Transition Town: Free resource fair Nov. 12

This is one of a series of occasional columns from Transition Town – All St. Anthony Park, the neighborhood-based group working for a local response to climate change: a smaller carbon footprint and a stronger community. You can find out more about Transition Town at


By Mindy Keskinen


Even as Minnesota’s weather cools reassuringly this fall, the earth’s climate is warming fast. Some call it global weirding—not just heat but extreme weather of all kinds: droughts, floods, intense storms, rising seas and all the resulting ecosystem adjustments. Yes, we’ve seen these before, but now they’re more severe and more frequent.

How can we help slow that process? And how can we adapt locally?

At the free Sustainability Resource Fair: Wild Weather, Snug Homes, Quiet Streets, three speakers will help answer those questions, with expertise, humor and time for give-and-take. Join Transition Town – All St. Anthony Park Saturday, Nov. 12, from 9 a.m. to noon, at Luther Seminary’s Northwestern Hall, 1501 Fulham St. in St. Paul. There will be free childcare and refreshments.

Here is the schedule:

9 a.m.: Doors open. See displays on electric and hybrid cars (with models parked outside), energy-saving home retrofits, and climate and weather factors such as urban heat islands. Transition Town ASAP displays will show how people can join the local sustainability movement.

9:30 a.m.: Changing Minnesota Weather: Not Whether, But By How Much (or, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly). Learn why Minnesota now ranks with Oklahoma for annual days with severe thunderstorms. With Mark Seeley, University of Minnesota climatologist and meteorologist, author and public radio personality.

10:05 a.m.: Retrofitting Minnesota Homes: Smart Ways to Shrink Your Home Energy Use (or, A Bad Insulation Job Can Take Your Breath Away). Understanding your house as a whole system of related parts. With Pat Huelman, U of M cold-climate housing coordinator.

10:40 a.m.: The Quiet Revolution: Drop Your Carbon “Wheelprint” with Electric Vehicles (or, How Long an Extension Cord Do I Need?). E-vehicles emit less than half the greenhouse gases of gas-powered cars—cradle to grave. With Jukka Kukkonen of PlugInConnect and Fresh Energy.

11:15 a.m.-noon: Learn more from speakers and neighbors, visit displays, enjoy refreshments.

Can’t make it? Visit and join the other local solutions under way.


Mindy Keskinen is communications coordinator for Transition Town – All St. Anthony Park.


The Northeast Minneapolis Tool Library at 1620 Central Ave. is a model for the St. Paul Tool Library set to open this winter. Photo courtesy NEMTL

The Northeast Minneapolis Tool Library at 1620 Central Ave. is a model for the St. Paul Tool Library set to open this winter. Photo courtesy NEMTL

Need a tool? Don’t buy it—borrow it

The St. Paul Tool Library will open this winter at 765 Prior Ave. For a $55 annual fee, borrow tools for a set period and use workshop space. A boon for Zero Waste and the sharing economy, it’s a spinoff of the Northeast Minneapolis Tool Library, which new members can use until the St. Paul location opens. For info and to donate tools, visit


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