Confronting Climate Change

Confronting Climate Change A Journals' Series

Community solar projects start taking shape

Posted on 5.5.15

A few community solar projects in Minneapolis are nearly ready for subscribers.

Sundial Solar and Linden Hills Power and Light are finalizing contracts to install solar panels above the Linden Hills Co-op, Church of St. Thomas the Apostle on West 44th and Eureka Recycling in Northeast Minneapolis.

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Storytelling a key tool for Will Steger's Climate Generation

Posted on 5.1.15

Noted polar explorer Will Steger’s newly rebranded foundation Climate Generation is on mission to get more people involved in the climate movement and the state’s rapidly growing clean energy economy.

“I’ve been talking with audiences about what we can do to fight climate change for more than 10 years,” Steger said, who splits his time between Linden Hills and his home in Ely. “During that time I’ve engaged with 1,000 educators, 5,000 young leaders and over 60,000 Minnesotans. We are making a difference, but we need to move with more speed and purpose.”

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Whittier organization urges faith communities to divest from fossil fuels

Posted on 4.21.15

Minnesota Interfaith Power & Light, a Whittier-based organization, is launching a campaign Wednesday on Earth Day to enlist 50 faith-based communities in fossil-fuel divestment campaigns by Earth Day 2016.

The kickoff event will be held at the state Capitol Mall at 2:30 p.m.

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Will Steger Foundation collecting Minnesota climate stories

Posted on 4.17.15

The Will Steger Foundation, a 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.

The project kicked off a series of community conversations around the state April 14 in Bemidji with Mark Seeley, a University of Minnesota professor and expert on climate issues. The Will Steger Foundation is planning 12 convenings through January 2016. The next event will be in Burnsville on May 12 with University of St. Thomas professor John Abraham.

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City joins international alliance committed to curbing greenhouse gas emissions

Posted on 3.27.15

Minneapolis has joined the Carbon Neutral Cities Alliance — a coalition of 17 cities around the world committed to reducing greenhouse gas pollution by 80 percent or more by 2050.

“I’m proud to be joining other leading cities in committing to reach our goals on carbon reductions,” Mayor Betsy Hodges said in a statement Friday. “We know that achieving these deep carbon reductions is more than just a simple plan — it will require us to engage communities to reimagine our cities in ways that enhance quality of life, climate resilience, social equity and economic prosperity.”

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City Council passes fossil fuel divestment resolution

Posted on 3.20.15

The City Council voted 11-2 on Friday to approve a resolution making it city policy to divest from fossil fuel companies.

The divestment resolution applies to the top 200 fossil fuel extraction and refinery companies that have the world’s largest reserves of coal, oil and natural gas. It does not apply to utilities such as Xcel Energy and CenterPoint Energy. The city has a new Clean Energy Partnership with the utilities to advance the city’s environmental goals.

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Lobbying for a healthy climate

Posted on 2.12.15

An idea sparked during a Frisbee game in the Morningside neighborhood has grown into a statewide organization promoting solutions to climate change through fun neighborhood activities and community outreach programs.

Cool Planet is the brainchild of Jenny Shoemate and Paul Thompson, a former Minneapolis Public Schools second grade teacher and longtime environmentalist who has turned his love of Frisbee, Nordic skiing and biking into a way to connect with people about climate change advocacy.

The organization, which launched in 2007, does citizen engagement on climate change through the Citizens’ Climate Lobby (CCL) — a rapidly growing grassroots organization with chapters around the world including 12 in Minnesota. The Minneapolis chapter meets monthly at Linden Hills Park.

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Social club pushes for action on climate change

Posted on 2.10.15

At least 50 people crowded into a Whittier home last January (600 were invited), toting their own plates and silverware for a potluck. The basement was stacked with fliers and petitions to sign. Attendees learned about the rate of global warming from a city staffer, and they were invited to pick up worms for compost. They stood up to give one-minute "soapbox" pitches and discussed topics like winter biking and car sharing.

The new social club has formed with the goal of giving people tangible ways to confront climate change and other community issues.

"Every time an issue is raised it's done in light of: Here is the opportunity to do something," said Tim Harlan-Marks, co-founder of the new group.

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About this project

Confronting Climate Change is a new Journals’ series of stories and commentary examining how local leaders, residents and businesses are addressing climate change. Send story ideas to Sarah McKenzie at


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