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EBP & MLUI Partner to Promote TC350

Cara Pasik sits down with Brian Beauchamp to discuss global warming initiative

Eco-Building Products’ Community Outreach Program assists local grass-root organizations acheive their goals in a variety of creative ways. For the month of October, we have chosen to work with the Michigan Land Use Institute. Our goal is to help them create awareness about an opportunity to join other members of our northern Michgan community to participate in the International Day of Climate Action. The offshoot initiative TC350 hopes to send a unified message to our world leaders that an ambitious climate treaty needs to be enacted in December of 2009 in Copenhagen.

When the Michigan Land Use Institute began its partnership with the 350 movement in the summer of 2008, it was impossible to know that just over a year later, the effort to combat rising levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere would spread world-wide.

The 350.org program grew from a visit by leading global climate change author Bill McKibben, whose speech to over 700 people in Traverse City helped launch a global initiative to reduce carbon output.

The Michigan Land Use Institute is no stranger to environmental activism. The TC350 effort, coordinated by policy specialist Brian Beauchamp, follows in the footsteps of successful programs, including the well-known “Taste the Local Difference,” initiative.

On Saturday, October 24, residents of Traverse City will join with 350.org and thousands around the globe in a call to action for world leaders to address the urgency of a solution to global warming. More than 125 countries, comprising 2000 plus events world-wide, have officially signed on to participate and urge world leaders to create policies to help lower carbon dioxide levels to 350 parts per million, a number the world has already surpassed.

“October 24th is the day that people around the world will be calling out to their leaders in a unified voice.” said Beauchamp. “We will be asking them to agree when the UN climate summit convenes in Copenhagen in December, to renegotiate the Kyoto Protocol in such a way that it creates a new goal focused on targeting carbon concentration in the atmosphere.”

While both the MLUI and TC350 advocate attempts at lowering individual carbon footprints by eating locally and being thoughtful about transportation, a lowering of the carbon level will require effort on a grander scale; individuals, governments and world leaders all need to be on the same page.

“The truth of the matter is, even though there are many actions we can take to reduce our own carbon footprints, what we really need are collective, international goals and mandates from all nations to significantly reduce carbon output,” said Beauchamp.

The October 24th festivities will kick off at 1 p.m. at the Open Space in downtown Traverse City, where an aerial photograph of participants forming the number 350 will be taken and added to those being created world-wide. A rally will follow at the Opera House where participants will have the opportunity to write local politicians and learn how to be further involved.

“We want our US senators from Michigan, who have been widely supportive of this initiative, to hear loud and clear from our people in Michigan and Traverse City that they have our support and we want them to take a strong leadership role here,” said Beauchamp.

Participants can also take advantage of a voucher that provides discounts to more than a dozen local shops and restaurants in the downtown area.

“The international day of climate action will likely be the largest environmental action in state history, and definitely in world history on an international scale,” said Beauchamp, “so the most important thing people can do is come on down and be a part of it.”

For more information on how to get involved, or to learn more about the programs of the Michigan Land Use Institute, visit www.tc350.org or www.mlui.org.

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