Will Steger Foundation Expedition Copenhagen 2009

The Expedition Copenhagen team consists of Midwest youth who will travel to the international climate negotiations in Copenhagen, Denmark, December 5-19, 2009. The expedition will be led in part by internationally renowned polar explorer Will Steger, and designed in collaboration with youth climate partners across the region.

South Dakota Joins Largest Environmental Action in History

Posted On Friday, October 30, 2009 by Jamie | | 0 comments

What an amazing day! Those who participated in the 350 action today were among the hundreds of thousands of people across the globe, from all walks of life, who gathered in support of stronger climate change legislation to lower carbon emissions to 350 parts per million. Our action in Sioux Falls started with a parade from 5th and Phillips to the Horse Barn Arts Center and ended with good food and environmental discussion at the Falls Overlook Cafe. Included in these pictures is the banner everyone painted and wrote messages on about what SD means to them along with the kind of future they would like to see for the state and its people. There were even international students present who added to the banner their wishes for global collaboration on climate change! To everyone that participated in some way today, thank you for your presence, your enthusiasm, and your hope while working to make a better future possible for all on this planet. Climate Change affects everyone, and it is only when the people of the world come together to collectively solve the problem that we will arrive at the sustainable environment everyone desperately needs. Today's event was proof that people are ready for the commitment.

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350 @ Riverwest!

Posted On Thursday, October 29, 2009 by Chalie | | 0 comments

This past Saturday was 350 day of Action and I spent an amazing day in Riverwest with different organizations participating and pitching in to make a great carnival full of games and educational tables for the entire community to attend and enjoy. So I got there pretty early to help set up for the carnival which was just a great experience. There was a group of people whom some hadn't even met each other before and we were all working together to make this event possible, setting up and just getting things ready. So, as the day progressed just dozens of people started showing up and there were tables and games set around the 350 number and of ways to accomplish 350 ppm in the atmosphere. There was a clothing exchange set up for people to bring in clothes they didn't want anymore and for others to take what they like... Games were set up around it, which were extremely entertaining. And other display tables were set up in order to encourage and give ideas of how to reduce our emissions. There was also an incredible compost demonstration where a composting poem was read. It was a day in which the community got together and enjoyed a beautiful day as a community in Milwaukee while being connected to the rest of the world throughout an action. As I left the action which was over at 3:5opm I decided to catch up with twitter and found out that 35o had made it to the New York Times, Washington Post and was the number 1 news on google. It was just an amazing end to a perfect day when people got together throughout the world and were able to bring a message. It was just incredible to be part of this event and I hope that this day of action influences the decisions that will be made in Copenhagen and drive strong policy. This effect should not only be on a global policy base but also drive some consiousness on the individual level on how can we reduce our own emissions.

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350 Sioux Falls, SD - Jamie Horter, Expedition Copenhagen Delegate

Posted On Tuesday, October 27, 2009 by Expedition Copenhagen | | 0 comments

Falls Park to Host International Action 10/24
What: 350 International Day of Action
Where: Falls Park
When: Saturday, October 24th 3:50 pm
Who: This event is free and open to the public. All ages welcome.


Mark your calendars: Sioux Falls is hosting a global art action and party on Saturday, October 24th to celebrate the environment, and you're invited. Be a part of the experience at 3:50 pm at Falls Park, and stick around for free eco-friendly products, good green conversation or a bite to eat.

October 24th is the International Day of Action promoting 350, the scientifically determined number of parts per million (ppm) of carbon emissions that is the safe upper limit for maintaining a healthy atmosphere. On Saturday, over 3,700 events will be taking place in 162 countries to promote this number. Here's a taste of what's to come: mountain climbers holding 350 banners on some of the world's tallest peaks; a 350 mile bike ride through MN; scuba divers holding 350 signs by the Great Barrier Reef. Sioux Falls will now be a part of this monumental day!

