In This Issue
ERG Enumerates
is changing its name.
Starting in November, we'll be  

Transition Times TT-ASAP 

e-news from 
Transition Town -  
All St. Anthony Park
mid-October 2014
Bound for People's Climate March, Sept. 2014
Minnesotans bound for the People's Climate March in New York City in September

Planning Our "Energy Descent" 

Join Us to Draft a Local Roadmap toward Sustainability and Resilience


By Michael Russelle

Add a description
Visitors marked their own energy-saving habits on a
neighborhood map at the 2013 Transition Festival.
A good start!

One objective for our new grant from the Saint Anthony Park Community Foundation is to create a roadmap toward energy conservation and renewable energy production that also increases our economic and infrastructure resilience. These "energy descent action plans" generally involve envisioning a desirable future for our community and the specific steps to get there.  


In the Transition Town model, these plans are developed by small and large community groups with the broad involvement and input of residents, businesses, schools, employees, industries, and organizations.  


We can look to other towns for useful models, including two in England and one in the United States.

  • In southwest England, the city of Totnes's regional plan for energy descent includes sections on awareness and education; skill building; youth involvement; renewable energy and energy security; buildings and housing; water supply; food production, buying, and preservation; supporting biodiversity; transportation modes and pathways; economics and livelihoods; materials reuse and waste; arts and culture; and health and well-being. 
  • Forest Row in Transition, from a town near London, is a plan that's delightful to read. 
    Its introduction reflects our experience here in St. Anthony Park: "In 2007 a group of people living in and around Forest Row came together to find ways of creating a better future. We had deep concerns about climate change and the depletion of the earth's resources. We realised that huge changes need to happen if we are to look to the future with any sense of optimism, but felt discouraged about making much difference through our individual actions. When we heard about the Transition Town movement, in which communities act together to find a path to a more sustainable way of life, we recognised its enormous potential. Inspired, we began Transition Forest Row."  (To receive via email a pdf of the plan--whose graphics make it too large for linking here--contact your newsletter editor,
  • In the U.S., the most comprehensive plan we know of is from Bloomington, Indiana: Redefining Prosperity: Energy Descent and Community Resilience. The cover image shows 2008 as the "peak oil" turning point, necessitating quick action. As with all plans we've seen, the authors state that it presents a starting point for change, and that new ideas, goals, and paths are expected to arise.  

We've begun discussing initial steps to gather your input and involvement in this planning. The St. Anthony Park Community Council recently affirmed that energy descent should be part of District 12's new 10-year plan, a significant revision of the current version of the 10-year plan. Work on the overall plan is beginning now and is due to the City Council at the end of 2015.


If you're interested in helping, please contact Ranae Hanson ( or Michael Russelle (


Clothesline art from Forest Row in Transition: A Community Work in Progress, version 1, Spring 2009, p. 14.

One More Pair of Feet
Notes on the People's Climate March


By Ranae Hanson


An ERG member who teaches global studies at Minneapolis Community

and Technical College, Ranae traveled by bus from her home in Saint Anthony Park to the Climate March in New York City in September.
These reflections are from her journal.  


In the parking lot before we boarded our buses, we were smudged by a Dakota elder, who gave us tobacco to place on the mother earth. . . Later, when our numbers at the march were estimated, we were counted at 400,000. Recognizing that each of us represented probably 25 others (two people gave me money, at least seven sent their blessings, five or so clasped my hand and thanked me for going, many said, "I wish I could go," at least ten said, "Go for me"), recognizing those 25 who stood behind each one of us, we were 10,000,000 in spirit there in the New York.


On the bus we were children and families, strangers and friends. Many came from church groups together. (Three from my Quaker Meeting.) Several families came from Seward Montessori. One man, from a suburb without sidewalks, was looking for ways to make community. A woman from Saudi Arabia, traveling with her husband and son, explained to me how she had been working on re-enlivening the mangrove swamps in Saudi because they have been destroyed in recent years by oil development. . . . On Saturday everyone near me cheered when I told them the news I'd just heard: my neighborhood transition town had won a $15,000 grant. The man from the suburbs wanted to learn about Transition.


Sunday morning we arrived in New York. I saw Central Park and remembered, with a pang, that the last time I was there my father was dying and I was choosing to stay in the city to attend a racial justice conference. He was still alive when I got home, but I remembered walking through the park, two years ago, not knowing if he would be gone. Now, standing in the park again, I remembered that my father had passed. I would walk, in part, for the white pine under which, the pearl lake beside which, the wolves among whom he lies.


As Minnesota marchers we were given blue cardboard cutouts in the shape of our state to carry. On mine I wrote all the groups I was walking for (MCTC, TT-ASAP, WICOLA, MFM,* my family, the earth, the birds, the trees), even though they were too small for people to read. For me, it didn't matter if anyone read my message-only that I was one more pair of feet. Others carried marvelous signs: "There is no Planet B." "Climate changed. Will we?" "Marching for Winter." "Wildlife Can't Wait." "My God! What have we done?" "We took the train from Los Angeles."


