Climate Generation Gist

January 11, 2018
By: Climate Generation

A Year of Possibility

Letter from the Executive Director

As 2018 begins, we take stock of the challenges we face with renewed vigor and energy for the year ahead. While our political system continues to push an anti-science, pro-fossil fuel industry agenda, the spectacularly hopeful news is this: youth, communities, businesses, and energy markets are offering real, tangible solutions. The clean energy transition is already happening. Broken politics is no excuse for moral numbness or evasion. There is an urgency that calls on us to act collectively, with all the resolve and determination that the objective physical reality of our climate circumstances demands.

Addressing climate change requires sustained and persistent action at all scales. In order to accelerate action, our focus is clear:

  • Build public will for strong climate action at the local and state level
  • Prepare educators and their students to understand the problem and implement climate and clean energy solutions
  • Push businesses and decision-makers to take climate action
  • Elevate youth voices who can effectively articulate equitable policy solutions and hold officials accountable

I’m happy to introduce Sarah Goodspeed, our new Youth and Policy Manager who will help us deliver on these goals. As I look back at 2017, I’m proud of all that we have accomplished together, affirming our ability to make progress even in the most difficult of times.

With 11 years leading Climate Generation: A Will Steger Legacy, I will be taking a sabbatical this coming winter. I will be on leave beginning January 11, 2018, and I will return to work on March 5, 2018. I want to thank Climate Generation’s Board of Directors for their generous support and this opportunity. My sabbatical plan is to carve time out for reflection. Given the political environment we find ourselves in, I recognize how special and unique this opportunity is to focus on renewal and rejuvenation.

Of course this opportunity wouldn’t be possible if it wasn’t for our solid team at Climate Generation. In particular, Janet Brown, Associate Director, who has helped build our organization since she joined in 2007 and now oversees our development, operations and communications; and Kristen Poppleton, who oversees our programs team and programming. Thanks to the entire Climate Generation team who are doing amazing work every day, realizing our mission and vision in all we do. I leave the community and our team in the very capable hands of Janet Brown, Associate Director.

Thank you so much for your support of our work. I look forward to reconnecting with you and the rest of the Climate Generation community in March!


Nicole Rom, Executive Director


2017: What a Year!

Each month, the Education program emails a newsletter to educators around the country containing upcoming climate change events and links to educational resources. This month, we celebrated the most popular articles, resources, and climate data of 2017 with a “Top Ten” list. Check out the list and, if you’re an educator, subscribe to our monthly Climate Lessons Update.

Professional Development for Educators

Where can you learn more about climate change education, network with other passionate educators, and dive deep into a standards-supported curriculum? At our 13th annual Summer Institute for Climate Change Education, happening June 26-28 at St. John’s University! Register here and contact Megan Van Loh, Senior Programs Coordinator, if you have any questions. If funds are a barrier to attending, we encourage you to apply for a scholarship to attend for free or at a reduced cost!


Our Next Government Begins Now

Did you know that 16-year-olds can attend precinct caucuses in Minnesota? That’s right. On February 6, YEA! MN youth will show up with their party of choice to bring resolutions for climate justice (#StopLine3, #InclusiveEnergyFinance, and more). Contact us if you want to participate. Leading up to that, on Jan. 24, Climate Generation will join our program partners to host a MN Gubernatorial Candidate Forum. YEA! MN is bringing a contingent to make sure youth voices are shaping the debate. Register here.

YEA! MN: Celebrating 10 Years

On Monday, we celebrated YEA! MN’s 10-year anniversary at the Winter Mingler! Students, alumni, families, community partners, and friends gathered for a meal at Gandhi Mahal and reminisced on the years of building the Minnesota youth climate movement. From offering students a chance to use their voice to encouraging youth to take the lead in their community, YEA! MN has been a catalyst for environmental policy and change. Check out our video looking back at the decade of climate action.


Bike to Support Climate Action (and Climate Generation!)

Craving an adventure this year? You can bike across some of the most beautiful regions of our planet while supporting the work we do at Climate Generation. From California to Nova Scotia, Climate Ride is an organization that hosts multi-day bike and hike experiences across the globe. As a participant, you must fundraise for the cost of your trip, but Climate Generation will also receive a portion of your raised funds. Head to Climate Ride’s website to explore the 2018 trips, choose your journey, and select Climate Generation as the beneficiary of your ride.

Save the Date: Minnesota Gubernatorial Candidate Forum

How will Minnesota’s clean energy future look under a new governor? Attend a gubernatorial candidate forum on our state’s environment and conservation issues on January 24th. Candidates will respond to audience questions about air/climate, water, land/habitat, and environmental funding. Because of space limitations, advance registration is required. RSVP here.

In the News

What Minnesota can do now to regain leadership on climate change

Leigh Currie and Melissa Hortman, two of our Window Into COP23 delegates, proposed key local actions our state leaders can take to remain committed to fighting climate change in the wake of international climate conferences.

Dayton positions Askov Finlayson to repay 110 percent of carbon footprint cost

Askov Finlayson, a Climate Generation partner through their “Keep the North Cold” campaign, is stepping up its charitable giving, pledging more than $1 million over the next five years to organizations fighting climate change. Leading on climate, the company promises to this pledge in order to repay 110 percent of its carbon footprint cost.

Askov Finlayson giving 110% to fight climate change

Our long-time friend and “Keep The North Cold Partner” partner Eric Dayton of Askov Finlayson is committing his company to a self-imposed carbon tax that will fund a variety of organizations working on climate change. This year, the company will measure the carbon footprint of its entire supply chain for its Askov Finlayson brand products. Then, that footprint will be translated into dollars and Askov will donate 110 percent of that amount starting in 2019.

As an administration demurs, coalitions are taking the lead for the U.S. on climate change

This year, Climate Generation was part of the People’s Delegation at COP23. It was a coalition of organizations across the state working to represent America’s true stance on climate and act as the presence of the U.S. people during the conference. This article asks if grassroots group activism is the only thing keeping climate change at bay in America.

Photo of the Month

We celebrated 10 years of climate action from young leaders in our community through our Youth Environmental Activists of Minnesota (YEA! MN) program.