10.10.10 rally for citizens who want climate change legislation
Sunday's global event to use local actions to exemplify environmental concern.
Fri, Oct 08, 2010 at 05:09 PM
With more than 7,000 events in 188 countries (and counting), 350.org's global work party is calling on the citizens of the world to come together with ideas and action against climate change. The events are a collective chance to send the message to politicians and leaders worldwide to take larger, governmentally sponsored initiatives against global warming, while at the same time engaging in local events that will make a difference at home.
CNN called last year's event (its first year) "the most widespread day of political action in the planet's history." But according to communications from the organization, energy and involvement is more important this time around: "It has been a discouraging year, with the failures in Copenhagen and in the U.S. Congress, and the unwillingness of governments all over the world to take any sort of meaningful climate action."
Work-party ideas (see this page for inspiration) include planting trees — autumn is a great time to get young trees in the ground, before it freezes — installing solar panels, doing a local trash cleanup, going for a bike ride, throwing an appreciation party for the office carpool, hanging your laundry out to dry, giving a speech at your local place of worship, retrofitting a low-income home, and working in a community garden.
In Beverly Hills, high school students plan to create an art project of a "forest" made from plastic bottles, while in Lincoln, Neb., citizens will be restoring native prairie plants to the city public spaces. While some of these activities can be tackled by an individual, other tasks are already rolling and all you need to do is show up if they are happening in your neighborhood. You can find an event anywhere in the world using this handy map on 350.org's site. From Mexico City to Houston to Auckland, Kabul and Oklahoma City, there are events everywhere!
What is 350.org? The goal of the group is to get CO2 levels below 350 parts per million, the level scientists have determined will keep the worst effects of climate change from coming to fruition. According to 350.org:
Three years ago, after leading climatologists observed rapid ice melt in the Arctic and other frightening signs of climate change, they issued a series of studies showing that the planet faced both human and natural disaster if atmospheric concentrations of CO2 remained above 350 parts per million. Everyone from Al Gore to the U.N.’s top climate scientist has now embraced this goal as necessary for stabilizing the planet and preventing complete disaster. Now the trick is getting our leaders to pay attention and craft policies that will put the world on track to get to 350.
Founded by Bill McKibben, author and activist, 350.org recently helped encourage the White House to install solar panels (both active and passive) on its roof. (The building hasn't utilized free energy from the sun since the Carter administration.) McKibben hopes that citizen actions, like this day of work/party events, will send a clear message to politicians who have been slow to make real commitments to fighting climate change.