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Norwegian Prime Minister Speaks In Bloomington

A retired Illinois State University political scientist thinks the next Stevenson Lecturer and Adlai E. Stevenson himself would have agreed on many issues.

Former Norwegian Prime Minister Gro Brundtland is also a former director-general of the World Health Organization.  Her address at the Adlai E. Stevenson Memorial Lecture Series April 13 is titled “Our Common Future: Sustainable Development and Addressing Climate Change.”

Retired Illinois State University Politics and Government professor Bob Bradley is a Stevenson Lecture series board member.  Though Brundtland and Stevenson's time in the political spotlight were decades apart, Bradley said they were speaking the same language when it came to sustainability, globalism, and climate change.

Bradley recently reviewed Stevenson's 1965 Geneva address, his last major talk. He said he was struck by the variety of themes Stevenson brought up that would affect the planet in the future.

"One of the things he talked about was the world weather service," said Bradley. "And that we need to pay more attention to the world weather service so we can track global changes in weather, the predecessor to climate change. He also talked about unfair trade agreements, and we have to pay attention to the fact that developed nations can't take advantage of less developed nations."

Credit Jon Norton / WGLT
Retired ISU Politics and Government professor and Adlai E. Stevenson Memorial Lecture Series board member Bob Bradley.

Bradley said that speech addressed many of problems Brundtland tackled during her tenure at the WHO, and as chair of the Brundtland Commission, which presented the Brundtland Report on sustainable development, including the creation of a more educated global citizenry.

"So we become aware not just of problems in our own backyard, state, congressional district, or even nation. But we become more aware of international problems, global things that in fact will have an effect on your backyard, state and congressional district.

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Jon Norton is the program director at WGLT and WCBU. He also is host of All Things Considered every weekday.