Students to dress as ghosts in global climate protest
Contributing Writer |

In an effort to bring environmental awareness to Ithaca College, students and faculty will walk around the campus dressed as ghosts tomorrow. This day of action is part of an international endeavor to raise awareness by a national organization called 350, a global grassroots campaign aiming to stop the climate crisis.

Susan Allen-Gil, environmental studies and sciences associate professor and chair, introduced the event to the college through her international environmental policy class.

“We wanted to participate in an international day of action where people from all over the world will be making public displays of awareness about climate change,” she said.


"Climate caspers" roam campus to spook students about inaction to the threat of climate change.

Sophomore Sofia Johnson will be participating in the event. She said students and faculty will be wearing sheets as ghosts to show the morbid aspect of climate change.

“We are dressing up as ghosts to show the death of species and to get people’s attention,” Johnson said.

Allen-Gil said the event’s name comes from the amount of carbon dioxide that the world needs for ecological life to be safe — 350 parts per million.

This week, pillowcases on stakes outside Campus Center display facts about climate change to inform the campus community.

Atlas Health Care Linen Services, a local organization that sells linen and apparel, donated hospital sheets to the class to make the ghosts’ costumes through “upcycling” — taking an object that would be trash to someone else and making it into something else. The students will dye the bottom of the ghost costumes blue to demonstrate the rising sea level. Ghost costumes will be distributed from 11 a.m. to noon tomorrow in the Campus Center.

This week, other advocates of environmental awareness participated in the 350 national campaign. Environmentalists in downtown Ithaca gathered Sunday to spell out 350 on The Commons.

At the college, Allen-Gil said the grounds staff will draw a large 350 on the lawn in front of the Fitness Center. A picture will be taken of all of the ghosts there so the event can be showcased on the 350 Web site.

Several different groups across the world will also participate. According to the 350 national Web site, a group in Ghana will plant 350 trees to raise awareness. In Washington, D.C., 350 people will ride bikes around the Capitol to bring attention to climate change.

Jon Warnow, director and national coordinator of 350, said he hopes tomorrow’s event will raise awareness for the International Day of Action and the United Nations Day on Saturday.

“The time is building up to the U.N. negotiations, which occur in December,” he said. “We want to draw awareness to this environmental issue.”

According to the national 350 Web site, part of the 350 mission is to influence government leaders. Warnow said he hopes the climate change legislation in the United States will pass before the U.N. negotiations.

“Hopefully, we will get something out of the U.N. negotiations,” Warnow said.  “It may not be finalized, but we hope to get a treaty to start addressing the problem.”

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