Students seek climate change solutions

By John Molseed
May 7, 2018

Zaria Romero, a Century High School junior and one of the organizers of Sunday’s Community Climate Convening, said having community leaders attend the event was a success itself.

“It’s really cool to see who showed up,” he said “It shows that they care about these issues and want to look at solutions.”

Rochester high school students hosted Sunday’s forum at Century High School to discuss ways to fight climate change. The students, in coordination with Climate Generation, invited presenters, public officials and leaders to speak on the issue. About three dozen people participated.

City Council Member Mike Wojcik spoke at the event along with faculty from Rochester Community and Technical College and staff members from the Mayo Clinic.

Muhamed Hussein, Rochester Stem Academy junior, said its fitting for younger people to take the lead on the event.

“They’re the ones who are going to inherit the problem,” he said.

The presentations by Wojcik; Cory Rubin, an ecologist and instructor at RCTC; and others were followed by discussion and an open workshop about things people can do to help curtail their carbon emissions and energy use.

Carmen Carruthers, of the St. Paul-based Citizens Utility Board, led a energy use discussion and reviewed ways people can reduce energy use.

“We try to focus on the quick and easy things first, then we can look at things that take more effort or investment,” Carruthers said. “But there are usually some things everyone can do to start.”

The forum was a way to explore climate change solutions now before they’re needed later, said Alina Hyder, Century High School sophomore.

“If we get started right now, we’re not going to have to start from scratch later,” she said. “We’ll have some solutions.”

Climate Generation, a Minneapolis-based nonprofit organization, assisted the students in convening the event. Organizers said it was also an opportunity for people with like concerns to connect.

“We see this as an opportunity for people in the community who may have the same interests and passions but may not have connected otherwise to come together,” said Kira Liu, of Minnesota Green Corps and Climate Generation.

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