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.
We Have Exciting News!
Join the Will Steger Foundation for a very special breakfast this year!
April 29 at the Red Stag Supper Club.
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.
Climate Ride 2015
Registration is now open. Choose the Will Steger Foundation to be the beneficiary for your ride!
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
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
Most Recent Posts
Climate change means more extreme weather in Bemidji
Written by Media
By Zach Kayser
Apr 14, 2015
BEMIDJI-- A symposium on climate change on Tuesday at BSU emphasized that not only are weather patterns already changing, but they're also affecting northern Minnesota—more so than other areas of the country.
Will Steger Foundation collecting Minnesota climate stories
Written by Media
April 17, 2015
By: Sarah McKenzie
The Will Steger Foundation, a South Minneapolis-based organization, is collecting stories from Minnesotans about how climate change is impacting their lives as part of its Climate Minnesota: Local Stories, Community Solutions initiative — a two-year project funded by the Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund.
On the Road NW with Climate Minnesota: Local Stories, Community Solutions
Written by Kristen Poppleton, Director of Education
Spring has arrived in the Northland and it was clear as the Climate Minnesota team travelled north to west and south again. The trees are budding and the spring peepers are peeping in the ponds. The ice is close to out on Lake Bemidji and the winds of spring blew us into Crookston. Our first two convenings of the twelve convening Climate Minnesota: Local Stories, Community Solutions series are complete and we are returning to the twin cities metro with a much deeper appreciation for Minnesota’s communities, ecosystems and people.
South High School Green Tigers win The Goddard Prize for Environmental Conservancy!
Written by Emerging Leaders
An active YEA! MN school, the South High Green Tigers were recently awarded $1500 for their efforts to reduce single use water bottles at school. Student leaders applied for this award last year with support from the Will Steger Foundation and YEA! MN.
Earth Day is Celebrating 45 years!
Written by eNewsletter
Earth Day is celebrating 45 years this month! On April 22nd, our YEA! MN youth will be ramping up action projects and Earth Day events at their schools and presenting their personal climate stories with our Education Coordinator, Jothsna Harris, at the Minnesota State Capitol. The Earth Day Climate Rally at the Capitol also includes WSF partners at the University of Minnesota, Ellen Anderson and Mark Seeley, as well as MN350 and Minnesota Interfaith Power and Light. Representative Melissa Hortman and House Minority Leader Erin Murphy will also speak.
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 ).
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!
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 .
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.
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.
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.
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|
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.
You can view our full profile at the Charities Review Council.