Campus Leaders Unite at Minnesota Eco-Summit Retreat

Published December 1, 2007

On August 2, just one day after the tragic collapse of the I-35W Bridge in Minneapolis, Minnesota, a group of Collegians for a Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT) staff and students trekked via the Twin Cities to Breezy Point, Minnesota for the organization’s sixth annual Eco-Summit.

Every year since 2002, the National CFACT student leaders have met with local and national staff to learn about and discuss environmental and consumer issues and gain instruction in ways to grow their campus chapters, in a fun-filled weekend.

Global Warming Science

Friday began with the first of two mornings of workshops by the CFACT staff and special guest speakers covering topics such as global warming theories, CFACT’s mission, and how to grow local chapters.

Friday morning’s keynote speaker was Minnesota State Sen. Mike Jungbauer (R-East Bethel). Jungbauer, a skeptic of the theory that humans are causing a global warming crisis, engaged the group by debunking hysterical global warming theories. He told stories of many battles on the issue in the Minnesota state legislature and described his ongoing study of the issue through advanced-level science courses.

Jungbauer stressed the need to read and research on one’s own to find answers.

Saturday morning’s keynote speaker was James M. Taylor, managing editor of Environment & Climate News and a policy expert on climate change from The Heartland Institute. Taylor gave a casual and extremely informative talk on global warming, focusing on alarmist myths and why and how they’re spread by activists, media, and legislators. Taylor gave attendees a copy of his findings, with references so they could use the information later.

Campus Organization Strategies

Attendees also gained practical advice about how to succeed as a student group on campus. CFACT national and regional staff made presentations about communicating their message to students, developing an internship program, and navigating the often complex–and often unconstitutional–student service fees processes.

The conference was a resounding success. As Andy Larson, CFACT chairman for the Upper Midwest Region, put it, “It was great to meet other CFACT leaders and hear what they’re doing to advance our message across the country. I learned a lot, and whenever a trip to northern Minnesota is involved, I can’t complain.”

Jordan Smith ([email protected]) is a campus organizer for the University of Wisconsin-Madison branch of Collegians for a Constructive Tomorrow.

CFACT staff and students pose with Minnesota State Sen. Mike Jungbauer, front row, third from left, after Jungbauer’s global warming presentation.

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UNC’s Tina Chen with the CFACT penguin, given away at the conference.

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CFACT attendees on an outing during the 2007 annual meeting in Breezy Point, Minnesota.

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CFACT 2007 annual meeting attendees with environmental expert James Taylor (far right, 2nd row).

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