Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Minnesota Peak Oil and Global Warming Conference - details

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Preparing Your Community for Climate and Energy Change: Opportunities for Local Sustainability

Wednesday, June 6, 2007, 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Continuing Education and Conference Center, University of Minnesota, St. Paul Campus | map and directions

A free conference for local elected officials, local government staff, and other community leaders.

  • Learn about projected climate change impacts in Minnesota
  • Track global energy trends that can impact communities
  • Hear case studies from local governments
  • Envision a positive lower-energy future
  • Discuss how to overcome barriers to action
  • Access resources for taking action at the community level
  • Identify opportunities that have benefits now
  • Receive valuable free printed resources

Why attend this conference?

Minnesota communities face serious challenges due to the interrelated issues of climate change and a projected decline in the global availability of fossil fuels — peak oil. This conference offers local community leaders and concerned citizens an opportunity to learn about the current situation and future projections regarding climate change and energy availability, the risk management implications, and what can be done to adapt to these trends. Examples from local governments that are taking action will be presented.

The conference will also include discussion about next steps and identifying barriers to change, as well as topic sessions to help communities consider opportunities related to energy, food, buildings, and other areas. Many of these actions for a lower-energy future are “no-regrets” strategies — useful regardless of how climate and energy trends unfold. They have benefits for communities now, and can increase our local quality of life and benefit the global environment.

Who should attend this conference?

  • Local government elected officials, staff and volunteers
  • Nonprofit organizations, including community and civic organizations and public interest groups
  • Tribal governments
  • State agencies
  • Interested individuals


PDF 50KbPrinter-friendly agenda

Concurrent Afternoon Sessions: 2:45 – 4:00 p.m.

Green Building and Community Development Strategies

  • Warren Hanson, President and Chief Executive Officer, Greater Minnesota Housing Fund
  • Rick Carter, AIA, Vice President, LHB
  • John Shardlow, AICP, Principal, DSU/Bonestroo

Keeping Energy Supplies and Money Local

  • Bruce Anderson, Sustainable Community Solutions
  • Jimmie Sparks, Residential Energy Program Manager, Neighborhood Energy Connection
  • Ken Smith, Vice President, District Energy St. Paul

Strengthening Communities with Diverse Transportation Options

  • Russ Stark, Executive Director, Midway Transportation Management Organization
  • Jan Parker, Ramsey County Commissioner
  • Tim Springer, Executive Director, Midtown Greenway Coalition

Local Food as Economic Development

  • Ken Meter, President, Crossroads Resource Center
  • Dayna Burtness, Co-founder, Saint Olaf Garden Research and Organic Works (STOGROW)
  • Kristin Johnson, Intern, STOGROW
  • Rob Smith, Intern, STOGROW

Community Water and Tree Management in a Changing Climate

  • Julie Westerlund, Communications and Education Coordinator, Minnehaha Creek Watershed District
  • Ken Holman, Community Forestry Coordinator, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

Minneapolis Case Study: One Community’s Response

  • Elizabeth Glidden, Member, Minneapolis City Council
  • Gayle Prest, Manager of Sustainability, City of Minneapolis
8:00 – 8:30 Registration, exhibit booths, refreshments

8:30 – 8:45

Welcome and introductory remarks

  • Brad Moore, Commissioner, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency
  • Mary Hamann-Roland, Mayor, Apple Valley
8:45 – 9:30

Climate Change Trends in Minnesota

  • J. Drake Hamilton, Science Policy Director, Fresh Energy
9:30 – 10:15

A Time of Challenges and Opportunities for Communities

  • Gord Miller, Environmental Commissioner of Ontario

10:15 – 10:45 Morning break

10:45 – 11:30

Meeting the Energy and Climate Challenge: One Community at a Time

  • Dan Richardson, Senior Energy Consultant, Schmueser Gordon Meyer
11:30 - 12:15

A Vision for Energy Security in the 21st Century

  • Julian Darley, President, Post Carbon Institute

12:15 - 1:15 Lunch

1:15 - 2:30

Overcoming Barriers to Action and Taking the Next Step

  • Moderated discussion sessions to identify opportunities and sources of assistance

