In October and November 2018, both the United Nations and the U.S. Global Change Research Program released reports on the state of global climate change. Both reports detail the urgency at hand and the need to heavily reduce carbon emissions. The Fourth National Climate Assessment details the impact of climate change on human health, with consequences on the landscape of diseases and its significant economic repercussions in the long run.
We Are Still In is a national coalition of businesses, schools, organizations, and individuals pledging to acknowledge climate change and to reduce emissions. The coalition represents nearly 160 million Americans - and $6.2 trillion of the U.S. economy - who are committed to demonstrating America’s commitment to tackling climate change, ensuring a clean energy future, and upholding the Paris Climate Agreement.
As the first museum member of We Are Still In, the Science Museum of Minnesota leads its industry colleagues in the Association of Science-Technology Centers in embracing their role as trusted sources of scientific information. Museums and science centers can play a powerful role in educating their visitors on the impact of our warming climate, as well as the potential of pioneering environmental solutions that can help mitigate the affects of climate change. Museums and other cultural institutions are advancing awareness of climate issues and increasing visibility of these issues in communities, and we are pleased and honored to lead the way.
To set a precedent for sustainability, the Science Museum embarked on a 18-month long project which included adding two heat recovery chillers – to reuse excess heat energy within the building instead of expelling it as waste – and solar panels to increase dependency on renewable and sustainable energy sources. This initiative reduces the museum’s output of carbon dioxide by two million pounds annually and saves over $315,000 annually in electricity. Read more about the Science Museum's exergy retrofit - and its results - in the Success Stories section of We Are Still In's website.
Besides making changes to our building and our energy sources, the Science Museum is also committed to providing scientifically sound information on climate change, clean energy, and advocacy through in-museum programming as well as community outreach. (Read our statement on climate change here.) Patrick Hamilton, Director of Global Change Initiatives at the Science Museum, encourages businesses and organizations to partner with science museums in order to support and learn about climate change initiatives in their communities.
Click here to read more about Hamilton’s work with the Science Museum and his trip to the 2018 annual Climate Change Conference, also known as COP24, as a representative of the We Are Still In subnational network.