2017 has been an unusually bad year for extreme, climate-related weather events–from floods and hurricanes to raging forest fires that are currently burning across California. As we’ve followed the seemingly uncontrollable fires, it’s difficult to dismiss that seven of California’s ten largest modern wildfires have occurred in the last 14 years alone. Climate scientists have warned us about these impacts for decades with increasing urgency after each passing year. While wildfires blaze, glaciers melt, and ice shelves disappear, climate change is also affecting us in our own backyards. Organizations like ours have been sounding the alarm and encouraging people to engage in solutions in their own community. The urgency is increasingly more clear and our work is a testament to this call.
Our Teach Climate Teachers Scholarship Movement, an initiative of our Advisory Board, was launched this summer to combat the Heartland Institute’s misinformation campaign and to support the education and training of educators on climate change. Each scholarship gift supports a teacher’s cost for one of our professional development trainings and institutes. Learn how you can engage with the initiative.
We wrapped up our Window Into COP23 program with a panel discussion highlighting Minnesotans’ experience in Bonn and next steps for Minnesota’s climate leadership. Our Youth Convening Minnesota (YCM) project, launched this fall, provides an opportunity to bridge our work in climate change education, youth mentorship, policy, and public engagement. The program is a seven-month youth leadership opportunity culminating in spring of 2018 with a community-wide public convening on climate change, planned and informed by YCM youth leaders. We will be working across Greater Minnesota with YCM youth leaders in the communities of Carlton, Moorhead, Rochester, and Warba. As we enter 2018, we look forward to celebrating the ten-year anniversary of our robust high school leadership program, YEA! MN, which has trained thousands of youth leaders to take action on climate at their schools and in their communities. Join us for our YEA! MN Winter Mingler on January 8th to honor the work we have done together.
Finally, as this crazy year comes to a close, we are thankful for you, our community of supporters. We recognize that we find ourselves engulfed in a cloud of climate denial at the highest levels of our government. Yes, our climate is changing and our politics are more polarized. Yet, our capacity and drive to solve our climate challenge has only grown in response. Please join us as we enter 2018; with your financial support we can counter climate denialism, pursue new initiatives, cultivate a new generation of youth leadership, and expand our engagement with new audiences. Your gift translates directly into the expansion of our impact. Together, we can address the challenges we face.
Nicole Rom, Executive Director
This January 12, our Public Engagement Manager will join the Climate Connections speaker series at the Minnesota State Capitol. Storytelling can be a powerful tool for connecting people and fostering civic engagement. Save the date for this free discussion on the power of story in raising environmental action and awareness. A continental breakfast will be provided. Learn more about this event and the Climate Connections series.
Register Now: Talk Climate Institute
Are you interested in learning how to influence opinions and catalyze deeper action on climate change? Join us for the Talk Climate Institute to unpack the complex issue of climate change, and learn how to engage people in productive conversations. Learn about the psychology of behavior change, gain skills to strip away the layers that divide us to find common ground, and learn practical strategies for how to begin building new possibilities.
March 12-13, 2018
Wilder Center, St. Paul, MN
Learn more and register for this space-limited event.
Celebrating 10 Years of YEA! MN
Ten years ago, youth across the Twin Cities formed YEA! MN, a community of youth leaders working for climate justice. This January, it’s time we celebrate. Youth, alumni, parents, partners, and fans are invited to the YEA! MN Winter Mingler on January 8th, from 6 to 9 p.m., to share a meal of Indian cuisine and honor the work we have done together. A suggested donation of $12 will cover the cost of your meal, and donations above and beyond will go directly to support the YEA! MN program. RSVP here.
Youth Convening Minnesota Begins
Youth Convening Minnesota officially kicked off with two events in Rochester this November: a visit to the Rochester STEM Academy and a Youth Climate Workshop held at the Rochester Public Library. The Youth Climate Workshop was open to all high school aged youth in the Rochester area interested in engaging their community on climate action and developing leadership skills. Together with Climate Generation staff, our Rochester youth team began brainstorming content and strategies for their public convening on climate change that will take place in May 2018. Our team also kicked off the project in Moorhead this month with another workshop and is beginning deeper planning with our Youth Energy Summit teams in Carlton and Warba.
Give the Gift of Climate Action
Undeterred by the challenges we’ve faced this year, we are moving forward. Our work to engage people in solutions and protect our planet for future generations is even more critical. And, as we are compelled to remember why our founder Will Steger was called to this work, we recognize that everyone is an eyewitness to climate change now. We’re proud of our state’s leadership, including recent environmental goals ordered by the Dayton administration, and we truly couldn’t do this work without our community of supporters. Make your year-end donation today.
COP23: Minnesota Reflections
Minnesota delegates who attended the UN Climate Change Conference (COP23) in Bonn, Germany came together last month for Minnesota Reflections: Bonn Climate Summit, in partnership with the Institute on the Environment. The panel featured Ellen Anderson (Energy Transtion Lab), John Olson (MN Department of Ed), Leigh Currie (MCEA), and Stephanie Zawistowski (Governor Dayton’s Office). Watch the recorded webcast of the panel, which featured key takeaways from the international climate negotiations and next steps for local climate action.
Espoir DelMain of Climate Generation’s Window Into COP23 delegation and Sophie Kivlehan were two of approximately to 20,000 people who spent close to two weeks in Bonn, Germany, attending United Nations (UN) negotiations on climate change.
This summer, CEE joined Climate Generation to launch the Green Jobs Initiative — bringing together students, educators, businesses, and community partners to create equitable pathways to family-sustaining careers in the clean energy economy.
The 11th Annual Fall Summit, held at St. John’s University on Oct. 11, engaged over 200 students and coaches from 14 Youth Energy Summit (YES!) teams from central and southern Minnesota. Climate Generation’s Youth Convening Minnesota team presented the project during the Summit to recruit students to join the seven-month climate mentorship opportunity.
Our Window Into COP23 program closed with a reflections panel, where four Minnesotans brought back key takeaways and next steps for local climate action.