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Climate Change Summit by Sarah Goldman '17

Sarah Goldman is a freshman at Carleton and a member of SOPE (Students Organized for the Protection of the Environment), a Carleton student organization. Over the past few weeks, she has been partnering with community members to plan the Northfield Area Climate Summit.

 

More than 650 people, including 100 Carleton College students, Northfield community members and concerned Minnesota citizens, attended the Climate Summit on January 18 at St. Olaf College.  The Climate Summit was the first step in an ongoing dialogue surrounding climate change and sustainability in Northfield and across Minnesota. The goal was to provide information about various aspects of climate change and encourage continued meaningful conversations concerning the effects locally.

 

The daylong event featured keynote speaker Meteorologist Paul Douglas. His opening address, “Climate Change: Natural Cycle or Troubling Trend?” was followed by breakout sessions with topics that included local food and agriculture, socially responsible investing, and the spiritual perspectives and responses to climate change. Minnesota 350’s Patty O’Keefe and St. Olaf professor/climate scientist Robert Jacobel participated as panelists.

 

Student organizers also participated in the Community Ideas and Activities Fair, which featured over 30 different clubs and organizations that focus on sustainability. Also attending were Carleton students representatives from Compassionate and Sustainable Consumers, Take Back the Tap, Food Truth, and the Climate Justice Coalition.

 

The planning of the Climate Summit launched the Greater Northfield Sustainability Collaborative. The Collaborative aims to coordinate sustainability initiatives throughout the community and helped implement the MN Pollution control Agency GreenSteps Cities Program in Northfield. To learn more about the Summit or the Collaborative, visit http://www.northfieldsustainability.org





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