3714 actions. 162 countries. 2 days to go.

Alex Roem and Dana August created an 350 image on the library lawn in participation with 350.orgs campaign for climate action. Meghan Schelzi /The Mirror

Alex Roem and Dana August created an 350 image on the library lawn in participation with 350.orgs campaign for climate action. Meghan Schelzi /The Mirror

October 24th, 2009 is international day of climate action. “We’re calling on people around the world to organize an action on October 24th, incorporating the number 350 at an iconic place in their community, and then upload a photo of their event to 350.org website.”

Why 350?

The focus is on 350, “as in parts per million, the level scientists have identified as the safe upper limit for CO2 in our atmosphere. But 350 is more than a number–it’s a symbol of where we need to head as a planet,” according to 350.org.

The organizations foundation rests upon the mission to inspire the world to rise to the challenge of the climate crisis—to create a new sense of urgency and of possibility for our planet.

Upon hearing about this global campaign, Fairfield ’08 alum, Laura Marie Marciano was immediately intrigued to take part.

“We are living, right now, at a pivotal point in history. We have the choice, the responsibility, and the right to bring it back to life,” said Marciano.

Last fall, Bill McKibben, the founder of 350 spoke at Bates College and inspired Marciano’s hometown friend, Ryan Dean to create the Bird’s Eye View project last winter.

“Slowly a global network was born, as we collectively traveled to Ukraine, Turkey, Italy, Germany and Denmark, promoting the project,” explained Marciano of her travels with childhood friends Dean and Anthony Belcher.

“It’s always been a dream of ours to bring a group of young people together, around the world, under one common goal.”

So the three moved forward with the Bird’s Eye View project, which, according to the Bird’s Eye View website (www.frankejames.com) is a network of recycled art installations, constructed on rooftops, in collaboration and support of 350.

Images of the installations will be taken to be spread by use of the media to the general public, raising awareness about global warming. The images are intended to send a message of green peace, global solidarity, and a broadened human perspective.

Marciano brought the idea of Bird’s Eye View to Dr. Downie a professor of Environmental Studies at Fairfield. In turn he sought out Dana August ’11, President of Fairfield University Student Environmental Association (SEA) and Alex Roem ’10,  Green Campus Initiative co-President, to bring the project to Fairfield University’s campus.

“Dr. Downie reached out to Dana myself to become student advocates for the project,” said Roem. “It is so integral to have student-led projects like the 350 installation to raise awareness and start a conversation among university communities.”

August added, “by administrators coming to us with the idea, it was great to see, proving general increased support for a more sustainable campus. The project itself is really neat, as we are part of a global push to congress (both US and international) to act on climate change.”


DSB Roof, as pictured from Ladder 2 courtesy of the Fairfield Fire Dept.

“By keeping ourselves in tune with the international agenda and climate of the environmental issues around us, we are educating the whole person and facilitating an ever-growing discussion of sustainability and where we can affect change within the environment equation,” said Roem.

“An idea can be born in one person, but with two people it can become a reality, and with three people an organization. This is a call to action, to use our imaginations to stand behind 350, to express to our leaders that we have a desire to create change,” said Marciano. “We can be that change. We have to be.”

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