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Compelling Communities to Action through Climate Storytelling

Minnesota Stories in a Changing Climate, a two-year project funded through the Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund, will uniquely feature individual stories to create compelling examples of how climate change has and will impact Minnesota communities. For more information and to follow the Minnesota Stories in a Changing Climate blog series, click here.

The Will Steger Foundation supports the Clean Power Plan because...

The largest source of air pollution is from coal-fired power plants, which emit hazardous air pollutants, in addition to overloading our atmosphere with carbon pollution, which is driving climate change and affects our health, environment and economy.

Learn about the Regional Week of Action (Nov 16-21) and take action...

Dine for Climate

Birchwood Cafe - Thursday, November 13

Bring your family and friends to enjoy a delicious, sustainable dinner and a portion of the proceeds go to the Will Steger Foundation.

Learn More!

In Minnesota, jobs are the newest sign of climate change

Will Steger authors a commentary in the Star Tribune about the growing clean energy economy in Minnesota.

Read the article...

Emerging Leaders Mentorship Program

Matching young and veteran climate leaders across the Midwest in powerful conversations   Read more...

Will Steger Foundation Presents:

Youth Climate Action Now!

A one day climate justice event for and by high school students, November 8, 2014, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Read more!

The Wild Face of Climate Change

A Workshop for Middle School Educators at the MN Zoo

November 22, 2014, 8:00- 4:30 PM


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The largest source of air pollution is from coal-fired power plants, which emit hazardous air pollutants, in addition to overloading our atmosphere with carbon pollution, which is driving climate change and affects our health, environment and economy.

Learn about the Regional Week of Action (Nov 16-21) and take action...

Published in Youth Action
Friday, 15 November 2013 11:41

High School Student Perspectives of COP 19

For the 5th year in a row the School of Environmental Studies is bringing a group of high school students to the United Nations International Climate Change Conference. This year it is being held in Warsaw, Poland November 11th-22nd. The COP, or Conference of the Parties, will bring together representatives from more than 190 countries as well as members of civil society from around the world to address climate change.  

Published in Climate Lessons
Thursday, 18 July 2013 11:07

Carbon Affects My Health and Future

Until recent years, the detrimental effects of coal and its heavy carbon dioxide emissions had been ignored due to the nation’s immense coal reserves, as well as its dependence on coal for energy. However, President Obama has now publicly declared a war on coal, striving to make America the chief natural gas producer in order to manage climate change, as well as to abate carbon emissions.

Published in Climate News

We were very disappointed to learn today from Patrick Fitzgerald at NWF, that Congressman Chip Cravaack of Minnesota's 8th Congressional District, has offered an amendment to eliminate funding to the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Climate Change Education Program.  This will affect great science-based climate change education projects here in Minnesota that includes the Como Zoo & Conservatory and SERC at Carleton College, an important partner in the Climate Literacy Network.  In the Great Lakes Region NSF has been funding a Great Lakes Network, focused on bringing together educators, scientists and others focused on climate change education to encourage collaboration and decrease duplication of efforts.  Funding from the National Science Foundation for climate change education is integral to the work we do: developing science based climate change education resources and programs and maintaining a nationwide network dedicated specifically to climate change education.

Published in Climate Lessons

Youth leaders in Minnesota Youth leaders in Minnesota have been active to ensure our U.S. Senators protect the Clean Air Act. From Collegeville to Crookston, we came to the Twin Cities to meet with our Senators’ staff and share why defending the Clean Air Act is so important to us, our generation, and the state of Minnesota.

The Clean Air Act has been vital in protecting the nation’s health, and attacks on the clean air standards would weaken regulations on harmful pollutants such as mercury, ozone, and greenhouse gases. These attacks are part of an alarming trend of anti-EPA legislation. This is of special concern to us, young adults, because the energy and environmental policy decisions of today will affect us for decades to come. The problems caused by pollution, climate change, and diminishing natural resources will be our generation’s burden to bear.

