UNL | E.N. Thompson Forum On World Issues

Bruce Babbitt
Bruce Babbit
Joel Sartore
Joel Sartore
Douglas Durante & Jerry Taylor
Douglas Durante
Jerry Taylor
Sunita Narain
Sunita Narain
Amory Lovins
Amory Lovins
Richard Cizik
Richard Cizik

Speaker Schedule for 2007-2008

Go back to the top of the page Bruce Babbitt

Bruce Babbitt, former Secretary of the Interior and former Governor of Arizona


Nebraska's Water Future: Feast or Famine

Other Forum Activities
Pre-talk at the Lied Center, Steinhart Room 6:30 p.m.,
Sandra Zellmer, Professor, UNL College of Law

Bruce Babbitt was Governor of Arizona from 1978-87 and Attorney General of Arizona from 1975-78. As governor, he brought environmental and resource management to the forefront in the state. He negotiated and steered to passage the Arizona Groundwater Management Act of 1980, which remains the most comprehensive water regulatory system in the nation. He was also responsible for creation of the Arizona Department of Water Resources and the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality.

Appointed Secretary of the Interior by President Clinton, Babbitt led the creation of the forest plan in the Pacific Northwest, restoration of the Florida Everglades, passage of the California Desert Protection Act, and legislation for the National Wildlife Refuge system. As a certified fire fighter, he brought his front line experience to creating a new federal wild land fire policy that emphasized the role of fire in maintenance and restoration of natural ecosystems. He pioneered the use of habitat conservation plans under the Endangered Species Act and worked with Clinton to create 22 new national monuments. He is the author of "Cities in the Wilderness," recently issued by Island Press, in which he lays out a new vision of land use in America. He currently serves as a director of the World Wildlife Fund.

A River Runs Against It: America's Evolving View of Dams, by Bruce Babbitt
Interview with Terrain.Org, A Journal of the Natural and Built Environments
NewsHour Exit Interview upon Bruce Babbitt leaving the post of Secretary of the Interior

Go back to the top of the page Joel Sartore

Joel Sartore, National Geographic Photographer


Grounded: A Reflection on the Use of Life and Land

Download the podcast

When Joel Sartore's wife was diagnosed with breast cancer, this National Geographic photographer who had traveled the world for 18 years knew it was time to stay home. His wife's illness triggered a reconnection with family and with the reason Sartore takes pictures: to show people that wild places and Earth's creatures need and deserve protection.

A life-long Nebraskan, photographer Joel Sartore has covered everything from the remote Amazon rainforest to beer-drinking, mountain-racing firefighters in the United Kingdom. In addition to his celebrated work for National Geographic, which often focuses on conservation, endangered species, and land use issues, Sartore's work has been featured in Time, Life, Newsweek, Sports Illustrated, and numerous books. Sartore and his career have been the subject of several national broadcasts, including "National Geographic Explorer," the "NBC Nightly News," NPR's "Weekend Edition," and "CBS Sunday Morning," as well as an hour-long PBS documentary, At Close Range.

Joel Sartore

The Charles and Linda Wilson Dialogue on Domestic Issues: Featuring Douglas Durante & Jerry Taylor


Pre-talk at the Lied Center, 6:30 p.m.,
Dr. Richard Perrin, Roberts Professor of Agricultural Economics, UNL

Ethanol: Fueling Debate

Download the podcast

Is ethanol a genuine answer to climate crisis and energy woes or a smoke-and-mirrors solution with no real benefit? Designed to explore all sides of this many-faceted issue, the inaugural Charles and Linda Wilson Dialogue on Domestic Issues brings together two noted experts for a moderated debate on this topic of critical interest to our nation and our state. Moderator of the dialogue will be Bill Lambrecht. Lambrecht is Washington Bureau Chief of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and has been a national correspondent for his newspaper since the mid-1980s.