Here's the plan: we'll meet at 5th and Phillips at 3:30 pm and parade to the Horse Barn Arts Center at Falls Park. Inside will be a giant banner for everyone to decorate with their environmental hopes for SD and the world, and this banner will be displayed at the United Nations Climate Change Conference this December. We'll use the banner in a picture that will be taken at Falls Park, where all participants will form a giant 350 across the park. The picture will be sent to our legislators in DC, posted online, and shown on the big screens of Times Square in NYC! Following the art action, the Falls Overlook Cafe will be open to participants.

Check out 350.org for more information about the International Day of Action, and for more information on the United Nations Conference, click here.

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350 Evanston, IL - Liana Baker, Expedition Copenhagen Delegate

Posted On Tuesday, October 27, 2009 by Expedition Copenhagen | | 0 comments

Greener pastures to come for NU

Thomas Friedman told NU students at University President Morton O. Schapiro’s inauguration we need to tell our policymakers “carbon tax now!” A price and cap on carbon is one step, but what else can we do as NU students to make sure the U.S. is not left behind as the world moves to global clean energy economy?

NU has shown it can adapt. The Associated Student Government announced plans this week to form a new committee focused on the environment and sustainability at NU, one that bridges relations between schools and groups. While there has always been some student-led action on the environment, the scene has been a little fractured in the past, making it hard for a strong, united voice on the environment to be heard at NU.

Now all that is about to change. Student groups, faculty and staff who deal with maintenance, recycling and food services have banded together to send a report to Schapiro on sustainability on campus. The report sprung from a class last year, showing NU can be a rich, interdisciplinary place to explore climate change solution. This new spirit of cooperation will also be highlighted Friday, when Students for Ecological and Environmental Development, Environmental Campus Outreach at Hillel; Engineers for a Sustainable World and NU Solar Car will unite to design a homecoming float in honor of the 350 International Day of Climate Action on Oct. 24.

Experts agree 350 parts per million is the safe upper limit for carbon dioxide if the world wants to “avoid runaway climate change.” Learn about what 350 is and why it’s important at 350.org, and then show your support at NU’s very own officially registered 350 Day of Action event Friday. The world will be watching.

— Liana Balinsky-Baker
Deputy news editor,
Illinois youth delegate, Will Steger Foundation

THIS FRIDAY, October 23, after school, the New Trier Environmental Club in Winnetka, Ill., was organizing an event on the front lawn to raise awareness about climate change and encourage people to reduce their environmental impact in collaboration with 350.org’s international day of climate action. This event is one of over 3,500 actions occurring in nearly every country on the planet, and is likely the largest coordinated event in the history of mankind. Come be part of history and learn what you can do to make a difference at a personal, community and international level. There will be live music and free food provided by Fuel, a local restaurant committed to environmental responsibility. 
--
Liana B. Baker
liana.b.baker@gmail.com

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350 Milwaukee, WI - Chalie Nevarez, Expedition Copenhagen Delegate

Posted On Tuesday, October 27, 2009 by Expedition Copenhagen | | 0 comments

Groups and organizations across Milwaukee are getting together this Saturday October 24th to celebrate the 350 day of action in the form of a carnival!  It will be a great time to get together play games, get a bike tune up, listen to good music and enjoy discussing the topics of why we need to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions to a goal of 350ppm (parts per million) in the atmosphere.   To check out more information on this event go to the website http://mkesds.freehostia.com/ACT/MAIN.html.  In Wisconsin alone there are over 20 different 350 events occurring throughout the day of action, there are over 4000 events going on around the world!  So there will be an event close to anyone that wishes to attend, there will be everything from speeches and bands playing to walks through nature, helping out communities to prepare for the winter and save energy.  This will be a date to commemorate.  It will be a day that our voices will be heard through the world, I hope it is a day of education when people understand what is truly at stake due to Global Warming and continue working hard on building a new future for generations to come.

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350 Racine, WI - Jamie Racine, Expedition Copenhagen Delegate

Posted On Tuesday, October 27, 2009 by Expedition Copenhagen | | 0 comments

Penguins Will Dance, Representatives & Youth to Rally for Climate Solutions

As the penguins dance on their cinder block ice caps, the Wisconsin rally for climate solutions will rock Monument Square in Racine, WI on the largest climate action this world has ever seen.

