GC prepares for Oct. 24, International Day of Climate Action

GC prepares for Oct. 24, International Day of Climate Action

To retain a sustainable future, scientist estimate that we must keep the parts per million of carbon dioxide under 350.  Photo by Angelica Lehman.

To retain a sustainable future, scientist estimate that we must keep the parts per million of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere under 350. Photo by Angelica Lehman.

Last spring, Bill McKibben, author and economist, personally challenged Goshen College students to take creative action on October 24th. In nine days, GC will answer this call and join communities all over the world in rallies and movements that take a stand against global climate change.

On October 24th, communities across the world will highlight the number 350 in a unique way. Scientists say 350 is the upper limit of parts per million of carbon dioxide our atmosphere can retain for a sustainable future. Group photos depicting 350 will be compiled at the Web site 350.org.  Among other locations, the photos will be displayed in Copenhagan, Denmark, where the United Nations Climate Change Conference will take place in December.

On October 22nd and 23rd, the GC community is invited to call and write letters to Indiana state senators, representatives and congress members. For each call or letter, participants will receive a raffle ticket to win a custom-made bike from the local business Chain Reactions.

GC is planning a full day of activities for Saturday, Oct. 24th. The day will begin at 9 a.m. in the Church-Chapel parking lot, where three days worth of trash produced on campus will be amassed. Everyone is welcome to help sort trash to extract recyclable items and form the refuse into the number 350. This number, along with the volunteers who helped sort it, will be photographed and sent in to 350.org and local media.

“The picture will be displayed in Times Square, the UN Climate Conference and 350.org,” said Alana Kenagy, a junior involved with planning events on October 24th. “We’re working to get the community involved; this isn’t just a campus thing.”

The rest of the day will include a community lunch, drum circle, raffling the bike from Chain Reaction and a demonstration at the courthouse.

“I’m really excited for the action at the courthouse, making it a really public demonstration for the people of Goshen,” said Jeremy Good, a senior.

The courthouse demonstration will include acoustic music, petition signing and a march with people each holding a number counting up to 350.

To prepare for October 24th, GC students have signed up for “action pods.” There are five pods: a legislation pod responsible for contacting local officials, a media pod alerting local and regional media, an art pod creating signs and posters, a community pod reaching out to collaborate with the Goshen community and a 350.org pod in charge of the logistics of events on October 24th.  For those still interested in signing up for a pod, contact Kenagy at alanask@goshen.edu. For more information on 350.org and events in Goshen, Ind., visit www.350.org/goshenindiana.

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Written by Laura Schlabach

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