The Chanhassen Rotary Club continues its February program of inviting speakers to its Influencer Speaker series. Retired scientist and teacher Rod Fisher is the featured speaker at its 7 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 19 meeting at the Chanhassen American Legion.

The Influencer series reflects the Chanhassen Rotary’s mission to provide service to others, promote high ethical standards, and to advance world understanding, goodwill and peace through its fellowship of business, professional and community leaders.

Fisher’s topic is “Challenges & Opportunities Facing Climate Change.” Fisher has a Ph.D. in chemical engineering from Iowa State. He was professor at the University of Washington; with Cargill for 18 years as a technical director; and finally a science teacher for 11 years at the International School of Minnesota in Eden Prairie.

Fisher is a 30-year resident of Eden Prairie, noting that he and his wife successfully put their two children through the schools and launched them into adulthood.

Fisher said his presentation “is a story of how we can successfully address the changing climate and gain hope for our future economic prosperity.”

“My main message is from Economics 101 and advocates a way to fix our distorted energy markets. The upside is great for Minnesota and the U.S. I really want the audience to feel hopeful and empowered to make the climate solution a reality.”

1 How did you become interested in climate change?

A: Until a few years ago, I was vaguely aware of a climate problem but wasn’t involved. Then I became a grandfather and my sense of the future stretched much further, and the changing climate became an obvious concern.

2 How do you see climate change impacting the field you are interested in — R&D?

A: I first thought I could use my science background to convince people to the problem using facts and science. I quickly learned that we all learn best through stories and personal and shared connection. So I’m learning to relate that way. It’s not easy for a scientist.

3 What is one proactive thing a person can do right now to address climate change?

A: A strong majority of Americans agree that that a changing climate is a big issue and a major concern. But a small minority ever talk about it to friends or family. We need to make this a topic of conversation so we can move to action and solutions. We need to talk about climate change.

— Unsie Zuege

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Unsie Zuege is an award-winning multimedia journalist, who enjoys community journalism, bibimbop, Netflix, Trivia Mafia and snuggling tiny dogs, not necessarily in that order.

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