Peace Prize Highlights

We are wrapping up the Polaris Project at the Nobel Peace Prize Forum. It’s been a great experience for our team. We’ve had good meetings to plan logistics for the 2009 summer course in Cherskiy. We’ve had multiple chances to present our research to some of the 1000 participants at the forum – we all presented something. Karen on peatlands, Bill on C cycling, Andy on the history of climate research and so on. It’s been great to hear feedback from folks here and be reminded that the Polaris Project is a wonderful experience that brings science and education together in a unique way.

However, the forum has put our project in a setting that is truly awesome. Hearing a scientist like Richard Alley talk is great but the kind of thing we’ve all done as scientists. The forum has exposed us to people and ideas that we don’t run across as often. We’ve gotten a chance to spend time with John Francis – the Planet Walker who gave a moving and funny plenary address about his 22 years of living without motorized transport and the 17 years of those he spent living silently. Look at his TED lecture here. We attended a interfaith service centered on faith and environment featuring sublime chorale music. We heard from Amy Klobuchar, Minnesota’s funny and savvy senator. We heard Majora Carter address green collar jobs and inner cities.

The forum has been a place for us to discuss our science and eduction. It’s been a place for us plan for the future. It’s also been a moving and eye-opening experience for us a pointy-headed scientists. I think we all feel humbled to be part of a large group of people so concerned with peace, civility, and understanding our role on the planet.