Wednesday, August 27, 2008

TC-350: A Rally for Local Solutions to Global Climate Change

There’s big news about global warming, and it’s heating up Traverse City.

The godfather of global warming awareness is coming to town on Sept. 7—and I do not mean Al Gore.

But I do mean Bill McKibbon, the noted author and speaker, who has been warning us about climate change for more than 30 years. These days, Mr. McKibben has a very positive message about the problem, and many of the actions he suggests are right in line with what we’ve been saying for years at the Institute.

As he explains in this video about his new book, Deep Economy: The Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future, eating more local foods, living in more vibrant urban communities, investing locally instead of in Wall Street, and enjoying our own area’s entertainment and culture can be a big part of stopping global warming.

Mr. McKibben points out that these simple things are not only good for the planet, they will make us happier by improving our quality of life each and every day.

The Institute’s Taste the Local Difference campaign is just that kind of thing: It not only promotes eating local and delicious food, it’s also good for the planet. McKibben’s book has countless other examples, several of them paralleling projects we work on—better public transportation, more walkable neighborhoods, smartly designed communities that are far more friendly to building a local economy in all sorts of ways.

The Institute partnered with a number of area organizations to bring Bill to town, and we’ve dubbed the event “TC-350.” That plays on McKibben’s own new campaign, called That number refers to how much carbon dioxide there is in the atmosphere, and the fact that we all must do our part, and quickly, to bring that number down.

The Institute is proud to join with so many partners and sponsor organizations—non-profits, schools, business leaders, local governments and more—to bring Bill McKibben to our community. It says a lot about the Grand Traverse region that so many different kinds of groups are working on this together. Fortunately, it is exactly the kind of collaboration that will help us meet the incredible challenge that is coming right at us.

(this blog post taken from the MLUI blog, and any references to "The Institute" refer to MLUI, not ISLAND!)

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