2010: Year of Action

Letter from the Executive Director

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Expedition Copenhagen delegates wrap up the UN climate negotiations In Three Words. – Click To Watch

Four years after the establishment of the Will Steger Foundation, I still feel honored to have the opportunity to lead this amazing organization, because I deeply believe in what we do: we empower rising environmental leaders to affect change in their communities, and in the process we are building a more sustainable future, one person at a time.

Expedition Copenhagen was a tremendous success for the Will Steger Foundation – for the first time we were able to connect our education outreach, policy efforts and youth programming into a single program and we certainly empowered the next generation of climate leaders. While we were disappointed with the outcome of the Copenhagen Summit, what transpired there was incredibly important – for the first time U.S. climate leadership was at the table in a serious manner – from the heads of cabinet that were present, to President Obama arriving on the final day. The Copenhagen Accord that resulted from the summit was a huge step forward in that emerging economies such as China, India and Brazil committed to transparency and accountability with regard to their greenhouse gas emissions. This provides an essential step for the U.S. to respond with its own federal clean energy policy. Additionally, the conference demonstrated tremendous energy on behalf of civil society, and in particular from youth. Youth play an incredibly powerful role. This was demonstrated again and again through recognition by influential decision-makers – from scientists, to negotiatiors, to decision-makers and by their peers. Watch the video of Juan Carlos Soriano, the youth delegate that spoke on the final day of the negotiations. But as we move beyond Copenhagen, we must focus on the year ahead.

As our delegate, Jamie Racine, from Wisconsin so eloquently captured, 2010 is the year of action. “We can address this global issue of climate change through local solutions. The Midwest specifically has phenomenal opportunity to become a leader domestically and internationally through clean energy development. 2010 must be a year of action. We must continue to hold our leaders at the top to the promises they campaign on, but we cannot go to the top alone. Our action, as we know, needs to happen at all levels of government and in the home of our community members.”

This is why we need your energy to help us make this year a transcendent moment. This is our time to move clean energy legislation forward nationally and locally. Get involved in any way you can. Gather with friends and family. Work your smart phone. Write letters to your local paper. Call your senators and representatives often. We can truly take U.S. climate leadership to the next level.

Sincerely,

Nicole Rom, Executive Director


[important color=blue title= Mukluk Ball – February 6, 2010]Mukluk BallGet your tickets now for the event of the year in Tower, MN with hosts:

  • Patti Steger
  • Don Shelby (WCCO)
  • Will Steger

Musical guest Lamont Cranston.

Proceeds from ticket sales to the Mukluk Ball benefits the Will Steger Foundation

Click Here for More Info
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Expeditions

ExpedCopReflections on Copenhagen

The deal we needed – binding, ambitious, consistent with the science, and just – was not a possibility at Copenhagen, In part because of the United States Senate, but also in part, because the science is so much more advanced than the politics. Obama was quoted as saying that he came with one principle: to deliver what he promised. – Michael Noble, WSF Board Member and Policy Mentor, Expedition Copenhagen

For the first time in two weeks, I did not have 350 emails to check by the end of the day. The world slowed back down. My psyche reverted to the corner of my mind with the over-sized sofa and low-light lamp where I go to reflect when I don’t know what to think. This is where I stayed for the next few days and my long travels home. A few weeks later and back at home, a renewed passion has reignited in my heart. I have returned home to the thought and aspiration that initially inspired me to apply for Expedition Copenhagen: local, sustainable communities. – Jamie Racine, Wisconsin Delegate

Read more blogs at: www.willstegerfoundation.org/blog


In the News

The Star Tribune covers Expedition Copenhagen thru the youth delegate blog postings. A full page spread, with a large image of the team is printed in the Juice section.

Click here to view the article.

Star Tribune

Will made several postings to National Geographic Blog WILD on nationalgeographic.com throughout the weeks that he was in Copenhagen.

You can read his blogs on the National Geographic site.

NatGeo

Expedition Copenhagen delegate Liana Baker represented Illinois, yet hails from Montreal Canada. During her stay in Copenhagen she was reporting for the foundation as well as Canadian Geographic.

