Posted by: ericgrimsrud | July 1, 2018

St. Olaf College needs to meet Ella Lagé

As the readers of this website know, I have often used my alma mater, St. Olaf College of Northfield, Minnesota, as an example of an institution that should know better than to be invested in the production and use of fossil fuels. Certainly, St. Olaf College is aware of the science behind global warming and (I assume) is aware of our moral responsibility to preserve human friendly conditions on this plant for future generations. Nevertheless, it is also a fact that  a portion of the considerable financial endowments of St. Olaf are still invested in companies that seek to find, remove, and/or use increasing amounts of fossil fuels. While I have chided St. Olaf’s President and Board of Regents for these investments and have encouraged them to divest their assets from all of them for the sake of future generations, they have so far refused to do so. The only reason I have heard from them for this is that any divestments by them would be too small as to make a difference.

Therefore, when I came across the U-tube video to be referred to below, it immediately occurred to me that the leadership of St. Olaf College needs to meet Ella Lagé.  As a private citizen of Berlin, Germany, she found a way to make a great difference in fossil fuel investments and did this with meager financial resources.  Enough said.  Please listen carefully to Ella’s presentation and help her (and me) convince our colleges, universities, and other institutions to divest their resources from fossil fuel production and use.   

See this video at


  1. I watched this You Tube that Eric recommended & I wonder how many of the billions of people in the world that Ella Lagé wonders about or worries about if they have even the basics of life that she is so ashamed of having?
    What all have your done, Eric, with all of the great academic experiences that you have had? How many lives have you saved or how have you made life better for these folks with your crusade against fossil energy.
    “While Poverty in Africa Has Declined, Number of Poor Has Increased” It is strange that the World Bank in this piece did not mention the main reason for poverty in the world and that is the lack of affordable energy. They are well aware of it if one reads what they have to say about it here:
    “Energy is fundamental to economic growth and environmental sustainability. Access to affordable, reliable and sustainable energy is vital to ending extreme poverty and promoting shared prosperity. Modern energy services can help improve the quality of life for millions around the world and underpin progress in all areas of development.
    Around 1.1 billion people worldwide still live without access to electricity – most of them in Africa and Asia — which has an impact on children’s education, public safety, services, and job creation. Another 2.8 billion rely on wood or other biomass for cooking and heating, resulting in indoor and outdoor air pollution that causes about 4.3 million deaths each year.”

  2. This carries the same message and one can wonder at how much effort that Ella Lagé has put into trying to make the lives of 1.2 billion people who live without access to electricity and the more than 2.7 billion people that are without clean cooking facilities anywhere close to the comfortable one that she now seems to despise because of fossil fuels.

    “Modern energy services are crucial to human well-being and to a country’s economic development; and yet globally 1.2 billion people are without access to electricity and more than 2.7 billion people are without clean cooking facilities. More than 95% of these people are either in sub-Saharan African or developing Asia, and around 80% are in rural areas.
    Fast facts
    17%of global population lack access to electricity, despite modest improvements
    38%of global population lack clean cooking facilities

     “The desire to save humanity is always a false front for the urge to rule it” — H L Mencken

  3. John, Your comments have no relevance to this post because you are ignoring the effect of fossil fuel combustion on global warming. I’ll leave them there, however, just to show folks how ignorant some people still are.

    • First off, let me express my amazement at the degree of your almost unprecedented magnanimity of leaving my post stand. How kind and open minded of you to take this great step to prove what the knowledgeable Karl Popper said that you would do well to understand how valuable this remark is.
      “The growth of knowledge depends entirely on disagreement”
      It is a matter of opinion about whether or not the use of fossil fuels is changing the earth’s climate. There is nothing conclusive to date that this is actually true.

      Your neighbor when, you use to live in the Flathead Valley, Dr. Edward Berry, has a good discussion going on his site that at this point has 35 comments. Have you ever allowed that many comments on any of the topics that you presented? You might enjoy going to his site and take him to task for his latest points that certainly do not agree with yours. He has let you post basically whatever you want in the past, the same as what Anthony Watts has also done.
      The death of climate change
      35 Comments / AGW Hypothesis / By Dr. Ed
      by Ed Berry, Ph.D., Physics

      It would be interesting to see your views on Dr. Berry’s latest contentions about climate change.

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