Diverse Coalition Launches "Save the Buckeye" Campaign
Calls for bold action on global warming to stop the Ohio Buckeye from becoming the Michigan Buckeye
September 12, 2008
COLUMBUS -- At a press conference on the Ohio Statehouse lawn, a diverse coalition of environmentalists, public health advocates, outdoor enthusiasts and agricultural interests launched a campaign to save the Ohio Buckeye from migrating north to Michigan. Recent scientific studies project that many state plants, like the Ohio buckeye tree, could shift outside their historic ranges because of global warming.
"Global warming could send our beloved Ohio State University mascot and state symbol north to Michigan," said Tom Bullock, Pew Environment Group's Ohio representative. "Ohioans need to know that it's not just the buckeye that is threatened by global warming -- our health, economy and environment are also at risk."
"As a diehard Buckeyes fan, the only thing worse than losing to Michigan would be giving them our mascot," said Ohio State University student Kristen Arnold. "This is one thing Buckeye and Wolverine fans should team up on: work together on global warming so they keep their wolverines and we save our buckeyes."
As part of the effort to highlight local and state impacts, the coalition unveiled an outdoor billboard in Columbus on Olentangy River Road next to the Buckeye Hall of Fame and Café. As part of the campaign, the coalition will continue organizing education and outreach initiatives throughout the fall.
“The Buckeye tree is synonymous with the state of Ohio, and its migration to Michigan is just downright nutty,” said Tracy Sabetta, representing the National Wildlife Federation. “While the approach is light-hearted and unique, the issue is an important one as we debate climate change solutions on both the state and federal levels. We hope that this creative campaign will capture the attention of Buckeye fans and decision makers in every corner of our state.”
Scientists predict that global warming could have significant impacts on Ohio beyond the buckeye tree, including:
"Much of the pollution that causes climate change makes many health problems, such as asthma, heart and lung disease, worse. Continuing global warming will only increase that threat," said Shelly Kiser, Director of Advocacy for the American Lung Association of Ohio. "We must not only reduce air pollution to curb global warming but also invest in our healthcare systems so we are prepared to deal with future health threats from global warming--and so we have the healthy lungs we need to cheer for our team!"
The Save the Buckeye coalition includes: