Go Green

Recent Articles

Does bitter cold and heavy snowfall mean no global warming?

By Roddy Scheer and Doug Moss

Contributing Writers

 

 

It’s tempting to think that the cold air and snow outside augur the end of global warming, but don’t rejoice yet. According to the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), weather and climate are two very different beasts: “Weather is what’s happening outside the door right now; today a snowstorm or a thunderstorm is approaching. Climate, on the other hand, is the pattern of weather measured over decades.”

Isolated weather events and even seasonal trends are not an indication of global warming’s existence one way or another, and most climatologists agree that the car born pollution we have been spewing into the atmosphere for the past century is leading to more frequent and intense storms of every kind and causing greater temperature swings all around the planet. In short, the harsh winter we are having shouldn’t be viewed as a refutation of global warming, but rather as further evidence of a growing problem. “There is a clear long-term global warming trend, while each individual year does not always show a temperature increase relative to the previous year, and some years show greater changes than others,” reports the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Continue Reading →

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America’s Great Outdoors initiative connects kids and vets to environmental jobs

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Roddy Scheer and Doug Moss

Contributing Writers

 

President Obama signed a Presidential Memorandum in April 2010 establishing the America’s Great Outdoors Initiative to promote and support innovative community-level efforts to conserve outdoor spaces and reconnect Americans to the outdoors. The memorandum calls for collaboration among the Departments of Interior and Agriculture as well as the Environmental Protection Agency and the White House’s own Council on Environmental Quality in leading the initiative. Eight other federal agencies play a supporting role, and literally thousands of other partners from state, local and tribal governments, nonprofits and the private sector are involved as well. Getting young people, especially city kids, into the outdoors to experience our country’s unique natural heritage is a top priority of America’s Great Outdoors. Before pursuing any specific strategies, initiative leaders solicited feedback from everyday Americans as to what mattered most to them regarding conservation and access to the outdoors. Continue Reading →

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Resources that help kids understand environmental problems

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Roddy Scheer and Doug Moss

Contributing Writers

 

Kids today may be more eco-savvy than we were at their age, but complex topics like global warming may still mystify them. Luckily there are many resources available to help parents teach their kids how to understand the issues and become better stewards for the planet. A great place to start is the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) “A Student’s Guide to Global Climate Change” website. The site is divided into sections (Learn the Basics, See the Impacts, Think like a Scientist and Be Part of the Solution) so kids can get just the right amount of detail without feeling overwhelmed. One feature of the site is a virtual trip around the world to see the effects of climate change in different regions. Continue Reading →

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Submit your proposals now for 2014 grant funding

$2.37 million available for bioenergy projects next year

ST. PAUL, Minn. — The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) is ready to fuel innovative bioenergy projects to the tune of $2.37 million in 2014. The enrollment period for the Bioenergy and Biochemical Grant program Request for Proposals is up, running and ready for applicants. Examples of qualifying projects include current or future producers of biobased energy and organizations providing onsite research of how these systems impact our environment and our economy. Continue Reading →

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People of color seek an environmental message that includes them

By LaDonna Redmond

Contributing Writer

 

It is easy to dismiss the environmental movement. It seems that so many of the messages that come from environmentalists are related to things that are defined as White or ideas that are not of any concern to African Americans. It may also seem like the environmental movement is trying to “unring” a bell, making the behavior attached to protecting the environment from human harm inaccessible and unrealistic. The environmental movement categorizes the natural world’s existence over people. The goal of protecting the planet and not people is troubling for communities of color. Continue Reading →

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Interact with the environment in ways that support the ecosystem

Green household cleaning tips that save Benjamins

 
 

 

 

 

By Renee Barron

Contributing Writer

We live in an age of chemical use that is affecting our health. Our people are contracting cancers of all kinds — asthma, and so many other illnesses — due to overuse and consumption of chemicals in our food, drinks, and personal-care products. Many years ago I set out to remove products from my home that contained chemicals as they have a direct link to cancer. The health and wellness of my family depended on removing these carcinogenic elements from our daily use. The things we rub on (lotions, creams and powders), clean with and spray into the air, all affect our health in ill ways that many of us are unaware of. Continue Reading →

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Historical background of African American cooperatives

By LaDonna Redmond

Contributing Writer

 

Mary Alice Smalls was a member of the New Riverside Café, a workers’ cooperative in the Cedar-Riverside community in the 1970s. Known as the Haight–Ashbury of the Midwest, Cedar-Riverside was a national center for counter culture, and the New Riverside Café was known as the community’s living room where customers could pay what they could afford. According to Smalls, “There were very few people of color that knew about the co-op and those that were interested were interested in alternatives to capitalism. Some were more militant than others.” It was that militancy that seemed to undo the work of the cooperative. “Decisions were made by consensus, anybody could block a decision, sometimes people would block a decision for political reasons that were not linked to the issue at hand.” said Smalls. Continue Reading →

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African Americans in the Twin Cities co-op movement

By LaDonna Redmond

Contributing Writer

 

 

“There were two African American owned co-ops in the Twin Cities,” according to Gary Cunningham, former staff of the old Bryant-Central co-op. Gary’s uncle, Moe Burton, was the energy behind the co-op that formed in 1975 on the corner of 35th Street and 4th Avenue. Decades earlier, in 1946, the Credjafawn Social Club formed the first African American Co-op, the Credjafawn Co-op, which was located a few blocks from the current Mississippi Market Co-op location at Selby and Dale. St. Peters AME church member and Central community resident, Gregory McMoore became concerned when he learned from a Wilder Foundation report that found that you can predict the life expectancy of people by their zip code. Continue Reading →

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Seward coop plans for second store run into questions of race, class and food justice

By LaDonna Redmond

Contributing Writer

 

“Will the store cause a rise in rents?” one community resident asked during the July public meeting about Seward Community Co-op’s plan to open a store across from Sabathani Community Center. At the heart of the discussion were questions about race, class and food justice. How can Seward Co-op serve a community that is primarily African American and working class while it currently serves a community that is White and middle class? In other words, can a White-led co-op serve a Black community? A few weeks prior to the community meeting, the Bryant community grapevine had gotten news that a local cooperative wanted to expand in the community. Continue Reading →

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Bev Lambkins shapes a culture of hope for those in need

CenterPoint Energy’s consumer advocate explains how to keep the heat on
 
Bev Lambkins, a 30-plus year employee of CenterPoint Energy who holds the title of Supervisor Agency Programs Consumer Advocate, has lifelong experience working closely with low-income residents, military veterans, and families in need. As fall slowly makes way for the cool of winter, Lambkins has been hard at work making sure customers she encounters are familiar with the energy assistance program. “Our customers are important to us. We urge customers who anticipate having trouble paying their natural gas bill to contact us as soon as possible to setup a payment plan that is acceptable to both our customer and CenterPoint Energy. Customers should not wait until they receive a disconnect notice before exploring all the payment options available. Continue Reading →

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