Great news to kick off summer! According to a recent report, costs for renewable energy are competitive to the costs of oil, coal and gas-fired power plants and it’s cheaper to choose renewable energy over the development of a new fossil fuel plant. This might explain why our state’s largest utility, Xcel Energy, reached a consensus proposal with several partner clean energy organizations to be completely out of the coal business by closing its two remaining coal plants a decade earlier than scheduled. This puts Xcel on pace to be coal-free in the region by 2030 with a goal to increase its solar capacity in the Upper Midwest by 1,400 percent.
Not that we had any doubt, but a new assessment reveals that NASA’s estimate of long-term temperature rise in recent decades is accurate to within less than a tenth of a degree Fahrenheit, providing confidence that past and future research is correctly capturing rising surface temperatures.
Our Youth and Policy Manager Sarah Goodspeed recaps the legislative session in Minnesota: 2019 clean energy legislation efforts started with high hopes, but in the end accomplished very little—although not for lack of trying. While Governor Walz and the House of Representatives stepped up to commit to 100% clean and equitable energy in Minnesota, the Senate instead chose inaction. Our youth leaders shared their frustration in recent op-eds published in the news.
We’re looking forward to our Summer Institute for Climate Change Education in Washington D.C., collecting stories for our Eyewitness chapbook, and summer events like this week’s Solarbration, a benefit event for Climate Generation and partner organizations.
Nicole Rom, Executive Director
Last Chance for Climate Change Education
It’s not too late to register! We’re inviting educators to attend the 14th annual Summer Institute for Climate Change Education, August 5–7 in Washington, D.C. in partnership with Lowell School and NOAA’s Climate Office. Take a city field trip through D.C.’s Climate Action Plan, learn how to frame climate change through literature and language, and receive free copies of our new humanities resources so you can implement the material in your classroom this fall! Learn more and register now. Scholarships available through our Teach Climate Scholarship fund.
Minnesota Educator Workshops: Save the Date
Minnesota has new state science standards, and we want to equip middle and high school teachers with the tools and resources to bring these core ideas to life in the classroom:
- Climate change causes
- American Indian contributions to investigating phenomena
- Energy and engineering solutions
Dig into the new standards with us at one of our two workshop locations (Twin Cities or Greater MN) in September or November. Learn more and register today!
Why do you #TalkClimate?
During our 2019 Talk Climate Institute, attendees discovered and crafted their personal climate stories as tools for action—they also had the opportunity to record their story with MPR News’ Climate Cast! We’re proud to share the stories of three Talk Climate attendees. Amber from Sioux Falls, SD shared her journey from climate denier to climate advocate. Julie from St. Paul reflected on natural places and our responsibility to future generations. Joel of St. Paul shared his experience teaching climate change science and impacts to his faith-based college students.
Inside Look: Youth Power
It was a powerful year of youth programming! Our 11th annual Youth Climate Justice Summit brought together almost 200 youth from 42 schools across Minnesota, from Albert Lea to Grand Rapids, who joined us at the State Capitol in March. This youth-planned and facilitated event highlighted social justice at the center of climate change solutions. Watch the recap video here! Throughout the day youth joined workshops on climate justice, built art, and moderated a bipartisan panel of Legislators, Commissioners, and youth speakers about climate leadership in Minnesota. Youth spoke with 50 legislators to support the MN Green New Deal and Governor Walz’ 100% clean energy bill, many for the first time, and left feeling powerful and energized. Many of our YEA! MN leaders were also plugged into Minnesota Can’t Wait this year—watch their February sit in at the State Capitol, demanding a MN Green New Deal.
Call for submissions: EYEWITNESS
We all have stories to tell and we are all eyewitnesses to climate change. If you live in Minnesota, join us to engage local policymakers by sharing your testimony of climate change in our latest project—a chapbook publication! Submit your story, poem, or artwork depicting your experiences and perspectives of climate change to be circulated in the MN Legislature on Earth Day 2020. Learn more at www.climateeyewitness.org.
Al Gore’s Climate Reality in Minneapolis-St.Paul
Join us at the Climate Reality Leadership Corps Training, founded by Al Gore, that is coming to the Twin Cities this August 2-4. Free to attend and welcome to everyone, this training prepares you to be a leader on climate change in your community. You’ll learn the science of climate change, solutions in our hands today, best practices in grassroots organizing, and more from leaders and scientists in the climate movement. The deadline to apply is June 26.
Grist.org takes a look at why kids are effective at convincing their parents to care about climate change, featuring our own Kristen Poppleton, Director of Programs.
“It’s happening. It’s urgent, and we’re running out of time.” Our Forest Lake Youth Convening Minnesota team shares why they’re sparking climate change solutions in their community.
Hear a climate story from Julie Marckel of the Science Museum of Minnesota and a 2019 Talk Climate Institute attendee.
Hear a second Climate Story from our 2019 Talk Climate Institute attendee Amber Brooks of Sioux Falls, South Dakota.