Climate change is fun! No, wait. Human-induced change of our global climate that threatens all life on earth is shocking and alarming. But, that doesn’t mean one can’t have fun raising awareness of the looming threat of global warming on a day in which people all over the world come together in like fashion to demonstrate how important this crisis is to them. The day is this Saturday, October 24th, the International Day of Climate Action. 350.org is the day’s motivating force, the brainchild of Bill McKibben, renowned activist and author of the first book on global warming, “The End of Nature.”
The concept of 350.org is simple: 350 parts per million CO2 in our atmosphere is the limit at which global temperatures can remain balanced and non-destructive; anything beyond and we begin to see far-reaching effects, such as polar melting and erratic weather patterns. And you guessed it: our current CO2 level as measured for 2009 is 387 parts per million, well into the danger zone. 350.org seeks to help reverse this destructive rise by calling critical attention to it through the use of mass demonstration around the world, this Saturday.
“There will be big rallies in big cities, and incredible creative actions across the globe: mountain climbers on our highest peaks with banners, underwater demonstrations in island nations threatened by sea level rise, churches and mosques and synagogues and ashrams engaged in symbolic action, star athletes organizing mass bike rides—and hundreds upon hundreds of community events to raise awareness of the need for urgent action.” And the coolest thing is all of these events, largest to smallest, will incorporate “350” as an image, sometimes on signs and banners, sometimes spelled out over large areas with (live) human bodies. These images will then be collected and presented to world leaders as an eye-opening expression of concern before they descend on Copenhagen in December to compose a new treaty on reducing emissions.
The beauty of this combined effort is that it’s “open source,” meaning you or anyone you know can spontaneously organize an event of any size or join one already planned. International Day of Climate Action is a unique way to get out and help make change happen beyond the normal scope of one’s daily life. Take advantage tomorrow and bring the idea of 350 to those who need to recognize it most!