The latest salvo against clean air comes from Senator Rand Paul, who wants to block an air pollution standard that cuts down on the amount of dangerous air pollution that is carried over state lines – essentially delivering pollutants that create soot, smog, and acid rain to all Americans. Senator Paul’s Cross State Air Pollution Standard would roll back public health protections and let polluters continue to dump their toxic pollution into our air, leading to as many as 34,000 premature deaths, 15,000 heart attacks, and 400,000 asthma attacks annually. This resolution would be a huge step back at a time when we need to see progress in improving our air quality.

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Image Credits: The Sierra Club

We brought this message to our Senators, sharing that Minnesotans want clean air and water and we want the EPA to enforce standards that will lower air pollution and its deadly public health impacts. In both meetings we were welcomed in sharing our concerns and told they would be passed along to the Senators.

In Senator Al Franken’s office, youth met with Alana Petersen, State Director for Senator Franken, and Al Juhnke, the Senators Agriculture and Energy Field Representative. Youth explained how regulation creates the opportunity for innovation and for growth in the green economy. We want to see investments in renewable energy, not oil and coal companies. Attacks on the EPA and environmental regulations eliminate job growth opportunities for young people who seek careers in this important field.

Senator Franken had not yet heard about the Congressional Review of the Cross State Air Pollution Rule that had been proposed only days beforehand. Petersen and Juhnke spoke about the Senator’s commitment to making educated decisions on these matters and shared the Senator’s strong voting record to protect clean air. We hope to see that record continue when Senator Franken votes on this resolution.

In Senator Amy Klobuchar’s office, we met with Greg Bohrer, Senator Klobuchar’s energy and environmental legislative correspondent. During the meeting, Klobuchar’s past environmental voting record was also discussed. For most of her term Senator Klobuchar has been supportive of public health and environmental protection legislation, but her stance has softened considerably in the past year. In April 2011, she voted in favor of two separate attempts to weaken the Clean Air Act, the Baucus Amendment and the Stabenow Amendment. We expressed our concern and disappointment over these votes.

We shared how the protecting the Clean Air Act will protect our futures. At a time when far too often industry profits are valued over scientific evidence and the health of Americans, we need Senator Klobuchar to vote to protect our health, to help mitigate the impacts of climate change, and to build the green economy in which we hope to work.

When asked how Senator Klobuchar plans to vote on the Congressional Review of the Cross State Air Pollution Rule, Bohrer responded that the Senator has not yet decided. He stressed that she is committed to making informed decisions and is looking into the longterm impacts of the resolution.

The impacts of a repeal to the Cross State Air Pollution rule are clear. It would block Minnesota from receiving between $650 million and $1.6 billion each year in health benefits and put thousands of Americans at risk of life-threatening illnesses.

The meetings with our Senators’ staff were overall productive and hopeful. Both Senators value the opinions of their constituents and the delegation of youth leaders communicated how Minnesotans want them to act--we need our Senator Klobuchar and Senator Franken take a stand in protecting clean air and vote against the Congressional Review of the Cross State Air Pollution Rule and other attempts to weaken the Clean Air Act.

Youth Leaders Present at Lobby Meetings:

Lauren Snively from UMN Crookston and student representative to the UMN System-wide Sustainability Committee, Nick Moe from St. John’s University in Collegeville, Mike Wardwell from University St. Thomas Environmental Law Society, Natalie Tungsvik - MPIRG Student Board of Directors Chair from Hamline University, Cora Ellenson-Myers and Logan Bailey from the UMN MPIRG chapter, Tim Sheehan and Cole Norgaarden - Co-Chairs of Yea!MN, Leah Norman from Yea! MN, Alyssa Tucker from the MN Youth Environmental Network, Gretel Lee and Jason Bender from UMN Campus Beyond Coal, Timothy Den-Herder Thomas - Co-foudner of Grand Aspirations, Joe Kruse - Yea!MN Coordinator, and Christy Newell - Will Steger Foundation Intern and from UMTC EcoWatch.

Take Action!

Our Senators need to hear from you!

Join us for a letter writing event on November 9th at 5pm in Folwell Hall at the University of Minnesota, Room 3 or contact Christy Newell for other opportunities to get involved.

Published in Climate News
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