New Year, New Energy

Letter from the Executive Director

Nicole Rom, Executive Director

2012 was a year for the record books.  It was the hottest year on record in the U.S, the Arctic sea ice shrunk to a record low, Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets are now losing three times as much ice each year as they did in the 1990s, and global sea levels are rising faster than predicted.

As the signs of a warming world become increasingly evident, our work becomes even more critical. This is why we are investing in innovative solutions to climate change by working directly with people on the ground – from educators, to youth, to decision-makers.

Our annual report is now available which covers our activities and impact from September 2011-August 2012. In it you will find a host of examples of how your support of the Will Steger Foundation translates into climate action and leadership. The report includes stories of youth leaders taking action on their high school campuses, at climate conferences and in their own non-profits.  There are examples of educators inspiring their students to connect with the outdoors to understand what a changing climate means for their region, as well as engaging them in climate adaptation and mitigation activities.  Finally, the report shows how our elected officials responded to citizen support of clean air policies administered by the Environmental Protection Agency to protect the health of our children and families.

2013 will be the year we take climate action seriously. On Friday, the third National Climate Assessment was released. In short, this draft report reinforces the certainty within the scientific community that the climate is changing, and makes a compelling case that significant and urgent action is needed to address the root causes. This federal climate assessment projects temperatures risings as much as 10°F by the end of the century if emissions aren’t reduced sharply.

Reducing carbon pollution and switching to clean energy is the way forward. We already have the technology, the ingenuity, and the solutions to modernize our energy system. Numerous polls report a significant rebound in the recognition of climate change by Americans over the last 3 years, particularly among Republicans and the skeptical. Surveys also reflect growing public support for action by Congress and President to address climate change. Surveys also reflect growing public support for action by Congress and the President to address climate change. This is going to be a major year for progress on climate. 

Onward,

Nicole Rom, Executive Director


Education

WSF Education team will be busy at conferences in February. Come visit us or attend our presentations at the state-wide community energy conference, CERTS 2013, February 20-21 and the Minnesota Science Teachers Association, MnCOSE, February 21-22.

REGISTRATION IS OPEN for our two professional development Summer Institutes! Earn CEUs and graduate credits while building your expertise with top teachers and curriculum pros. Scholarships are available for both of these events. Learn more about the 2013 Summer Institutes here. You can also take a peak at past Summer Institutes in this video.

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Emerging Leaders

YEA! MN Schools Get to Work!
mn-energy-challenge10 Twin Cities high schools are championing student led action projects that tackle climate change solutions in the local community. Projects range from bike-to-school campaigns, to recycling, to behavior change and public awareness. Three schools are being mentored specifically on energy efficiency by staff from the Center for Energy and Environment. These schools have chosen projects with an energy efficiency focus and will incorporate the Minnesota Energy Challenge as a tool for measuring and tracking their impact. WSF staff are documenting these projects and will incorporate these case studies into our newest energy curriculum, to be released Summer 2013.

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Minnesota Youth Environmental Network Launches Offensive Campaign
mnyenretreat2WSF is proud to be a fiscal sponsor of Minnesota Youth Environmental Network (MNYEN) as well as a core program partner. The emerging statewide youth network is working closely with leading environmental organizations across Minnesota to join the state-level campaign to replace existing coal capacity with clean energy and energy efficiency. Additional partners include : Fresh Energy, Minnesota Environmental Partnership, Sierra Club, Environment Minnesota and MPIRG. Students plan to build capacity and grassroots power around the Minnesota Environmental Congress summit in February and will work closely with MPIRG and the YEA! MN high school network to host a large youth lobby day during the legislative session this spring.


Action!

Two opportunities to use your voice.

nca-logoThe recently released Third National Climate Assessment is the most comprehensive review of U.S. climate impacts to date. The assessment projects temperatures risings as much as 10°F by the end of the century if emissions aren’t reduced sharply. During the next three months, the NCA is welcoming comments on the draft. You can submit comments in their on-line comment form. In addition, they are organizing several town halls around the country, at which report authors will share findings and invite input from interested parties. The report will be finalized and delivered to Congress in early 2014.

Anthropogenic climate change is in in the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) standards- review the final draft and submit your comments today! All comments due by Jan. 28th.


Photo of the Month

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Please check out our annual report, which covers our accomplishments from September 2011-August 2012, made possible by friends like you!

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