Our actions are significant!

Letter from the Executive Director

IPCCIn recent headlines: “Climate change is real, humans are mostly to blame, time is short, UN panel says…” The fourth and final volume of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) giant climate assessment offered no surprises since it combined the findings of three reports released in the past 13 months. While emphasizing the fundamentals – that climate change is happening now and it’s happening because of us – the IPCC report and its authors explicitly call on leaders to act. They point out that action will benefit society economically and conclude that the world will need to reach net zero emissions by 2100 in order to avoid the worst effects of climate change. Download and read the IPCC report here.

While the IPCC report findings are dire, the news of the US-China collaboration to cut greenhouse gas emissions was a huge signal to the international community that countries are taking critical steps forward. Locally, we’ve had a busy month working towards solutions.

Thanks to all of our friends and supporters for two successful events last week – the launch of our Dine for Climate series at Birchwood Café, as well as a strong Give to the Max Day! We had a tremendous turnout at Dine for Climate and raised over $20,000 on Give to the Max Day, which resulted in every donation being matched dollar for dollar thanks to $10,000 in matching funds from generous donors. Don’t forget to join us this Wednesday at Ten Thousand Villages, where a percentage of sales go to support our work on climate change.

At the 2014 Women’s Congress for Future Generations November 7-9, I was inspired by both Sandra Steingraber and Mary Pipher’s advice to “keep working” no matter how tough the problems get. A great take-away thought from author and activist Mary Pipher: “We can never fully know the significance and impact of our individual actions, but we can behave as though our actions are significant.” Yes, our actions are significant, no matter what, and we must keep working!


Nicole Rom, Executive Director


Curricula CoversWe are excited to share our newly revised curriculum suite! Our curriculum resources will help implement Next Generation Science Standards and bring climate change education to Grades 3-12 students through hands on, science based and interdisciplinary lessons. Download them here.

We were pleased to read the recent White House Call to Action to Advance Climate Education and Literacy. Read more.

You are invited to celebrate 10 years of climate change education at our 10th annual Summer Institute for Climate Change Education!  We will return to the beautiful School of Environmental Studies June 15-17, 2015 to hear from experts in the field of climate science and solutions, engage in hands on activities, and network with other educators. Register today!

Our Minnesota Stories in a Changing Climate project is unfolding quickly! We are busy working with Twin Cities Public Television on a new Minnesota-focused climate change television program. Additionally, the first of our twelve forums will be held in March 2015. We’re excited to be collaborating with the University of Minnesota Regional Sustainable Development Partnership on a series of forums that focus on climate change solutions, including adaptation.  Stay tuned for details!

Emerging Leaders

Youth CAN! a Huge Success!
youthcan160 high school students from 20 different schools participated in Youth Climate Action Now! (Youth CAN!), a climate justice summit on November 8th at El Colegio Charter School in South Minneapolis. The event was run entirely by and for high school youth – planned and orchestrated by our YEA! MN high school student leaders. The event provided an opportunity for students to explore the intersection of climate change and social justice – as well the implications of race, class, and privilege. We were proud to host environmental justice champion, Kim Wasserman, as the keynote speaker, as well as our own Will Steger, and City Council Member Alondra Cano. To learn more about Youth CAN! and YEA! MN contact Natalie@willstegerfoundation.org

MN Youth Call for Strong Carbon Regulation
WSF’s YEA! MN high school students have been hard at work collecting postcards in support of the EPA Clean Power Plan. Youth across the state are calling on Governor Dayton to take a strong stand on regulating pollution from dirty coal plants and protecting clean air for their future and the next generation of Minnesotans. YEA! MN students will join youth across the state to deliver the post cards and a photo petition to Governor Dayton on November 21st.

The 2014-2015 Emerging Leaders Mentorship program has already matched 15+ pairs to begin this fall. This year’s emphasis is on overlapping areas of interest, including local clean energy solutions and the EPA Clean Power Plan.

In The News

KFAIYEA! MN youth spoke with KFAI radio about their forthcoming Youth CAN! Conference and more.

stribAn op-ed by Will Steger – Thanks to robust developments in the last 25 years, along with public- and private-sector expertise, Minnesota is well-positioned for a future of building our new clean-energy economy.

GuardianWSF Advisory Board member Dr. John Abraham interviews our founder Will Steger for his weekly post on The Guardian.

MPRnewsIn this episode of MN Next, host Maddy Mahon talked with our YEA! MN Coordinator, Natalie Cook, about the reality of climate change and what it means for Minnesota’s future from the perspective of a millennial.

Dine for ClimateDine for Climate Series Media Coverage:
City Pages

Twin Cities Daily Planet


Southwest Journal


Why do YOU act on climate?

Act On ClimateOn October 2nd, Governor Dayton announced that Minnesota is making great progress in creating a clean energy economy with more than 15,000 jobs in solar, wind, energy efficiency, smart grid and biomass. The next step we need to take: implement the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan.

Take Action!  Join hundreds of people who are sharing why they care about climate action. You can check out their great photos here!  All you need is to find a white board or paper (or print our premade sign) and a camera! Answer the question why should we “act on climate” and share your photos with us or on facebook! Submit an online comment to the EPA before 12/1: http://www2.epa.gov/carbon-pollution-standards/how-comment-clean-power-plan-proposed-rule

Photo of the Month

Youth CAN!
YEA! MN Steering Committee members kick off Youth CAN! (Climate Action Now) on Saturday November 8th at El Colegio High School, an all-day climate justice summit planned for and by youth. Read more in Emerging Leaders…



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