Climate Generation Gist

July 17, 2019
By: Climate Generation

The biggest thing you can do for climate change action...

Letter from the Executive Director

At Climate Generation, we firmly believe that naming the issue — “climate change” — is incredibly important; you can’t solve a problem you don’t understand, and you can’t understand something if you don’t talk about it. Talking about climate change with friends and family helps them learn key facts about the scientific agreement on climate change and influences their beliefs. Research shows that kids can even sway their parents on topics like climate change!

But what’s in a name? For years, advocates and researchers have waffled between the terms global warming, climate change, climate crisis, climate disruption; which one do you use and why? Climate terminology has evolved to fit various political and scientific needs over the years. “Global warming” entered the popular lexicon after a 1975 paper was published by renowned scientist Wallace Smith Broecker, alongside the testimony of NASA scientist James Hansen before Congress in 1988; it was the frame for our initial Global Warming 101 Initiative and 2007-2008 Arctic expeditions. Scientists use “climate change” because it describes more accurately the full range of consequences from human-made greenhouse gas emissions, and thus we made the switch in 2009 and intentionally put the word climate into our organizational name in 2015. Yet, a growing number of media and advocates are stressing the use of “climate crisis” to accurately weigh the urgent need for action.

We’re excited to partner with Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project, August 2-4, where our Community Engagement Manager, Jothsna Harris, will coach 1,000+ attendees in a climate storytelling presentation. Our storytelling workshops continue around Minnesota and virtually as we prepare for EYEWITNESS, a chapbook of testimony from Minnesotans experiencing climate change. Our education team will be in Washington, D.C., for our 14th annual Summer Institute for Climate Change Education and companion Brewing a Better Climate Trivia at Denizens Brewing on August 6th.

We’re busy planning for the upcoming school year, but in the meantime, we hope you are enjoying the summer!


Nicole Rom, Executive Director

Build Climate Literacy

Getting students fired up about climate solutions

Summer InstituteClimate Generation collaborated with the Lowell School in Washington, D.C. to train teachers to incorporate climate change into their entire 6th grade humanities curriculum, school wide, because we know that it’s the most relevant and important issue for youth to learn and understand. recently covered the results of our partnership, and we’re proud to share it’s making a big impact with students.

“The work in the humanities has also helped kids understand the science behind climate change — and engage them in the search for solutions.”

Students who had climate change integrated across subjects not only performed better than students who only had climate change taught in one class, but they also were more motivated to learn. Read the full article now. We’re looking forward to taking our Summer Institute for Climate Change Education to Lowell School this August to train more humanities educators to teach climate change.

Develop Powerful Advocates

The biggest thing you can do for climate change action…

Talk ClimateWe’re excited to offer a free climate storytelling workshop series this summer and fall to help people find and cultivate their own personal narratives around climate change. Why? Because being a climate communicator is one of the most important things you can do to influence solutions and normalize the conversation. Dive into writing prompts, discussion, and reflection on how this issue is showing up in your life.

Workshop participants will be invited to submit their stories of climate change to EYEWITNESS, our chapbook project of Minnesota stories. All ages, backgrounds, and experiences welcome! Register for a workshop.

Elevate Leadership

Two days to apply for the UN Youth Climate Summit

Climate Action Summit 2019The UN Youth Climate Summit is a platform for young leaders who are driving climate action to showcase their solutions at the United Nations, and to meaningfully engage with decision-makers on the defining issue of our time. The UN is offering over 100 young people to attend for free!

Apply by July 19 to attend the Summit on September 21 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. Learn more about the event.


Your summer reading list needs some climate change solutions

Summer Reading ListLooking for a few books to add to your beach reads list? Yale Climate Connections has put together a collection of 12 titles that offer inside looks into all kinds of climate change solutions, from independent action to reduce our carbon footprint to how climate change can be addressed by businesses, cities, governments, and more. Know of others that you’d like to recommend? Share them with us at @climategenorg!

In The News

How one school is getting kids fired up about climate solutionsGrist

Climate Generation was pleased to have our humanities-climate change curriculum partnership with Lowell School in Washington, D.C., featured in

How should climate change be taught in schools across America?Ensia

Ensia dives into how climate science is being approached in classrooms and the different resources—including Climate Generation’s work with Lowell School—that teachers are using to prepare their students.

Photo of the Month

Kira Liu
We’re celebrating our own Kira Liu, who has joined our staff full time in her new role as Community Engagement Coordinator.