Dewey gives climate change talk at Governor's Residence

Ken Dewey and his wife Oma sit near the fireplace in the living room of the Governor's Residence.
Ken Dewey and his wife Oma sit near the fireplace in the living room of the Governor's Residence.

Ken Dewey, professor of climatology, presented "Across the Arctic in Search of Global Warming Impacts" to the Legislative League on Feb. 19 at the Nebraska Governor's Residence. Greg Adams, who represents District 24 in the Nebraska Legislature, invited Dewey to speak to the league, which meets monthly for lunch at the residence while the Legislature is in session.

"I found a very friendly atmosphere following the talk with many questions and the audience only asking about the information that I presented," Dewey said. "I feel I opened some minds and started a discussion that has long been needed – that is, a discussion, non-political, of just what we climate scientists know about climate change and global warming."

Alaska, the Yukon, Northwest Territories, British Columbia, Labrador, Newfoundland, Greenland and the Arctic Ocean are all showing dramatic evidence of rapid global warming. Dewey has traveled several times across the Arctic where he met with aboriginal groups, business owners and climate scientists.

During his travels, Dewey collected data and photographic evidence to document the impacts that recent rapid global warming is having on the physical infrastructure, the local economy and vegetation and wildlife of this region.

"Beyond the fact that I love representing SNR at my applied climate science talks across the state, I also had the opportunity to wander around and explore the governor's mansion, along with my wife who was also invited to attend," Dewey said. "The interior is very impressive and filled with lots and lots of history."

Later that week, Dewey gave a similar talk to an evening class at Doane College in Grand Island.

"The students, after the lecture, engaged in spirited conversation about the topic," Dewey said. "Several stated that it is so refreshing to depoliticize this topic and to just look at the facts."

— Mekita Rivas, Natural Resources