Posted by Wes Baumann
Twenty-nine members attended the meeting along with two guests and our speaker.  The guest of Joe Fell was former member David Fell and for the second consecutive week Eric Birkenstein brought his daughter Julia, perhaps grooming her for membership.
President Tom brought a birthday card for the members to sign for Luvie Owens who is in hospice.  We all sent our love to Luvie. Tom also announced that there were new annual Rotary pins from RI available at the sign-in table.  Dirk Tussing reported that around 70 people attended the Asian Benefit Dinner on Monday and announced that it was very successful as it generated enough funds to set up a permanent scholarship at Northeastern University in Dave Gotaas’ name.  The award will be given to a student studying Social Work.  Sally Gotaas and three of her four daughters were in attendance and expressed their gratitude.
“Time to Shine” was given to David Birkenstein.  David grew up in Chicago and attended the public school system.  He has degrees from Northwestern (BA) and Loyola (Law).  He and his first wife had two children.  After the death of his first wife he married his current wife, Mary, and feels blest to have had two happy marriages.  David has four grandkids and he loves little children and. even though being Jewish.  He served as the local Santa Claus in the community for over 40 years.  David loves discussions and has been a guest on numerous radio and TV programs.  He joined Rotary after retiring as he felt a duty to serve.  For the last several years he has served as our membership and speaker chair.  He was given a round of applause for his service to our club.
David B. then introduced the day’s speaker, Henry Moss.  Henry retired in 2012 after a 25-year career at Abbott Labs.  For the past five years he has been a volunteer doing outreach education and lobbying for Citizens Climate Lobby.  He mentioned that RI president, Ian Risley, pointed out a concern that there is a relationship between climate change and disease.  Henry recently returned from Washington, D.C. where he was part of a group of 1000 persons talking to congressmen to find common ground and bipartisan solutions to the problem of climate change.  His group is promoting the idea of a Carbon Fee and Dividend legislation approach to climate change.  It would place a fee on the amount of carbon dioxide in fossil fuels. This fee is assessed at the source of the fuel: at the mine, well, or port of entry. The fee starts out low and increases annually in a predictable manner until we reach a safe level of emissions.  People would still have the freedom of choice, but it would encourage more people to move to clean energy as the fee goes up and the clean energy costs go down.  Countries that do not impose a similar fee on carbon fuels would have their exports taxed as they entered the U.S.  All of the fees collected would be returned to the American public as “dividends” thus stimulating the economy and offsetting the cost of clean energy.
Despite the feelings of some people in the U.S. climate change is for real!  Because is takes place at a relatively slow pace it is not recognized as the scientific phenomena that it is.  Of almost 14,000 climate studies that appear in scientific journals and that are peer reviewed, 99.8% of support climate change.  In the 1950s a scientific project that studied the amount of CO2 on the earth for the past 10,000 years showed it was quite stable until the 1880s, when the industrial revolution was in full swing.  We are now experiencing unprecedented weather.  Currently our civilization consumes about 16-18 terawatts of power from all source of energy, namely coal, oil, natural gas and alternative energies such as solar, wind, hydropower and others.  It is possible with the right technologies to get 32 TW from geothermal sources, 879 TW from wind and 84,000 from solar.  We earthlings must make a decision soon to determine our ability to survive.