Climate Generation Gist

February 18, 2019
By: Climate Generation

Heart-Full February

Letter from the Executive Director

In honor of Valentine’s Day, we want to express our gratitude to you for making our work possible. We recently engaged in a thoughtful, intentional conversation with our staff and Development Committee about who and where we take funding from. In preparation for the conversation, we learned that many organizations have not explicitly created guidelines that reflect their organizational values. We feel blessed to have funding from diverse, ethical sources, and climate leading businesses! We look forward to sharing our framework with you when it is finalized, and we hope you join us in our heart-full event opportunities this February!

It’s official: 2018 marked the fourth-hottest year on record, and 18 of the 19 hottest years have occurred since 2001. This is coupled with the fact that record numbers of Americans understand human-caused climate change is happening, are worried about it, think Americans are being harmed “right now”, and acknowledge that they personally, their families, and their communities will be harmed in the future. The urgency for action is being felt on all scales.

We’re encouraged to see this reflected at the national level and in Minnesota, with policymakers stepping forward with bold, courageous climate policy – from the Green New Deal to 100% clean energy legislation here in Minnesota! We’re supporting a statewide youth-led campaign called Minnesota Can’t Wait which has included working on on the first state-level Green New Deal framework in Minnesota, as well as participation in the 100% equitable, clean energy campaign that organized a recent legislative hearing and press conference with policymakers. Read more about these events in our In the News. Thanks to Minnesota Representative Long, Senator Housley, and Senator Frentz for co-sponsoring 100% clean energy legislation. Youth will come to the Minnesota State Capitol in record numbers for our annual Youth Climate Justice Summit on Wednesday February 20th – please share the opportunity with a young person you know in Minnesota.

We are continuing to elevate climate change education efforts nationally. In partnership with NOAA’s Climate Office, Washington state ClimeTime initiative, and the CLEAN Network, we are co-hosting a series of webinars on climate change science and education, helping WA state seize the opportunity of recent climate change education funding. We were honored to have Advisory Board member and climate scientist Ben Santer as a recent guest!

Hundreds joined us at Three Rivers’ Silverwood Park to explore the connections between art and climate change and connect with community-level solutions. Our Dine for Climate series and Brewing a Better Climate Trivia Series have been a huge success; they continue through April and May respectively. Visit our calendar to find an event near you.


Nicole Rom, Executive Director

Build Climate Literacy

Talk Climate in Duluth this March

Register today for the Talk Climate Institute and get empowered to engage in climate conversations and community level solutions! March 25-26, Duluth, MN. Hear from keynote speakers: Karen Diver, Special Assistant to the Obama White House on Native American Affairs and former Chairwoman of the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, and Melonee Montano, Traditional Ecological Knowledge Outreach Specialist with the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission. It will be held at the American Indian Community Housing Organization (AICHO). AICHO showcases equitable climate solutions, boasting the first fully functional solar array on an Indigenous center in the country and has implemented urban gardens and green space, with a focus on strengthening climate and cultural resilience among Native communities. Thanks to Duluth-based Loll Designs, scholarships are available!

Summer Institute for Climate Change Education Heads to D.C.

Our 14th Annual Summer Institute for Climate Change Education sponsored by Avangrid Foundation will be in Washington D.C from August 5-7, co-hosted by Lowell School, in partnership with NOAA Climate Office. Join a network of teachers from across the country dedicated to bringing climate change education into Humanities classrooms! Participate in hands-on workshops, hear from keynote speakers with expertise in climate policy and climate science, and take part in a field trip highlighting climate solutions in the D.C. area. Content will be focused on grades 6-12 teachers in social studies and English language arts. Registration is open and scholarships are available to waive the registration fee.


Develop Powerful Advocates

Feature: Joseph’s Climate Story

Joseph Rousu is the founder and Chief Operations Officer of Ogema Organics and attended our inaugural Talk Climate Institute in March of 2018. He is a member of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe and resident of the White Earth Reservation. An earlier version of Joseph’s story originally aired on Minnesota Public Radio’s Climate Cast and was shared through our e-communications, however Joseph wanted to tell a more full version of his story, one that shares the hope and abundance in the midst of our changing climate. We are honored to share the rest of his story with you… Read the full story.

Feb. 20: Youth Climate Justice Summit

This Wednesday is our annual Youth Climate Justice Summit! Join the passionate young people involved in the Minnesota Can’t Wait movement for a day at the State Capitol. Youth will experience first-hand how to have a voice in government, meet with legislators to share why they care about climate change, and meet other youth activists making change! Cannot attend but want to support youth? Help us spread the word about the MN Green New Deal bill officially launching during the event.