Starting at 2pm, high schools from all across Racine will bring the most important number to our environment to the center of the square: 350. Wisconsin has tremendous opportunity to contribute to renewable and sustainable energy sources & lifestyles. Music will ring out and speakers will inspire the crowds that gather to share what forward-moving steps are being taken here in Racine and around the state to bring the level of carbon in our atmosphere DOWN from the current 390ppm to the essential 350ppm.

Students have constructed a soap box stage where Representative Corey Mason (http://www.legis.state.wi.us/w3asp/contact/legislatorpages.aspx?house=Assembly&district=62), Expedition Copenhagen Youth Delegate Jamie Racine and high school representatives will address the masses. Local cafe Circa Celeste will provide local, organic coffee and teas to keep the crowds warm while local youth ignite the passion of all that attend.

Check out what some of the youth of Racine have to say about 350 and our environment: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bvgCsQlSKWY

Come out to the center of Downtown Racine to get connected to the center of the climate movement in Racine, WI. The event is free and runs from 2-3pm. After party to take place at Circa Celeste cafe at 619 Wisconsin Ave., Racine, WI.

Go to 350.org for more information on climate change and the largest Global Day of Climate Action this world has ever seen!

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350 Grand Rapids, MI - Danielle Ostafinski, Expedition Copenhagen Delegate

Posted On Tuesday, October 27, 2009 by Expedition Copenhagen | | 0 comments


It's a good thing that residents of Michigan are used to cold weather! The 350GR event was a success amid some freezing rain and wind. We braved the cold and had an amazing day bringing attention to 350ppm, the safe upper limit of CO2 that we need in the atmosphere. Internationally there were over 5,200 actions in 181 countries- and we definitely felt solidarity with our friends in other nations on the 24th.

The event began with music from Midwest Skies, an mix of alternative rock and punk sounds by three students at Grand Valley State University. The boys played great, giving us a taste of some of their songs along with some throwbacks to the 90's which got the crowd moving and singing.

In between songs student leaders spoke about what they are doing on their campuses to promote sustainability. Other speakers included Kristie Klomp of the West Michigan Environmental Action Council (WMEAC) and Lee Sprague from the Sierra Club of Michigan. Both spoke about the critical need to recognize the consequences of climate change if left unattended, and they both stressed the importance of getting involved. 


I also gave a speech about the need to get engaged in the movement. As part of Expedition Copenhagen, a delegation of Midwest youth to the UN climate negotiations with the Will Steger Foundation, I have a unique opportunity to be a part of the negotiations happening in December. But some of the most important work needs to happen today, in the next two months, in preparation for these negotiations. We need the US Congress to pass a strong climate bill that will allow us to be leaders in the clean and just energy revolution. So we need everyone to be coming to events like 350GR, to be making phone calls to their elected officials, and to be learning about global climate change and talking with their friends and family about the issue.

One elected official in the city of Grand Rapids understands this concept. Mayor George Heartwell joined us for the march from Rosa Park Circle to Calder Plaza where we took our 350 photo. Since he first stepped into office Mayor Heartwell has been a strong advocate for sustainability. In an interview with him early last week he told us the story of how Grand Rapids started using renewable energy. With 20% of the city's energy now coming from renewable sources, Mayor Heartwell has challenged us to have 100% renewable energy by 2020, and he believes this is more than attainable.


During the march participants shouted chants such as "What do we want? Green Job! When do we want them? Now!" and "Ain't no power like the power of the people 'cause the power of the people don't stop!" Holding signs and wearing green hard hats the group of participants were a colorful stream of hope against the gloomy grey skies.

As the march approached Calder Plaza organizers led individuals to their places in the numbers 3-5-0. James, the event photographer, and I climbed up on the man lift to get into position for the human aerial photo. Participants held blue, orange, and white balloons, and signs while learning the 350 song. As we started taking the photos I felt overjoyed with the beautiful sight before me - 60 friends representing the number 350 in front of Grand Rapids City Hall, Calder art and the Gerald R. Ford Federal Building, advocating for federal and international action based on sound climate science. Simply wonderful.

To see more pictures for our event check out the 350GR flickr page.

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