Al Gore to Deliver First Swain Climate Policy Lecture

Event kicks off new initiative to find solutions to the climate crisis
September 30, 2021
Portrait of Al Gore
Al Gore, climate activist and former vice president, will be the first speaker in the Swain Climate Policy Series on October 26.

The Humphrey School of Public Affairs is pleased to announce that former vice president and longtime climate activist Al Gore will be the inaugural speaker in the new Advancing Climate Solutions. Now. Swain Climate Policy Series, presented by the Humphrey School in partnership with the University of Minnesota’s Institute on the Environment (IonE).  

Gore will discuss the challenges facing the world in addressing the widespread impact of climate change, in conversation with IonE Executive Director Jessica Hellmann, on October 26, 2021 at 6 p.m. CDT. The event will be presented virtually. 

During his career in Congress and as vice president, Gore was an early advocate of climate action and pushed for policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Since leaving office in 2001, Gore has founded two organizations, written several books, spoken widely, and been the subject of two documentary films, all raising awareness of the climate crisis and proposing solutions.

One of the films, “An Inconvenient Truth,” won two Oscars in 2006, and Gore was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007. 

“It is exciting to have Al Gore kick off the Swain Climate Policy Series,” said Interim Dean Catherine Squires. “His message about the urgency of the climate crisis is coupled with hope that it’s not too late to find effective solutions, if we all play our part. That’s just what Tom Swain asks us all to do: contribute, each in our own way, to reducing our carbon footprint to save the planet.” 

In conjunction with Gore’s appearance, the Humphrey School’s Center for Science, Technology, and Environmental Policy is partnering with IonE to plan year-long climate-focused events across the University of Minnesota’s statewide campuses, and with businesses and community organizations throughout Minnesota. 

Portrait of Tom Swain
Tom Swain.

These activities are all part of the new initiative, the Swain Climate Policy Series, which was launched earlier this year to honor longtime University of Minnesota supporter Tom Swain on his 100th birthday. By establishing this new initiative, Swain is inviting all Minnesotans to commit to combating climate change through individual actions and by supporting changes in public policy.

“What each of us is doing individually in terms of changing our habits, buying electric cars and so on, is all well and good,” Swain says. “But the real answer has to be in the form of national policy changes to dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions, before it’s too late.”

The Swain initiative will support the ongoing lecture series as well as student research, community engagement activities, and development of new public policies, all focused on responding to the climate crisis.  

About Al Gore

Former Vice President Al Gore is a founding partner and chairman of Generation Investment Management, and the founder and chairman of The Climate Reality Project, a nonprofit devoted to solving the climate crisis. He is also a senior partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, and a member of Apple Inc.’s board of directors.

Gore was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1976, 1978, 1980, and 1982 and to the U.S. Senate in 1984 and 1990. He was inaugurated as the 45th vice president of the United States on January 20, 1993, and served eight years. 

He is the author of the No. 1 New York Times best-sellers "An Inconvenient Truth" and "The Assault on Reason," and the best-sellers “Earth in the Balance,” "Our Choice: A Plan To Solve the Climate Crisis," "The Future: Six Drivers of Global Change," and most recently, The New York Times best-seller "An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power.”

He is the subject of the documentary film “An Inconvenient Truth,” which won two Oscars in 2006, and a second documentary in 2017, “An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power.” 

In 2007, Gore was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, along with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, for “informing the world of the dangers posed by climate change.”

About the Swain Climate Policy Series

Answering Tom Swain’s call to action, Advancing Climate Solutions. Now. The Swain Climate Policy Series seeks to engage and energize students throughout the University of Minnesota, as  well as residents across the state, to become part of the solution to climate change through policy and advocacy.

The Humphrey School, in partnership with the Institute on the Environment, developed the series and the Swain Climate Policy Fund to bring public lectures featuring world-renowned climate experts and champions, policy-focused student internships and research initiatives, and opportunities for participants to learn how to be more effective climate stewards through both individual and collective action.