Go back to the top of the page Douglas Durante

Douglas A. Durante - Executive Director, Clean Fuels Development Coalition

Douglas Durante has worked in the fields of energy, transportation, and the environment since 1977. He was the Director of Public Affairs for the National Alcohol Fuels Commission and served as a Special Assistant in the Office of Alcohol Fuels at the U.S. Department of Energy. Mr. Durante has served on numerous state and federal advisory committees, including Chair of the Fuels Subcommittee of the Federal Biomass Advisory Committee and on the Governors' Ethanol Coalition's Biomass Advisory Committee. He also served on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Fuels Advisory Committee, and the Department of Energy's Business Roundtable Advisory Group. In 1987, Durante helped form the Clean Fuels Development Coalition (CFDC), a non-profit organization. The CFDC works in support of renewable alcohols and has a broad-based membership including automotive, agricultural, and other alternative energy interests.

Douglas Durante

Go back to the top of the page Jerry Taylor

Jerry Taylor - Senior Fellow, Cato Institute

Jerry Taylor is the most widely cited and influential right-of-center critic of federal energy and environmental policy in the nation. Taylor is a frequent contributor to the Wall Street Journal and National Review and has published op-eds in the Washington Post, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and virtually every other important newspaper in the country. He is a regular guest on CNBC and Bloomberg Radio and has also appeared frequently on the major news networks as well as CNN, NPR, MSNBC, Fox News, Public Radio International, and the BBC. Taylor has served on numerous congressional advisory bodies and has testified frequently on Capitol Hill regarding various energy and environmental policy matters. He is the author or coauthor of numerous policy studies and has contributed to several anthologies, including Energy & American Society - 13 Myths, Market Liberalism: A New Paradigm for the 21st Century, The Cato Handbook for Congress, China as a Global Economic Power: Market Reforms and the New Millennium, and Earth Report 2000: Revisiting the True State of the Planet.

Jerry Taylor

Go back to the top of the page John Bolton

Sunita Narain, Director, Centre for Science and Environment, Delhi, India

This event has been cancelled.

Changing Nature in an Unequal World

Sunita Narain is the director of the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) in New Delhi, India, director of the Society for Environmental Communications and publisher of Down to Earth magazine. Narain passionately advocates for environmentally sustainable development which she sees as a matter of survival for millions of poor people in India and around the world.

Narain has authored or co-authored a number of influential works on sustainable development including Towards Green Villages which advocates participatory democracy as the key to sustainable development, Global Warming in an Unequal World: A case of environmental colonialism, and Towards a Green World: Should environmental management be built on legal conventions or human rights? Since the Kyoto Protocol in 1997, she has contributed to a number of articles and papers on the need for equity and entitlements in climate negotiations. Narain co-edited Green Politics: Global Environmental Negotiations and Dying Wisdom: Rise, fall and potential of India's water harvesting systems, and Making Water Everybody's Business: the practice and policy of water harvesting. Since then, she has worked on policy interventions for the eco-regeneration of India's rural environment and poverty reduction. Narain links issues of local democracy with global democracy arguing that every human being has an entitlement to the global atmospheric common.

Sunita Narain

Go back to the top of the page Amory Lovins

The Lewis E. Harris Lecture on Public Policy: Amory Lovins, Cofounder, Chairman and Chief Scientist, Rocky Mountain Institute


Winning the Oil Endgame

Other Forum Activities
Pre-talk speaker:
W. Cecil Steward, Dean Emeritus of the UNL College of Architecture and President/CEO of the Joslyn Castle Institute for Sustainable communities
Tuesday, February 12, 6:30 p.m.
Steinhart Room at the Lied Center

Physicist Amory Lovins is the Co-founder, Chairman, and Chief Scientist of the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI), an independent think-and-do-tank that creates abundance by design. RMI works with individuals and organizations of every imaginable kind to help them use energy and resources efficiently while being ever-better stewards of the environment.

Published in 29 books and hundreds of papers, Lovins' work has been recognized by a MacArthur Fellowship and a Time "Hero for the Planet" Award among many others. He advises governments and major firms worldwide on advanced energy and resource efficiency, and has led the technical redesign of $30 billion worth of facilities in 29 sectors to achieve very large energy savings at typically lower capital cost. The Wall Street Journal named Mr. Lovins one of thirty-nine people worldwide "most likely to change the course of business in the '90s"; Newsweek has praised him as "one of the Western world's most influential energy thinkers"; and Car magazine ranked him the twenty-second most powerful person in the global automotive industry.

