Past Events

Doug La Follette Environmental Speakers Program logo

Past Speakers Program topics & guests

June 2021: Youth Climate Activism in Wisconsin–A panel discussion
Young people play a critical role in protecting our state from climate change! Learn more about what younger generations are doing for Wisconsin’s environment at this year’s Doug La Follette Environmental Speakers Program with panelists Charles Hua, Harvard undergraduate studying Statistics and Mathematics with a minor in Energy and Environment, Madeleine McDermott, hub coordinator for Youth Climate Action Team and a member of Appleton’s Climate Change Task Force, and Mario Canacasco, editor of YouthTalkClimate, a climate-centered podcast.

November 2020: Environmental Justice in Wisconsin 
In the United States clean water, clean air, and access to natural places are supposed to be shared public goods. However, not all Americans have equal access to these public goods. On November 21st, Clean Wisconsin will host an educational panel that brings together three environmental justice advocates to discuss how environmental racism shows up in their different communities across Wisconsin and how environmental organizations should approach work in these communities to help make them healthier, cleaner, and better places to live.

June 2019: Wisconsin’s Energy Future–A panel discussion
Join Clean Wisconsin for a panel discussion with public officials, energy developers and business leaders to discuss renewable growth, new technology, and how we achieve a carbon-free energy future in Wisconsin.

May 2018: The Water Under our Feet
Over 40 percent of residents in Grant, Iowa, and Lafayette Counties get their drinking water from private wells. Yet, we know very little about local well water quality despite the importance of clean drinking water to our health. Join Clean Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Farmers Union for a panel discussion to learn more about water issues in Southwest Wisconsin, the Southwest Wisconsin Groundwater & Geology (SWIGG) study and its goals, and to answer your questions.

May 2018: An Evening with Jarob Ortiz
National Parks Service photographer and Milwaukee native Jarob Ortiz specializes in large-format photography, the same method used by famed NPS photographer Ansel Adams. Mr. Ortiz, now filling the role that Adams once held, will discuss his work and his relationship to the places he captures on film during this one-night-only event.

Nov. 2017: Working Together to Protect Wisconsin’s Water Resources
Join Clean Wisconsin for a panel discussion with George Kraft, Christa Westerberg, Evan Feinauer, and Scott Laeser, and moderated by Susan Hedman, about the ways that citizen-action organizations are using the legal system to protect our water resources —from groundwater overuse and contamination to rare wetland destruction—and what you can do to be a part of the citizen-led effort to protect public health and defend our natural heritage.

May 2017: This Changes Everything film viewing and discussion with Alexis Bonogofsky
“What if confronting the climate crisis is the best chance we’ll ever get to build a better world?” This Changes Everything is an epic attempt to re-imagine the vast challenge of climate change. Following the screening, Alexis will talk about her experiences highlighted in This Changes Everything, and discuss her work with Naomi Klein.

Oct. 2016: The Waters of Wisconsin
Responsibly managing our water – how we use it, what we put into it – is critically important. Conservation biologist and author Curt Meine discuss water issues and the ethics surrounding water resource management.

April 2016: Beating the Commons Tragedy of Climate Change
Neglecting the well-being of society in the pursuit of personal gain has left us facing the greatest challenge of our time: Climate change. Bill Snape discusses the legal, technical, sociological and economic tools we already have can move us past this tragedy of the commons to meaningful action on climate change.

Oct. 2015: The Human Cost of Climate Change
Dr. Sumudu Atapattu talks about her forthcoming book on human rights approaches to climate change and how the intangible costs of a warming planet, including food security, water scarcity, access to resources, conflicts, migration, security and more, affect us all.

April 2015: Reflections of an Environmental Advocate with Brock Evans
With a long history in the environmental movement Brock Evans understands how trying it can be to do this important work. Yet he remains an optimist and has witnessed how we all can — and do — make a difference!

October 2014: From Farm Field to Kitchen to Table with Chef Dan Fox, Heritage Tavern
Dan Fox gives deeper meaning to “made from scratch.” His dedication to local ingredients is so intensive he even personally raises the hogs for many of his dishes at Madison’s Heritage Tavern. Join us for an evening with Fox to learn more about the relationship between healthy food, a strong local economy and a sustainable environment.

April 2014: Stories from the Journey
Jon Turk, author of North America’s first environmental science textbook, left academia to explore remote parts of the world. Join us as the adventurer shares stories from his journeys and how he’s seen the effects of climate change first-hand.

October 2013: Boom & Bust: Exploring the health and environmental effects of frac sand
It’s been called the next “Gold Rush.” Frac sand mining is a hot topic in Wisconsin; in the last year, the number of frac sand operations in the state has more than doubled, with more on the way. Join Dr. Henry Anderson, the state’s chief medical officer, who will discuss the health impacts of frac sand mining and how it affects Wisconsin’s environment, particularly our water.

May 2013: Tipping Point: Keeping Wisconsin Competitive in a Changing Energy World
Gary Radloff, director of the Midwest Energy Policy Analysis, Wisconsin Energy Institute, discusses his newly released paper, “How to Keep Wisconsin and the U.S. Competitive in a Changing Energy World.” Wisconsin is at a tipping point in the clean energy economy: It can be a leader in energy technology innovation or it can continue to slide behind the rest of the Midwest, U.S. and world. The lecture will discuss global and state energy trends to understand why we are at a critical point in our economic and environmental future.

November 2012: An Evening with  Bill McKibben
Based on McKibben’s July Rolling Stone article that became one of the most shared pieces in the magazine’s history, this tour is the launch pad for a new movement to change the math of the climate crisis. Be there as we gain the momentum needed to challenge the status quo and protect our future from the devastation of climate change.

April 2012: Running out of Gas
For decades, Wisconsin has relied on out-of-state fossil fuels that pollute our air and cost our state millions. Nationally recognized energy expert, Kate Gordon, will highlight how our state can create jobs, boost our economy and clean our environment by replacing our addiction to fossil fuels with smart investments in clean energy.

October 2011: Painting the Cream City Green: How Milwaukee can strengthen its economy, health and environment with green jobs
Help shape the future of your community by joining Milwaukee’s leaders and residents as Dr. Henry S. Cole, President of Henry S. Cole & Associates Inc. and Publisher of Ekos-Squared, launches a conversation about how green jobs are vital to our environment as well as our safety, health and Milwaukee’s economy.

September 2010: Navigating the Climate Conflict: Today’s Hottest Climate Battles and Your Role in the Fight
Kassie Siegel, director of the Center for Biological Diversity’s Climate Law Institute, discusses what’s at stake in some of today’s hottest climate battles —from the fight to save the polar bear to the Gulf oil spill response to climate legislation and the showdown over the Clean Air Act — and how you can help save the planet before it’s too late.