Letter from the Executive Director
March wrapped up our incredible Dine for Climate Series! We were able to highlight the farm to table connection, the importance of eating and supporting local sustainable, organic restaurants, and grow our local network of friends. At the same time, we were proud to receive a generous 30% donation from each of our partner restaurants: Birchwood Café, French Meadow Bakery and Café, Spoonriver, and Lucia’s. Thank you to our restaurant partners and everyone who joined us at one, several or all Dine for Climate events!
The documentary version of the book “Merchants of Doubt” has been released in select theaters. Check out this important film that illuminates the PR professionals who have worked just as tirelessly to stir up doubt about the climate crisis as they did about tobacco’s health costs. The book’s author, climate historian Dr. Naomi Oreskes, was the keynote speaker of our 5th Summer Institute for Climate Change Education and public forum in 2010. Watch her presentation here.
Spring is around the corner and we are blooming with exciting opportunities ahead, including:
- Climate Minnesota Convenings
- April 29th: Annual Appreciation Breakfast, this year with BIG & EXCITING news! Red Stag Supperclub, April 29th, 7:30-9 am
- May 17: Brewing a Better Climate, Bent Paddle Brewing, Duluth
- June 15-17: 10th annual Summer Institute for Climate Change Education, with June 16 forum with climate scientist Dr. Ben Santer and climate educator Frank Niepold at the Science Museum of Minnesota
We look forward to seeing you at one of the many exciting events ahead!
Nicole Rom, Executive Director
What do you get when you cross an arctic explorer, a climate researcher and climate education coordinator with each other? The Summer Institute for Climate Change Education, of course! Register now to engage in hands-on experience with our six curricula and learn more about an opportunity to attend COP21 Paris 2015 this fall. Hear from experts including climate scientist Dr. Ben Santer, our own Will Steger and NOAA climate literacy expert, Frank Niepold.
Climate Minnesota kicks off next month with our first of twelve convenings in Bemidji (April 14) and Crookston (April 15)! Across Minnesota, climate change is impacting communities in local and specific ways, from heavier rainfalls, to heat waves, to biome shifts. We are launching Climate Minnesota: Local Stories, Community Solutions, that aims to connect Minnesotans to the local effects of climate change, as well as to solutions that they can implement where they live. As a main component of Climate Minnesota, CG, in partnership with the University of Minnesota Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships, will host 12 public convenings that feature experts, community stories, and resources on local impacts and collaborative solutions and adaptations to climate change.
YEA! MN Students Spring into Spring!
Across the Metro, YEA! MN schools are diving into youth-led action projects. Earth club leaders at Minneapolis South, Hopkins, and the School of Environmental Studies are organizing Bike to School Day events for their campuses. Students at Burnsville High School recently secured paper towel composting in their effort to reduce school waste. Southwest High School and Minneapolis South are engaged in a fierce composting competition to see who can reduce the most trash per pupil. YEA! MN is also supporting student engagement in state and local campaigns including the Clean Energy & Jobs Campaign, Minneapolis DIVEST!, and the East Phillips Environmental Justice Campaign.
YEA! MN Joins OutFront Youth Summit to Support LBGTQ Youth
Over 400 high school students turned out for the 2015 OutFront Youth Summit at the Wellstone Center in St. Paul on March 2nd. YEA! MN was a proud partner in the event where three of our student leaders facilitated a series of workshops focused on building youth power in school clubs. The workshops provided strategy on recruitment and leadership development, drawing from the YEA! MN program to empower youth leadership and effective youth organizing. As YEA! MN student, Addie Welch, wrote in her recent blog post, “I’m thankful for OutFront for giving us the opportunity to present a workshop through YEA! MN in a LGBTQA-centered space, demonstrating the importance of intersectionality in the movement for justice and equity.”
In The News
Pioneer Press captures our Dine for Climate series.
CG partner Craig Johnson, a science teacher at Apple Valley’s School of Environmental Studies (SES), was recognized by the White House as a Champion of Change for Climate Education and Literacy.
Minnesota has long been a clean energy leader. We are already on track to meet existing renewable energy requirements, but we need to and can do more.
Minnesota has an opportunity to build on existing law to help Minnesota transition to clean, renewable energy.
Two clean energy bills are currently under consideration by the Minnesota Senate:
- Senate File 1077 will improve Minnesota’s existing renewable energy standard by requiring 40% of our electricity come from renewable sources by 2030; and
- Senate File 1098 will improve Minnesota’s existing energy efficiency goal to 2% annual savings by electric utilities.
Minnesotans now get 15% of our energy from clean renewable sources, yet we’re using only 1% of our wind.
Will Steger talking with Expo Elementary students about climate and weather in a recent filming for our upcoming Twin Cities Public Television documentary. Stay tuned for information about the premiere Fall 2015!