Edina resident spreads global warming word

Solar Panels
Chuck Prentice of Edina shows his green-energy interests with others when showing documentaries, but he also puts in the work. He has solar panels on his house and own an electric vehicle. (Photo by Paul Groessel – Sun Newspapers)

An Edina man has been spreading the climate-change word in the west Twin Cities metro area, and it will continue with three unique documentary screenings this month.

Chuck Prentice has chosen documentaries that address three separate climate-related problems: long-term climate, overpopulation and resource-shortage dangers; a scientist’s discussion with climate-change skeptics, intended to clarify complicated scientific issues; and the financial implications of U.S. coal dependency.

The documentaries:

• “Earth 2100,” 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 19, at Southdale Library, 7001 York Ave. S., Edina

• “Steven Schneider Talks to 52 Climate Skeptics,” 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 26, at Eden Prairie Library, 565 Prairie Center Drive.

• “DIRTY BUSINESS: ‘Clean Coal’ and the Battle for Our Energy Future,” 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 27, at Ridgedale Library, 12601 Ridgedale Drive, Minnetonka.

Prentice’s concerns that began in 2000 grew worse in 2007, when scientists’ global warming concessions grew, he said. After former U.S. Vice President Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth” left theaters, Prentice played it in a church basement then Southdale Library, hoping its reach would stretch further.

Now he has volunteers who help organize screenings like this month’s library trek.

It’s statements like this from the American Meteorological Society that motivate Chuck Prentice to keep educating locals:

“ … There is unequivocal evidence that Earth’s lower atmosphere, ocean, and land surface are warming; sea level is rising; and snow cover, mountain glaciers, and Arctic sea ice are shrinking,” an August AMS statement’s conclusion said. “The dominant cause of the warming since the 1950s is human activities. This scientific finding is based on a large and persuasive body of research.

“The observed warming will be irreversible for many years into the future, and even larger temperature increases will occur as greenhouse gases continue to accumulate in the atmosphere. …”

The full statement’s argument was based on peer-reviewed scientific documents and analysis from three entities, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and the U.S. Global Change Research Program, according to the AMS.

The seven-page report was intended to “provide a trustworthy, objective, and scientifically up-to-date explanation of scientific issues of concern to the public at large,” according to the AMA. The AMS Council considers the statement – adopted Aug. 20 – its most up-to-date, authoritative climate assessment.

So Prentice continues exhibiting climate-change documentations.

He does not claim to be a scientist, but he has a passion for the subject. He’s also taken his own steps to help with the problem. He put solar panels on his home’s roof and drives a 100-percent electric car.

They were expensive investments, he said, but the reduced electric and fuel costs have understandably dropped dramatically. This setup often makes recharging his vehicle completely green: the sun provides energy to his home, including the car that’s plugged into a unit in his garage.

Prentice is hoping such renewable energy steps are taken on a broader scope, to help address global warming on a whole. Despite the bleak future many scientists lay out, he is optimistic something can be done to help future generations.

“If we don’t, we could make things worse for ourselves and our kids,” he said.