At 12:58 we were all to raise our arms and settle into two minutes of silence. We did, though not quite on time and not for two minutes. Still we did. All with hands raised and all quiet. In honor of those leading us, those whose lands were already underwater, already dried out, already too hot.  


At 1 pm we all yelled and the church bells rang and the bands played. That was to sound the alarm. I wonder if anyone heard us. Airplanes flew overhead and we waved, hoping they would see us all, would take pictures.  (A video captured the silence, and the yell afterward.)


These quilt blocks spell out the earth's (surpassed) safe carbon threshold: 350 parts per million.  
Visit to learn more.

I walked alone, but not alone. Sometimes I thought, "Is this all? What good is this, walking sixty blocks through New York? How will this help the earth?". . .  A young man from Bemidji (my birthplace) found me by my blue state sign. I took pictures of the "Raging Grannies." I walked near the pink girls for the planet. For some time I walked with three nuclear fusion scientists; in a couple of decades, they told me, they will be ready. Sometimes I found and walked with my fellow bus travelers. I pushed through to get to the peoples of faith. The Buddhists, the Taoists, the Mennonites (with pink ribbons), the Catholics, the Lutherans . . . and then the Quakers and my friend who had driven up from New Jersey and whom I found, among the 400,000.


Eventually, we got to the highline. It was a slice of healthy earth. Above the city but in the city. With plants that a Minnesota native would know - prairie dropseed, birches, little blue stem. We ate frozen fruit and herb popsicles and veggie tacos. And, in a green-grass opening, I found the Minnesota meet-up. There were my friends from the neighborhood - Ginner and Mike. One of my students, and her boyfriend, just returned from Brazil, surprised me by being there.  We lay on the grass; we stood up for a Minnesota picture. People from other states paused to smile, to thank us for coming. And then we went to our bus . . .


Before getting to Minnesota, each of us had the chance to speak to all the riders. A young man spoke last. He was a senior from Gustavus, my alma mater. He said that he was often being told that he would grow out of his idealism, that he would get a job and give up all this climate activism. But then we traveled on the bus, and he was with children and old people and all ages in between, and now he knew. He, also, would not grow out of his love for this earth.


* Minneapolis Community & Technical College, Transition Town - All St. Anthony Park, White Iron Chain of Lakes Association, Minneapolis Friends Meeting


Photos and video by Rick Gravrok

Canners and Picklers "Put Up" Summer's Bounty

Fun with the food mill 

Applesauce (both pink and green), tomatoes, raspberry jam . . . ERG's Sustainable Food and Land action group hosted three food-preservation workshops this fall. Hot-water bath canning yielded the goodies listed above. The pressure-cooker canners focused on green beans. On the tangier side, people at the pickling and fermenting class left with quarts of beets, asparagus, sauerkraut, and even kimchi. Thanks to leader Ed Lotterman, coordinator Kit Canright -- whose name is destiny! -- and the SAP United Church of Christ for use of the spacious kitchen. 


Building Minnesota's Capacity for Climate Adaptation
Thursday, November 6, 2014 
8:00 am - 4:30 pm
Hyatt Regency, Minneapolis


This second Conference on Climate Adaptation is for local officials, planners, engineers, natural resource practitioners and others who want to learn more about our state's planning for climate change. Learn about new strategies in areas including human health, local government, college campuses, resources, recreation, and agriculture. Keynote speakers will provide updates on the increasing number of severe storm events, with continuing discussion in breakout sessions in the morning and afternoon.

Register online:  Early registration (by Oct. 24) costs $95.00, otherwise $120. Includes lunch, breaks, and parking.

Join an Action Group
Transition Town - All St. Anthony Park needs you ASAP!


SAP Community Solar: Barry Riesch (; Google site


Sustainable Food and Land: Lois Braun ( and Kit Canright (   Right: Kit pickles asparagus


Home Energy Curtailment: Tim Wulling (


Transportation: Pat Thompson (


Zero Waste: Gary Carlson (


Land Use Efficiency: Phil Broussard (

School Liaison: Mimi Jennings (

Reflective Circle: Ranae Hanson (

Newsletter: Mindy Keskinen (


Want to start a new action group or join the ERG planning group?  Contact Tim Wulling ( or Michael Russelle ( The planning group meets on the fourth Thursday of every month at 7:30 pm; contact us for the location of the next meeting.  


  "We have little time, and much to accomplish."
--Richard Heinberg, author of Peak Everything


About us


ERG: Energy Resilience Group, a subcommittee of the St. Anthony Park Community Council's Environment Committee.

Our purpose: To raise our understanding in St. Anthony Park of climate, the limits of fossil fuels, and the adaptation of our community that is possible and positive.

erg: A small unit of energy in the metric system.

Transition Town: A community starting the transition from a fossil-fueled, energy-intensive way of life to a more satisfying, locally-oriented community with increased stability in disruptive times.