Read her blog postings on the Canadian Geographic site.

Canada Geo

President Obama is presented with a collection of letters and stories from our Midwest delegates and a coalition of Kenyan youth who came from the same village as the President’s father.

The delegates hand-delivered hundreds of letters-to-the-President from a wide spectrum of young Americans: from high school students in Illinois to young leaders in Michigan to young sportsmen in South Dakota.

This story is covered on the White House blog.

WhiteHouse

Iowa delegate, Holly Jones, gets good coverage in The Hawkeye for her participation and representation at Copenhagen.

Read the latest article from The Hawkeye, here.

Hawkeye

The Argus Leader, out of Souix Falls, South Dakota, provided extensive coverage of the youth delegation in several article published during the two-week conference.

Delegate Jamie Horter is profiled in these articles.

Argus

Delegates regularly posted to the Huffington Post during Copenhagen.

Read the recent article “Youth Leaders Talk Truth to Power in Copenhagen” here.

Huffington Post

Education

ExpedCopYouth Messages Delivered to President Obama in Copenhagen

Great news for all the students and young people that submitted messages when an Expedition Copenhagen delegate visited your classroom or via our Citizen Climate curriculum. South Dakota delegate Jamie Horter blogged about what we did with your words:

“To all those who wrote messages for the Copenhagen book, congratulations! A successful delivery of these Midwest messages, along with the messages of Kenyan youth and a joint cover letter, went to President Obama. To see the final book that these messages were placed in, and to hear comments from some of the youth that joined our WSF delegation in working on the letter and compiling the messages, click here. Your messages are posted on the White House Blog….The momentum doesn’t end with this project–in fact, this is only the beginning. Every goal starts with little steps toward success, and there are many more little steps that need to be taken to achieve strong climate solutions before the next UN climate conference. United, inspiring voices of youth are needed to show our support for a healthy and sustainable future, for SD and the world. The compilation of messages that are being shared worldwide are just a small testament to the impact one voice can have. That voice can start with YOU.”

The momentum doesn’t end with this project–in fact, this is only the beginning. Every goal starts with little steps toward success, and there are many more little steps that need to be taken to achieve strong climate solutions before the next UN climate conference. United, inspiring voices of youth are needed to show our support for a healthy and sustainable future, for SD and the world. The compilation of messages that are being shared worldwide are just a small testament to the impact one voice can have. That voice can start with YOU.”

Read the full post here.

[important color=green title= Educators]If you are interested in having an Expedition Copenhagen delegate visit your school or classroom to share their experiences in Copenhagen, please contact education@willstegerfoundation.org[/important]


[important color=blue title= Will Steger Tours Montana! February 9-11, 2010]MontanaJoin renowned polar explorer, writer, and photographer Will Steger for slides and stories documenting his first-hand observations of dramatic changes occurring in the Arctic and Antarctic. This dramatic presentation is one of hope…

Learn about Montana-made solutions, policy options, and what you can do!

The Will Steger Foundation is helping Montanans understnd the issues and galvanize support for solutions. Details below.

Major sponsors include Montana Audubon, National Wildlife Federation, Sierra Club, Repower America, & Montana Conservation Voters.

Click Here for More Info
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Action!

ABCECLEAN ENERGY NOW
Securing a clean energy future requires global support — from individuals, institutions, communities and countries. In the wake of the Copenhagen climate change summit, hundreds of U.S. businesses, large and small, are standing together to demand action.

American Businesses for Clean Energy (ABCE) is a collective formed to showcase the massive, diverse, and growing business support for a clean energy future. Already more than 1100 companies, including Fortune 500 members like Gap and PG&E, have joined ABCE. See the full list of businesses here.

Please sign up your company or encourage your employer to join.


Photo of the Month

 

POTM January 2010

Wisconsin delegate Chalie Nevarez tells U.S. Congressman Henry Waxman that she read the entire Waxman-Markey climate bill. His response was: “I think you were the only one that did.”

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