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U.S. Energy and Climate Change: Science, Ethics, and Public Policies

Thursday, Nov. 14, 7:00 pm, Jo Ann Rooney Hall  

Keynote speaker James Balog will discuss the scientific evidence for climate change with illustration from his documentary Chasing Ice, which won the award of Excellence in Cinematography at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival and was shortlisted for the 2013 Academy Awards.

Balog has been a leader in photographing and interpreting the natural environment for three decades. An avid mountaineer with a graduate degree in geography and geomorphology, Balog is equally at home on a Himalayan peak or a whitewater river, the African savannah or polar icecaps. To reveal the impact of climate change, James founded the Extreme Ice Survey (EIS), the most wide-ranging, ground-based, photographic study of glaciers ever conducted.

Friday, Nov. 15, 8:00-4:00, Jo Ann Rooney Hall

The goal of this conference is to raise awareness about the urgency of climate change and to explore and discuss the validity of the scientific evidence supporting climate change, the ethics of fossil fuel extraction and energy production, and the public policy options regarding energy in the United States.

“We are bringing in some of the country’s top climate scientists. We have the region’s top environmental policy expert, and two of the most well-known environmental ethicists,” said Nancy Tuchman, PhD, director of the School of Environmental Sustainability.

“We hope to develop some solid messaging concerning the ethical void in our decisions to develop and implement technologies like fracking, mountaintop removal, and tar sand extraction, instead of putting those efforts towards renewable energy technologies.”


  • James Balog, Photographer and Founder, Extreme Ice Survey;
  • Knute Nadelhoffer,  Professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Michigan and  contributor to the 2013 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change;
  • Larry Rasmussen, Reinhold Niebuhr Professor Emeritus of Social Ethics at Union Theological Seminary, New York City and author of Earth Community, Earth Ethics;
  • Emanuel Agius, Dean of the Faculty of Theology at the University of Malta and member of the European Group of Ethics in Science and New Technologies (EGE);
  • Howard Learner, President and Executive Director of the Environmental Law & Policy Center:
  • Donald Wuebbles, Harry E. Preble Professor of Atmospheric Science at the University of Illinois and author of the National Climate Assessment Report;
  • Jame Schaeffer, Associate Professor of Systematic Theology/Ethics at Marquette University and author of Theological Foundations for Environmental Ethics

The conference is free for Loyola faculty, staff, and students. There is a registration fee of $25 for the general public. All persons are requested to register. Please indicate when registering if you plan to attend Friday lunch at the Institute for Environmental Sustainability as we only have availability for 250 persons.  For the general public, the registration fee also includes the Balog lecture, the Friday portion of the conference and Friday lunch.