Join the 700 Club this weekend

Within the last 48 hours, I’ve become aware of two really great projects that refer to themselves as “Three Fifty.”

First, my friend Erica is organizing a global warming vigil here in Ypsi tomorrow (Saturday) evening. It’s scheduled to take place at 6:30 PM, on the section of Michigan Avenue that runs over the Huron River (just down from Haab’s and Materials Unlimited). The vigil is one of thousands that will be taking place around the world tomorrow, as a part of a campaign coordinated by a group called 350. (Those of you not in Ypsi can find a vigil in your area by clicking here.) Photos from all the events around the world, of people holding lit candles “in solidarity with the citizens of the nations whose very survival is threatened by the climate crisis,” will be uploaded to the internet and brought to the attention of those attending the UN Climate Summit in Copenhagen.

Here’s the explanation of the vigil in Erica’s words… “It is a demonstration to bring climate change awareness and to send a message to world leaders that the solutions to climate change must be grounded in science, they must meet the scale of the crisis, they must be socially equitable, and they must be now.”

Oh, and the name 350 in this instance, if you’re wondering, has to do with the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere that we need to strive for. “350 parts-per-million is the level of atmospheric carbon dioxide that scientists have agreed is sustainable and healthy for global ecology. Above this level raises the temperature of the Earth and promotes catastrophic climate change. We are at 387ppm. If we act now, we can fix this problem. Climate change is socially tragic and ecologically bleak. Citizens of the world need to know and to demand that we face this as a world now. In particular, the citizens of the USA need to make our voices heard by our politicians. We are currently responsible for 25% of the world’s carbon dioxide pollution. It is important that we participate.” [I’m not sure if this quote is from Erica, or 350, but I wanted to use it.]

Second, if living on the Earth isn’t your thing, there’s another cool 350 project that you might be interested in. If you want to be correct about it, there’s actually a slash in the name. The initiave is called the 3/50 Project, and it, like the other 350 project, seeks to influence behavior, in hopes of creating positive change. In this instance, however, it’s not about global warming, but saving our local businesses. The premise is pretty simple. They’re asking that you pick three locally owned businesses to support, and spend $50 at each of them. Here’s something for the site:

What three independently owned businesses would you miss if they disappeared? Stop in. Say hello. Pick up something that brings a smile. Your purchases are what keeps those businesses around.

If half the employed population spent $50 each month in locally owned independent businesses, it would generate more than $42.6 billion in revenue. Imagine the positive impact if 3/4 the employed population did that.

For every $100 spent in locally owned independent stores, $68 returns to the community through taxes, payroll, and other expenditures. If you spend that in a national chain, only $43 stays here. Spend it online and nothing comes home.

For more information on work being done locally in this area, see Think Local First. [This is probably a good place to mention that I feel totally lame for not working with Linette to produce a Shop Ypsi for the Holidays print piece this year, like we have in year’s past. We just didn’t have the energy to do it a 4th year in a row. Sorry.]

So, whatever you’re doing this weekend, think 350… And, if you’ve got it in you, try to do both and join the 700 Club.

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  1. EOS
    Posted December 12, 2009 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    Don’t you just love it that the “Global Warming Crisis” has just morphed into the “Climate Change Crisis” in conjunction with the exposure of massive data fraud and evidence of global cooling? Hate to have reality interfere with preconceived assumptions and economically devastating “solutions”. Not to worry – we’re going to redistribute the “wealth” until everyone exists under third world conditions.

  2. Oliva
    Posted December 12, 2009 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

    So easy to imagine spending (and actually spending!) $50 at three of our local businesses. What a great initiative. Thanks for this post, Mark, propeller of goodness locally.

    I so wanted to get out to Mix’s grand opening last eve but have this punky flu-like feeling (I hear it’s going around, so try to stay well everybody). Can’t wait to get there soon, though.

  3. Oliva
    Posted December 12, 2009 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

    AP headline today re. stolen climate change emails:

    “AP IMPACT: Science not faked, but not pretty”

    LONDON — E-mails stolen from climate scientists show they stonewalled skeptics and discussed hiding data — but the messages don’t support claims that the science of global warming was faked, according to an exhaustive review by The Associated Press . . .

  4. Posted December 12, 2009 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

    Mix was packed last night. So much so, that I wasn’t able to shop. Linette and I will be going back, though… And thanks for not going. Crowds and flu-like symptoms don’t mix well… And, for what it’s worth, I think the phrase “global climate change” has been in use for several years now. I certainly don’t think it just sprang up a few weeks ago when this manufactured controversy first started getting attention in the corporate media.

  5. Peter Larson
    Posted December 12, 2009 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for that post Oliva.

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