Amory Lovins
Imagine a World, PrairieFire Newspaper, January 2008
Rocky Mountain Institute
Memo to the Next President: An Energy Policy - Newsweek

Go back to the top of the page Richard Cizik

Richard Cizik, Vice President for Governmental Affairs, National Association of Evangelicals, the "Green Evangelist"


For God's Sake

Other Forum Activities
Pre-talk speaker:
Rev. Stephen Griffith, Minister to the Community at St. Paul's United Methodist Church, Lincoln. The Rev. Jerrold Thompson, Rector at St. Mark's on-the-Campus Episcopal Church will moderate the questions.
Monday, February 25, 6:30 p.m.
Steinhart Room at the Lied Center

Known as "The Green Evangelist," Reverend Richard Cizik calls climate change a crisis of "biblical proportions." Cizik is vice president for governmental affairs of the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE). His responsibilities include setting NAE's policy direction on issues before Congress, the White House, and the Supreme Court, as well as serving as a national spokesman on issues of concern to evangelicals. A conservative both politically and religiously, Cizik is on a mission to convert tens of millions of Americans to the cause of conservation, using a right-to-life framework and spreading the doctrine of "creation care" to evangelical Christians. Thanks to his leadership, NAE released a manifesto urging its members to adopt eco-friendly living habits and exhorting the government to lighten America's environmental footprint. The organization also circulated a charter calling on its member network and top-level Beltway allies to fight global warming.

Educated in political science and public affairs, Cizik also received a Master of Divinity from Denver Seminary and an honorary Doctorate of Ministry in Christian Leadership from the Methodist Episcopal Church. Rev. Cizik was ordained by the Evangelical Presbyterian Church in 1992 and, in addition to his work for NAE, maintains an active preaching and speaking schedule.

Richard Cizik
Speaking of Faith Radio Program
Warming Climate - and Warming Up to 'Creation Care', PrairieFire Newspaper, February 2008


The E.N. Thompson Forum


Tickets are available for the 2007-08 E. N. Thompson Forum season. All lectures will be at 7 p.m. in the Lied Center for Performing Arts, 12th and R Streets. Tickets are required for all events. They are FREE and guarantee a reserved seat.

E.N. Thompson Forum Ticket

Send completed ticket order forms to the Lied Center by mail or fax or deliver in person. After August 20, 2007, you may request tickets directly from the Lied Center in person or by calling 402-472-4747.

If you are unable to attend the lectures, watch the events live on the UNL website, Lincoln channel 21, Neb Sat, or listen to 90.3 KRNU.

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For twenty years, the E.N. Thompson Forum on World Issues has brought a diversity of view points on international and public policy issues to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and the citizens of the state in order to promote understanding and to encourage debate. The Forum seeks out forceful speakers who are committed to the issues they address, seeking balance over the range of its programs rather than in each presentation. The Forum does not endorse the views of the individual speakers nor limit their freedom to express their points of view. more...


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A cooperative project of the Cooper Foundation, The Lied Center for Performing Arts and the University of Nebraska—Lincoln


Statewide Viewing Available

With a grant from the Cooper Foundation, the Nebraska Humanities Council will collaborate with colleges and universities statewide to simulcast the series. Remote sites for the series are:

  • Harms Advanced Technology Center at Western Nebraska Community College in Scottsbluff,
  • McDonald-Belton Building at the South Campus of the Mid-Plains Community College in North Platte,
  • Communications Building at the University of Nebraska at Kearney,
  • Wayne State College,
  • Milo Bail Student Center Ballroom at the University of Nebraska at Omaha
  • Central Community College in Columbus

For more information on simulcasts, contact Aimee Poor, Nebraska Humanities Council, (402) 474-2131, or aimee@nebraskahumanities.org