Diverse Coalition Launches 'Stop the Buckeye' Effort
At a press conference today at the University of Michigan's Dearborn campus, a diverse coalition of environmentalists, public health advocates, outdoor enthusiasts and agricultural interests launched a campaign to stop the Ohio Buckeye from migrating north to Michigan. "Global warming could bring more of the Ohio State University mascot here to Michigan," said Mark Neisler, Global Climate Change Specialist for the Michigan League of Conservation Voters.
According to scientific analyses, including the USDA Forest Service Climate Change Tree Atlas, many state plants, like the Ohio buckeye tree, could shift outside their historic ranges because of global warming.
"Michiganders need to know that global warming will have significant effects on our state beyond impacts like the migration of the buckeye. Due to global warming our health, economy and environment are also at risk,” said Lieutenant Governor John Cherry.
Global warming will likely have significant impacts on Michigan beyond the potential invasion of the buckeye tree, including:
- Greater drought and increasingly severe storms and floods;
- Altered growing ranges impacting crops and wildlife habitat;
- Lower water levels for the Great Lakes; and
- More heat and air quality-related illnesses.
"As a diehard Wolverine fan, the only thing worse than losing to Ohio State would be Brutus the Buckeye taking up residence here in Michigan," said University of Michigan alumni Amy McCusker. "There is one thing Wolverine and Buckeye fans can team up on, stopping global warming to keep the buckeyes where they belong, in Ohio."
As part of the effort to highlight local and state impacts, the coalition unveiled two outdoor billboards outside Ann Arbor on I-94 which read: "Michigan Buckeyes? Global Warming is Sending Ohio's Buckeye North. StoptheBuckeye.org", as well as online ads in The Michigan Daily. The coalition also plans to canvass tailgating prior to this Saturday's Michigan vs. Michigan State game.
"Much of the pollution that causes climate change makes many health problems, such as asthma, heart and lung disease, worse," said State Representative Lisa Wojno, a registered nurse. "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 to cheer for the Wolverines!"
Pew is no longer active in this line of work, but for more information, visit the main Pew Campaign on Global Warming page.