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Dine for Climate: A delicious solution to climate change

Throughout our winter fundraising series, Dine for Climate, good food, good company and a good mission came together to unite a whole new community of Twin Cities conscientious eaters behind the climate change-solving potential of local and sustainable food.

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We Have Exciting News!

Join the Will Steger Foundation for a very special breakfast this year!

April 29 at the Red Stag Supper Club.

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Over 100 Minnesota Youth Lobby for a Clean Energy Future

On a nearly snowless early February day, over 100 high school youth from the Will Steger Foundation’s Youth Environmental Activists (YEA! MN) program participated in the Clean Energy & Jobs “Day on the Hill,” lobbying their state legislators and meeting with Governor Dayton to discuss how climate change will impact their future.

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Climate Ride 2015

Registration is now open. Choose the Will Steger Foundation to be the beneficiary for your ride!

Register now!

Climate Minnesota: Local Stories, Community Solutions

This April we will host two Climate Minnesota Convenings in Bemidji and Crookston that will connect communities through local science, stories, and solutions that encompass the broad range of climate impacts that Minnesotans are seeing now.

Bemidji: April 14 - Crookston: April 15

Learn more!

2013-2014 Annual Report now available!

The Will Steger Foundation had another unbelievable year thanks to your support! We invite you to share in our accomplishments in this year's annual report.

Read the report...

Summer Institute 2015

Join us for our 10th Summer Institute for Climate Change Education as we celebrate 10 years of climate science and climate change education. Hear from renowned keynote speakers Will Steger, Frank Niepold and Ben Santer. June 15-17, 2015

Register Today!

 

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Summer Institute Curriculum Climate Minnesota

Most Recent Posts

  • Dine for Climate: A delicious solution to climate change

    Dine for Climate RecapThroughout our winter fundraising series, Dine for Climate, good food, good company and a good mission came together to unite a whole new community of Twin Cities conscientious eaters behind the climate change-solving potential of local and sustainable food.

    Read more...

    Written on Monday, 30 March 2015 19:30 in Climate News Read 62 times Read more...
  • Mike’s Climate Story, as told to Katie Siegner

    victus mike mageau2Cold weather has rarely stopped Minnesotans from going about their lives, and these days University of Minnesota-Duluth assistant professor Mike Mageau is proving that it also doesn’t have to stop fresh produce from growing year-round. Mike Mageau, assistant professor of Environment and Sustainability and Director of the Center for Sustainable Community Development at UMD, created Victus Farms a few years back to test out the sustainability and economic feasibility of an aquaponic growing system. Victus Farms houses fish tanks, greenhouses, plant and algae production troughs, with the fish waste fertilizing the plants and algae, and the algae separated into oil and organic matter, used for fuel and fish food.

    Written on Thursday, 26 March 2015 21:51 in Climate Minnesota Stories Read 114 times Read more...
  • DeAndra's Climate Story

    image003Having moved around many times as I grew up, I have been exposed to the humidity and heat of the low south and the artic temperatures of the high north. Even though I planted shallow roots in each of these places, I quickly got to know local people and deeply understand the culture of the place that I was current inhabiting. One of the most memorable experiences I encountered that really made me start thinking about climate change and the effect that it was having on me in real time was the record breaking drought in Texas.

    Written on Monday, 23 March 2015 18:18 in Climate Minnesota Stories Read 257 times Read more...
  • David's Climate Story
    Written by David Evans

    david evans

    Climate change is a complicated problem. As we’re starting to see, it will affect everything and everyone on our planet in nuanced ways, and the bulk of those effects will very likely be negative.

    This is the simple logic that compelled me to focus on energy and the environment in my education. Growing up in Northern Minnesota, going to college in Duluth and living in Minneapolis for the last few years has lead me to appreciate the diversity and beauty of Minnesota’s natural resources, and I believe it’s irresponsible to squander these resources when we have the tools to protect them. While climate change presents us with a huge challenge, it also offers equally big opportunities to move towards a more sustainable and environmentally sound future.

    Written on Wednesday, 18 March 2015 15:43 in Climate Minnesota Stories Read 82 times Read more...
  • Climate Change Adaptation Convenings
    Written by Media
    Climate Change Adaptation Convenings

    The The Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships are pleased to be hosting a series of five climate change adaptation convenings in Greater Minnesota. Extension Climatologist Mark Seeley will be joining WSF to provide region-specific climate information.

    Written on Thursday, 12 March 2015 22:17 in WSF General Read 121 times Read more...
Will Steger Foundation - Home
Thursday, 29 April 2010 11:30

Integrating the "Behavioral Wedge"

Our newest Citizen Climate curriculum emphasizes civic engagement and helps teachers and students understand the critical and complex climate solutions being discussed on the national and international stage. In the curriculum we recommend playing the Stabilization Wedge Game, a game produced by Princeton University's Carbon Mitigation Initiative . The goal of the game is to demonstrate that climate change is a problem which can be solved by implementing today's technologies to reduce CO2 emissions. The game creators, Stephen Pacala and Robert H. Socolow, show that the difference between maintaining our increasing levels of CO2 and leveling out our emissions of CO2 in the next 50 years is approximately 200 billion tons of CO2, and if illustrated graphically is a triangle (see below from Carbon Mitigation Initiative, Princeton University ).

