Climate Generation Gist

July 20, 2021
By: Kristen Poppleton, Senior Director of Programs

July: Regrounding in Truth

I have the fortune of living in Northern Minnesota on the edge of the Boundary Waters all summer, and this month every morning I have woken up with the haze of forest fire smoke in the air.

Around the country the term heat dome has become part of everyday lexicon, and Europe faces unprecedented flooding. We have entered another intense tropical storm and wildfire season, and we face a continuing fight to stop Line 3, a pipeline that breaks Indigenous treaty rights, threatens the Mississippi River, and will contribute greenhouse gases we cannot afford to emit. Regrounding in Truth,  the theme of this year’s 16th annual Summer Institute for Climate Change Education, could not be more relevant or important. We are all facing the truth that we are no longer preparing for climate change, but living it.

But there are other truths to root ourselves in, and I found some solace this week in the words of our federal climate champion Gina McCarthy, the eternal climate optimist;

Let’s be honest about the challenge we see, the fear we have, and the solutions that are in front of us. 

There are solutions available right now that are economically feasible, equitable, just, and Black, Indigenous, People of Color led, and people across the globe are using their voices to further these solutions. At Climate Generation we continue to take action by igniting and sustaining the ability of educators, youth and communities to act on the systems perpetuating the climate crisis.

  • During the Summer Institute for Climate Change Education, from July 28-30 we will be inspiring  over 300 educators from 38 states, 3 territories, and 4 countries to bring climate change education into their classrooms, supporting the next generation of climate change leaders. Don’t miss our keynote speaker Dr. Raven Baxter or climate trivia!
  • Some of our very own YEA! youth leaders presented this week before a global audience at the ACE Youth Forum, on why climate change education is crucial.

In a team meeting this week, I asked the staff what they’re doing to live with the truths we have before us, while still moving forward in the work. Their answers were personal and deep and actionable.

I’m staying in conversation with my community. 

I love to create beautiful things. It helps me recharge.

Being outside is helpful for me. Just watching the ducks and animals exist outside the world I live in day to day.

I’m planting a wildflower in my yard. It is calming and helps me feel like I’m giving back, and it’s a great way to start conversations with my neighbors.

I’m proud to work with a team that is so committed to taking on the climate crisis, while still seeing beauty and hope in our communities and the natural world around us. It is absolutely what keeps me coming back to work every day. What are you doing to stay centered in the truths before us? How are you moving forward with the work?



Kristen Poppleton
Interim Executive Director