Seeds of inspiration

I had the honor of being a judge and presenter for the Linden Hills Power & Light Green Carpet Film Festival in October.

I was struck by the enthusiasm displayed by folks in the neighborhood who attended the event in the theater above the Wild Rumpus book store — particularly the kids who made short movies for the festival. I was also inspired by the acceptance speech of the winning filmmaker Laddie Messig who took top honors for his short film "Clown Goes Green." In his movie, Messig pledges to keep a clown nose on until he fulfills the promises he made when he signed up for the Minnesota Energy Challenge. At the film festival, he urged people to seize the opportunity — regardless of the outcome of the election — to work to make the neighborhood as energy efficient and sustainable as possible.

Well, now that Obama is going to be in the White House come January, environmentalists here and across the country are probably sleeping more soundly. But if you learn anything from the people profiled in our "Stewards of the City" piece, you won’t want to rest on your laurels and wait for change to trickle down from D.C.

While tackling something as large and ominous as global climate change can seem overwhelming to even the most energetic and ambitious among us, there’s a lot of momentum building here in Minneapolis and across the nation.

Al Gore, in his recent New York Times op-ed "The Climate for Change," noted the power of youth in galvanizing the energy necessary for major social change, comparing our time to the Kennedy era when so many young people were involved in the effort to land a man on the moon. "There is little doubt that this same group of energized youth will play an essential role in this project to secure our national future, once again turning seemingly impossible goals into inspiring success," he wrote.

You don’t have to look far to find that energy in Minneapolis. I hope you get something out of the resources and tips we have shared in our "Green City" project. I also hope you get inspired by the work of your neighbors we have spotlighted in this issue. I know I have been.

Sarah McKenzie edits the Southwest and Downtown Journals. She lives in the North Loop.