2:30 – 2:45 Afternoon break

2:45 – 4:00 Concurrent afternoon sessions

Keynote speakers

Julian DarleyJulian Darley is president of the nonprofit Post Carbon Institute. Post Carbon’s projects include the Relocalization Network, Global Public Media, Climate and Energy Municipal Action Program, and Oil Depletion Protocol. Darley is author of High Noon for Natural Gas: the New Energy Crisis (2004) and co-author of the forthcoming Relocalize Now! Getting Ready for Climate Change and the End of Cheap Oil. J. Drake HamiltonJ. Drake Hamilton is Science Policy Director for Fresh Energy, a nonprofit organization working to lead the transition to a clean energy system, one that will support healthy economies, healthy people, and a healthy environment. Hamilton is the principal author of Fresh Energy’s report, Playing with Fire: Climate Change in Minnesota and gives many invited talks each year on global warming and cost-effective energy solutions.
Gord MillerGord Miller is Environmental Commissioner of Ontario, an independent officer appointed by Ontario’s Legislative Assembly. Commissioner Miller’s role is to oversee the continued implementation of Ontario’s Environmental Bill of Rights. Prior to his appointment as Environmental Commissioner, he worked for Ontario’s Ministry of the Environment for 14 years. Dan RichardsonDan Richardson works with Schmueser Gordon Meyer, an engineering firm based in Glenwood Springs, Colorado, where he specializes in energy efficiency, renewable energy, and other climate action strategies for businesses and governmental entities. Until January 2007, he was Global Warming Manager for the city of Aspen, and manager of the city’s Canary Initiative. He is a former Glenwood Springs City Council member and chair of the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority.

Getting there: Directions

University of Minnesota Continuing Education and Conference Center
1890 Buford Ave., St. Paul, MN

Map and driving directions to the conference center: www.cce.umn.edu/conferencecenter/directions.html

Bus transit information: www.metrotransit.org or call 612-373-3333.

Bicycle parking: www1.umn.edu/pts/parkbike.htm

For more information

Registration questions?
Jennifer Holstad: email <jennifer.holstad@pca.state.mn.us> or call 651-296-7788 or 800-657-3864 toll free

Technical questions?
Paul Moss: email <paul.moss@pca.state.mn.us> or call 651-215-0243 or 800-657-3864 toll free

Registration closed: Conference has reached capacity

Thanks to strong interest in the event, the site of the conference has reached capacity and registration for this conference is now closed.

If you would like to be informed of future events on this topic sponsored by the MPCA's Sustainable Development unit, email us with the following information:

  • Name
  • Organization
  • Postal address
  • City, State, Zip
  • Email address

Email to Paul Moss <paul.moss@pca.state.mn.us>.


Friday, June 01, 2007

For a state to compete, it must lead in education


Recent coverage of global competition raised the question of whether u.s. education, particularly in math and science, will keep pace with that of emerging countries such as China and India. For years, we have been warned that the outsourcing of vital employment will continue as long as we refuse to improve our educational outcomes. Now,' Govs. Janet Napolitano, D-Ariz., and Tnn Pawlenty, R-Minn., have declared that the nation's governors will focus on this problem. Before going national, however, they maywant to improve their own states' pictures.

In Minnesota, better results will not occur if we continue on the current course. For us to compete effectively on a global basis, we must maximize opportunities for educational success for all young people. That means removing barriers to academic achievement, including poor nutrition and lack of access to health care. It means more quality early childhood learning, a challenging K-12 experience and affordaole higher education. Minnesota is losing ground in all these areas.

Access to higher education is increasingly being blocked by stag. gering tuition hikes. On the K-12 front, our state government's commitment to technology in schools ranked No.1 in 1999, but our lack of investment caused us to place 49th among states by 2006.

As a public, we recognize declines in investment more readily in transportation than we do in education or health. But all are vital if we intend to successfully compete.

During the past decade, our political leadership sold us on the notion of war without sacrifice, tax cuts with spending increases and massive debt accumulation without consequences. The results will be tragic. Efforts to compete must rest on the understanding that leaders challenge the status quo and motivate people and institutions to elevate their expectation and vision.

Pawlenty has indicated that it may take another Sputnik to make us act on the crisis in education: Visionary leaders seize the initiative and create their own Sputniks.

Wendell R. Anderson and Arne H. Carlson are former governors of Minnesota
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