350 – International Day of Climate Action

Posted: April 5, 2009 in society
Tags: ,

24 October 2009

INTERNATIONAL DAY OF CLIMATE ACTION

What’s the best way to introduce the 350 mission to the world?

With over 4000 languages spoken around the world, it’s probably not with a bunch of words–so the ‘350’ team made the animation you see above.

Enjoy it, and for a wordier explanation of what they do, here’s their text-based mission statement:

Mission

350.org is an international campaign dedicated to building a movement to unite the world around solutions to the climate crisis–the solutions that justice demand.

Our mission is 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.

Our focus is on the number 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.

To tackle climate change we need to move quickly, and we need to act in unison–and 2009 will be an absolutely crucial year.  This December, world leaders will meet in Copenhagen, Denmark to craft a new global treaty on cutting emissions. The problem is, the  treaty currently on the table doesn’t meet the severity of the climate crisis–it doesn’t pass the 350 test.

In order to unite the public, media, and our political leaders behind the 350 goal, we’re harnessing the power of the internet to coordinate a planetary day of action on October 24, 2009.  We hope to have actions at hundreds of iconic places around the world – from the Taj Mahal to the Great Barrier Reef to your community – and clear message to world leaders: the solutions to climate change must be equitable, they must be grounded in science, and they must meet the scale of the crisis.

If an international grassroots movement holds our leaders accountable to the latest climate science, we can start the global transformation we so desperately need.

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broadcast

The Invitation

Dear World,

This is an invitation to help build a movement–to take one day and use it to stop the climate crisis.

On October 24, we will stand together as one planet and call for a fair global climate treaty. United by a common call to action, we’ll make it clear: the world needs an international plan that meets the latest science and gets us back to safety.

This movement has just begun, and it needs your help.

Here’s the plan: we’re asking you, and people in every country on earth, to organize an action in their community on October 24. There are no limits here–imagine bike rides, rallies, concerts, hikes, festivals, tree-plantings, protests, and more. Imagine your action linking up with thousands of others around the globe. Imagine the world waking up.

If we can pull it off, we’ll send a powerful message on October 24: the world needs the climate solutions that science and justice demand.

It’s often said that the only thing preventing us from tackling the climate crisis quickly and equitably is a lack of political will. Well, the only thing that can create that political will is a unified global movement–and no one is going to build that movement for us. It’s up to regular people all over the world.  That’s you.

So register an event in your community for October 24
, and then enlist the help of your friends. Get together with your co-workers or your local environmental group or human rights campaign, your church or synagogue or mosque or temple; enlist bike riders and local farmers and young people. All over the planet we’ll start to organize ourselves.

With your help, there will be an event at every iconic place on the planet on October 24—from America’s Great Lakes to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef–and also in all the places that matter to you in your daily lives: a beach or park or village green or town hall.

If there was ever a time for you to get involved, it’s right now. There are two reasons this year is so crucial.

The first reason is that the science of climate change is getting darker by the day. The Arctic is melting away with astonishing speed, decades ahead of schedule. Everything on the planet seems to be melting or burning, rising or parched.

And we now now have a number to express our peril: 350.

NASA’s James Hansen and a team of other scientists recently published a series of papers showing that we need to cut the amount of carbon in the atmosphere from its current 387 parts per million to 350 or less if we wish to “maintain a planet similar to that on which civilization developed.”

No one knew that number a year ago—but now it’s clear that 350 might well be the most important number for the future of the planet, a north star to guide our efforts as we remake the world. If we can swiftly get the planet on track to get to 350, we can still avert the worst effects of climate change.

The second reason 2009 is so important is that the political opportunity to influence our governments has never been greater. The world’s leaders will meet in Copenhagen this December to craft a new global treaty on cutting carbon emissions.

If that meeting were held now, it would produce a treaty would be woefully inadequate. In fact, it would lock us into a future where we’d never get back to 350 parts per million—where the rise of the sea would accelerate, where rainfall patterns would start to shift and deserts to grow. A future where first the poorest people, and then all of us, and then all the people that come after us, would find the only planet we have damaged and degraded.

October 24 comes six weeks before those crucial UN meetings in Copenhagen.  If we all do our job, every nation will know the question they’ll be asked when they put forth a plan: will this get the planet back on the path to 350?

This will only work with the help of a global movement—and it’s starting to bubble up everywhere. Farmers in Cameroon, students in China, even World Cup skiers have already helped spread the word about 350. Churches have rung their bells 350 times; Buddhist monks have formed a huge 350 with their bodies against the backdrop of Himalayas. 350 translates across every boundary of language and culture.  It’s clear and direct, cutting through the static and it lays down a firm scientific line.

On October 24, we’ll all stand behind 350–a universal symbol of climate safety and of the world we need to create.  And at the end of the day, we’ll all upload photos from our events to the 350.org website and send these pictures around the world.  This cascade of images will drive climate change into the public debate–and hold our leaders accountable to a unified global citizenry.

We need your help—the world is a big place and our team is small.  Our crew at 350.org will do everything we can to support you, providing templates for banners and press releases, resources to spread the word, and tools to help you build a strong local climate action group.  And our core team is always just a phone call or e-mail away if you need some support.

This is like a final exam for human beings. Can we muster the courage, the commitment, and the creativity to set this earth on a steady course before it’s too late? October 24 will be the joyful, powerful day when we prove it’s possible.

Please join us and register your local event today.

Onwards,

Bill McKibben – Author and Activist- USA
Vandana Shiva – Physicist, Activist, Author – India
David Suzuki – Scientist, Author, Activist – Canada
Bianca Jagger – Chair of the World Future Council – UK
Tim Flannery – Scientist, Author, Explorer -Australia
Bittu Sahgal –  Editor of Sanctuary magazine – India
Andrew Simmons – Environmental Advocate, St. Vincent & The Grenadines
Christine Loh – Environmental Advocate and Legislator – Hong Kong

P.S.—We need you to do something else, right away, that’s pretty easy. Please forward this message to anyone you know who is even remotely appropriate.  You can use our “tell-a-friend” tool by clicking on the envelope below, import your e-mail addresses and send along this e-postcard to your friends and family:

epostcard350

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