solution is to provide people with easy ways they can make changes. It can be communities helping their town being environmentally sustainable, by for example having local energy meetings and discussing how the energy in town is being utilized.” Markham made it clear that even though many tend to focus on government regulation, individual contribution is just as important. “Individuals can make a difference through choosing to buy a hybrid car, change the type of light bulb they use, and by writing letters to the government,” he said.
Attending from Norway was Dr. Nalan Koc, who is Director of the Norwegian Center for Ice, Climate and Ecosystems in Tromsø. She studies the effect that climate change is having on ice in the Arctic region and in Norway. Dr. Koc explained that Norway and the United States have common research interests which draw the countries together. In her opinion, the exchange of knowledge and experience both nations get from their work on ice melting and sea rise level is of great benefit.
The increased focus on research of global warming is creating new opportunities for Norwegian – American collaboration. Norway has a longstanding tradition of research collaboration with the U.S., and in 2004 the Norwegian Government adopted a strategy for Norwegian research and technology collaboration with North-America. The climate events in Chicago and Racine were examples of such partnership. And while the shores of Lake Michigan is far away from the Arctic, the global impact may affect natural resources, commerce and public health, also in this region.