GET OUT THE VOTE! Please take a look at this powerful video and share it widely! Thank you, Mark Ritchie!
The giant digital clock installed at the Metronome in New York was recently converted into an artistic statement that counts down the time until an “an irreversible climate emergency alters human existence as we know it,” says a recent article from The Washington Post. The clock bases the time off of current carbon emission rates. As of September 21, the clock read 7 years and 101 days until we exhaust the Earth's carbon storage capability. Another number on the clock, called the lifeline, measures how much energy is available to be harnessed from renewable resources. The project asserts that we must push our lifeline number to 100% before the clock hits zero. “Our planet has a deadline. But we can turn it into a lifeline,” says Andrew Boyd, one of the artists emphasizing the timeline the Earth faces. “This is not a doomsday clock; the number is not zero. It’s telling us there is still time, but we can’t waste it,” said Gan Golan, another artist working on the project.
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed and disheartened in the face of climate-related issues, particularly when the world grapples with a pandemic and is distressed by so many other structural issues (and when there’s a literal clock counting down until our climate reckoning). Here are a couple stories of Minnesotans who are acting upon some of those issues:
From the Minnesota Daily, a professor from the University of Minnesota who is working on an initiative to merge climate research with community engagement. In addition to doing research on climate communication, Professor Heidi Roop of the College of Food, Agriculture and Natural Resource Sciences will be “engaging with important stakeholders, including economists, community leaders, policy makers and farmers, about the impact of the changing climate.” Some of the organizations that Roop will be working with include federal agencies such as NASA and NOAA.
From MinnPost, stories of young farmers in Minnesota working to push forward on sustainable agriculture and help solve fragilities in food systems. In particular, the article discusses a movement of small farms in northeastern MN that “benefit the environment by improving soil health, preventing erosion, protecting water quality, and bringing diversity to the fields” and whose products are “consumed nearby, avoiding the cost and carbon emissions of long-distance transportation.”
On a slightly lighter note, we can take some solace in the beauty of autumn in Minnesota. You can use the MN Department of Natural Resource’s Fall Color Finder to find where leaves are currently the most colorful (it’s updated regularly). Search a state park to see what point the park’s trees are at in their color-changing process or check the dates for peak colors in different regions of the state. Here’s a short article from MPR on how cooler temperatures are slightly speeding up the color-changing process this year.
In the latest installment of our Recipes for Success series, Kip Sullivan and Mark Brakke from Health Care for All Minnesota joined us to discuss issues in health care access and affordability. If you would like to watch the recording, you can access it here (the actual session begins at time stamp 3:15 if you want to scroll to that), and you can find the HCA-MN slides here. Our next Blueprint Breakfast on October 14 will focus on environmental resilience. Here is the event page if you would like to learn more and/or register. You can also read the chapter on environmental resilience in the Minnesota Equity Blueprint.
Earth Day turned 50 this year and the theme is climate action. “Action is critical to move us toward a circular economy, reduce carbon emissions, enhance and safeguard our world’s limited natural resources, and protect communities, peoples and economies. From electrifying our transportation sector to sourcing power from renewable sources to advancing a systems approach in all of our work, the Minnesota Sustainable Growth Coalition and its members are taking action and role modeling their leadership…” — Bridget Rathsack, Program Manager, Minnesota Sustainable Growth Coalition, Environmental Initiative