In his inaugural address, President Obama pledged to respond to climate change “knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations.” Obama elevated the issue of climate change into the top tier of his second-term priorities, alongside gun control and immigration reform.
We successfully completed an eight-city tour of Minnesota with free public forums on climate change, clean energy and health. When the New Ulm journal published the headline: Polar explorer, scientist, bishop to address climate change, we knew we were pulling together a diversity of voices for climate action.
Volunteers and WSF staff greet guests at the Chasing Ice reception. Copyright 2012 John Ratzloff.
When the New Ulm journal published the headline: Polar explorer, scientist, bishop to address climate change, we knew we were pulling together a diversity of voices for climate action. Our efforts to bring strong voices together grew when we welcomed Bill McKibben and James Balog to Minnesota this month.
This last month was our busiest yet: we successfully completed an eight-city tour of Minnesota with free public forums and hosted several screenings of the new award-winning climate film Chasing Ice. Meanwhile, program staff attended national meetings on climate literacy and youth leadership.
Thanks to your support, we raised over $10,000 on Give to the Max Day in November! Five generous donors each provided a $1,000 match. We thank everyone for making this day of giving so strong for us and for Minnesota.
Our Climate, Clean Energy and Health tour across Minnesota was a success! Between 300-500 people attended each event to learn about Minnesota’s clean energy path and hear Will’s own eyewitness account. Several forums included reflections on faith and creation care. Events included dinner with community leaders, students and elected officials. Participants signed postcards to their local representatives and Governor Dayton urging Minnesota to achieve the state carbon reduction goal of at least 30% by 2050.
Will Steger joined Bill McKibben’s Do the Math Tour, where Will spoke to his own eyewitness experience with climate change in the Polar Regions and encouraged strong clean energy leadership from Governor Dayton. Hear Will’s remarks here.
A week later we hosted James Balog for the Minnesota premiere of his new film, Chasing Ice. Chasing Ice tells the story of Balog’s effort to capture time-lapse photography of melting ice. Climate impacts are often hard for us to see, which is why the eyewitness account is so powerful. Through the Extreme Ice Survey technology, Balog could speed up photographs taken over many months and years, allowing us to visually see ice melting around the globe. The film is playing through Thursday at the Uptown theater. We encourage you to spread the word and see it!
We are certainly feeling the power and energy of the past month. As we look towards the close of the year, we take stock of the changing climate, which has hit Minnesota and the U.S. especially hard this year. But with the incredible energy, dedication and passion behind all of us, together, we can meet this challenge head on into a better future.
Please support the Will Steger Foundation with a year-end contribution!
Nicole Rom, Executive Director
In his acceptance last night, President Obama clearly stated: "We want our children to live in an America…that isn’t threatened by the destructive power of a warming planet.” With those words and another election behind us, we have the opportunity to not just message the reality and urgency of climate change, but to move forward with a clean energy and clean air agenda that protects health; creates jobs; secures our energy future through clean energy investments; and addresses climate change.
To truly secure our energy future and protect our health from dangerous air pollution we need to develop cleaner, safer technologies that harness American ingenuity to deliver affordable energy solutions and protect consumers from price shocks. President Obama and his administration have built a strong foundation for this by nearly doubling fuel efficiency standards for cars, the second biggest source of carbon pollution, and starting to set limits on carbon pollution from power plants, the biggest source. Now we need to move quickly to complete the process by setting standards for ALL power plants. We can address climate change by developing a clean energy policy that provides clean, safe, abundant energy while reducing carbon pollution that triggers climate change.
A Clean Energy Agenda Is Good For America’s Health And Economy
In 2012 Americans experienced violent and intense weather events that were fueled by climate change. Addressing carbon pollution and climate change should be front and center in any energy policy moving forward.
- Clean air and clean energy policies protect public health and create real, long term jobs here at home.
- EPA’s clean air standards improve public health: fewer heart attacks and asthma attacks; cleaner, healthier air; and fewer premature deaths associated with poor air quality.
- Clean air and energy policies cut emissions of the carbon pollution that is fueling climate change, which is linked to extreme weather, poorer air quality and rising sea levels.
- Cleaning up air pollution and investing in clean energy will save lives and spur economic growth through innovation and development of cleaner technologies to modernize power plants and produce cleaner, safer energy.
- Americans, by a large margin, support clean, safe, renewable energy and know clean energy will spur innovation and create countless green energy jobs.
- The clean energy agenda should include extending incentives for wind power development and support for innovations that develop other cleaner, safer forms of energy.
In partnership with nonprofit organizations, congregations, and universities, Will Steger Foundation co-hosts Eyewitness to Global Warming community forums on climate change solutions.
You can view our full profile at the Charities Review Council.