Elevate Leadership

Minnesota Green New Deal Introduced by Youth-led Campaign

On Monday, February 11th, MN Can’t Wait youth returned to the Capitol to introduce their platform for the first-ever state level Green New Deal bill! Standing outside the MN House of Representatives, youth shared their personal climate stories and asked house members to stand with them. Rep. Frank Hornstein and Sen. Scott Dibble, authors of the bill in the House and Senate, were among the representatives who came out of session to show their support. Read about the event in City Pages and on KTTC.

Inspired: How we #TalkClimate

Earlier this month, our staff presented on climate change in partnership with Freshwater Society, encouraging attendees to connect the dots on how we talk about climate change to our personal connection with Minnesota’s water and landscape. Kristin Maija Peterson of Grand Ciel Designs authored a reflection blog on the experience and her takeaways, including tangible ways to make small changes to your daily life to act on climate change. We’re inspired by her leadership and ability to use the platforms available to discuss climate change, normalize the conversation, and invite others to join her.


Join our Zero Waste Challenge!

Join our team as we embark on a Zero Waste Challenge for ten days in March! March 11-20, we will try to live up to the hashtag #CGwastewatchers by making deliberate choices about our consumption. Why would a climate change organization focus on zero waste, you may ask?

  1. Many single-use packaging items contain toxins that leach into food and water.
  2. Plastic pollution in our waterways is becoming more difficult to clean up and more hazardous to wildlife, fresh drinking water, ecosystems, and our bodies.
  3. Extracting more oil, building more pipelines, and producing more plastic is only going to increase pollution and accelerate the effects of climate change.
  4. One of our favorite reads of the year, Drawdown, describes solutions around our use of materials, including recycling, composting, and reducing food waste. Focusing on these actions would result in 111.78 GIGATONS REDUCED CO2 and $1.04 TRILLION NET OPERATIONAL
  5. Collective action is just plain fun!

We’ll kick things off with an informational “Reusable brown bag” Zero Waste Webinar on March 4, 12-1 pm CST, with guest speakers, tangible steps to join us, and how you can share your progress as we embark on this challenge. Register here.

In The News

Fossil fuel free by 2030? A group of Minnesota teens demands a Green New Deal

City Pages writes about the rally and teach-in by Minnesota Can’t Wait at the State Capitol on February 11, encouraging immediate action on climate change.

Minnesota students rally at state Capital demanding action against climate change

On February 11, members of the youth-led group “Minnesota Can’t Wait” gathered in front of the house chambers at the State Capitol demanding action to combat climate change and launched the MN Green New Deal.

Food Choices and Climate Change

Janet Brown, our Associate Director, was interview on plant-based restaurant J. Selby’s new podcast about the effects our dietary choices have on the planet.

Explorer Will Steger to visit Minnewaska Feb. 19

Our founder Will Steger will present at Minnewaska Area High School about his eyewitness to climate change during his historic expeditions in the polar regions in this open-to-the-public event.

What changes Will Steger saw on his latest Antarctica trip

Will Steger sat down with MPR News chief meteorologist Paul Huttner to discuss what has changed in the last 30 years, plus his outlook for the climate’s future.

Why Some States Still Lag in Teaching Climate Science

Scientific American republished the E&E News article below.

Climate in the classroom: here’s how states stack up

E&E News writes on the state of climate change education in states across the nation, featuring NOAA and Climate Generation.

On Line 3, will Walz be the leader Minnesota desperately needs? MinnPost

The meeting between Minnesota Can’t Wait youth and Governor Walz during the first three days in office was a talking point for the potential of the MN Governor’s environmental leadership.

Youth Activists Call for a Minnesota Green New Deal

Minnesota Can’t Wait youth Lia Harel is interviewed on the Minnesota Green New Deal resolution gaining momentum and the necessity for climate change action.

EXECUTIVE PERSPECTIVE: Corporate leaders at COP24

Reflections from our Window into COP24 delegates were featured as an example of the growing trend for corporate leaders – local to global –  to create science-based targets.

Fighting climate change and supporting local restaurants: As easy as dining out

Our Dine for Climate series is featured in City Pages as an accessible way to support climate action, highlighting our restaurant partners that focus on sustainable, organic, and/or plant-based ingredients and menu offerings.

Photo of the Month

More than 100 community members explored how art brings climate data to life at Silverwood Park’s Climate Conversation this past Saturday.