Wedges_Figure1_8 Wedges_Figure2_8
Click the above images for a larger view

The object of the game is to keep the next fifty years of CO2 emissions flat, using eight 25 billion ton wedges from a variety of different strategies which fit into the stabilization triangle. Students have the opportunity to select from a variety of different strategies categorized as efficiency and conservation, nuclear energy, fossil-fuel based strategies, and renewables and bio storage to fill their triangle with wedges. The game is a good exercise for thinking about all the factors that go into the decision making process, such as money, political will, public opinion etc. I have enjoyed using it with students, but have found it difficult sometime to engage them because the solutions are generally disconnected from daily life.

This week the Garrison Institutes's Climate, Mind and Behavior Project , in cooperation with the Natural Resources Defense Council , came out with what they are calling informally the "Behavioral Wedge." They show how the United States alone could reduce its CO2 emissions by 1 billion tons through easy and inexpensive actions. Actions include, carpooling twice a week or telecommuting once a week; washing clothes in cold water; and unplugging or shutting off electronics more often. The actions outlined in the report, are more relevant to the average student and citizen than those in the Stabilization Wedge Game, and could possibly be integrated into the game when playing with students as a follow up, or as an introduction to solutions they can implement themselves. Let us know how you used it in your classroom, and if we adapt it for our own use we will be sure to post it!

Fore more on the Stabilization Wedge Game

Fore more on the "Behavioral Wedge"

Published in Climate Lessons
Wednesday, 21 April 2010 11:01

The Low Carbon Lifestyle-Earth Day Tips

The Low-Carbon Lifestyle
bike-walk-sign-by-payton-ch
Reducing the total carbon load on the atmosphere begins with choices individual consumers can make every day. Find out how much carbon you are personally responsible for by using a carbon footprint calculator. Then, trim off as you can in your daily life through energy-efficient lifestyle choices. Finally, go completely carbon-neutral by purchasing offsets for your remaining emissions from reputable organizations.

Step 1: Calculate your carbon footprint

As with any diet, all the little things add up – a re-charger here, an incandescent bulb there, no one’s going to notice, right? Well, you might be surprised at how much carbon you personally emit. Try using one of these carbon calculators to get the big picture on your carbon footprint: The Safe Climate Calculator , The Home Energy Saver , and The Home Energy Checkup .

Step 2: Practice energy efficiency
We all know about walking, biking, and public transit, or swapping out your conventional light bulbs for compact fluorescents. But did you know that you can save energy by insulating your water heater? Or that buying locally grown food means using less fossil fuels? Here are some tips from Audubon Magazine on how to start your “low-carbon diet.”

Step 3: Offset your remaining emissions
Emissions offsetting involves using or enhancing natural processes that trap carbon dioxide and “sink” it (take it out of the atmosphere by transforming it into solid carbon). Carbon sinks include forests, fens, and oceanic plankton. Planting trees and reforestation are some of the best long-term means of offsetting carbon emissions. You can purchase emissions offsets from companies and nonprofit organizations that plant the number of trees needed to offset a specific amount of emissions – say, the amount generated by your family’s round-trip vacation flight. There are many such companies that you can find over the internet. But, buyer beware – some of these companies are scams or involve questionable practices (such as bulldozing existing forests, ironically enough, to plant enough trees to fill the promised quota). Conduct some research about the companies you are interested in purchasing emissions offsets from in order to find out more about their business history.

Here are some companies that the Will Steger Foundation has researched and found to be reputable: Carbonfund.org , Terrapass, and Native Energy.
Published in Climate Lessons

I came across this great video today on TED:  Ideas Worth Spreading.  It is only 4 minutes, 14 seconds long, but it gives a great peak into the scientific research that can go into the making of a headline.

Rachel Pike: The science behind a climate headline

In 4 minutes, atmospheric chemist Rachel Pike provides a glimpse of the massive scientific effort behind the bold headlines on climate change, with her team -- one of thousands who contributed -- taking a risky flight over the rainforest in pursuit of data on a key molecule.

 

Published in Climate Lessons
Wednesday, 07 April 2010 09:00

Do some fact checking with your students

This week the Colbert Report on Comedy Central featured a "Science catfight" between Joe Bastardi , a meteorologist for Accuweather and Brenda Ekwurzel , a climate scientist at the Union of Concerned Scientists.  The report is entertaining to watch, but also has some clearly stated claims that would be easy and interesting to investigate.  Watch the clip with your students and ask them to write down some of the claims they hear from both Joe and Brenda.  Ask them to do some internet research to see what sort of support there may be.  Share in class and let us know what you find by clicking on the leave a comment button below!

 

The Colbert Report Mon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Science Catfight - Joe Bastardi vs. Brenda Ekwurzel
www.colbertnation.com
Colbert Report Full Episodes Political Humor Health Care Reform
Published in Climate Lessons

I came across the Climate Wizard a few weeks ago and have been playing around with it since then.  It isn't too complicated and gives students (and teachers!) an opportunity to explore a number of different aspects of climate change science including historical temperature and precipitation averages, and future climate predictions based on a number of different model scenarios.   The Wizard is a good way to introduce models, how they work, and why different models show different prediction results.  It also is a good example of ways to illustrate numerical data visually.  One thing I thought was interesting was the button in the upper right hand corner that allowed you to get the values that were used in creating the model.  This seemed like a great teachable moment.

Tools like this that allow students to customize their experiences working with data and essentially give them a chance to "play" a bit, are great starting points for discussions aroud climate change science, how to represent data and the complicated world of modeling and predictions.MNScenario

Published in Climate Lessons
Page 4 of 6

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