The climate crisis is the biggest problem facing the world. Unchecked climate change means more natural disasters, more outbreaks of disease, more food shortages, and more sea level rise.
We need to make large-scale changes. The climate crisis is so big that we can't solve it with small, personal actions alone. We need to think bigger and bolder.
Large-scale change means changing policy. We need laws that rewire the way the world produces and consumes energy so that clean power is cheap, dirty power is expensive, and people everywhere can live sustainable lives.
Getting strong climate policy won't be easy. It means fighting the wealthiest and most powerful group on the planet: the fossil fuel industry.
We can win with a people-powered movement. We'll never have as much money as the fossil fuel industry, so we need to overpower them with our numbers and our determination instead. From the Civil Rights movement to women's suffrage, social movements have changed the course of history—so we're building a movement of people to solve the biggest problem in the world.
350 means safety from the climate crisis.
To preserve our planet, scientists tell us we must reduce the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere from its current level of 400 parts per million ("ppm")to below 350 ppm. But 350 is more than a number—it's a symbol of where we need to head as a planet.
At 350.org, we're building a global grassroots movement to solve the climate crisis and push for policies that will put the world on track to get to 350 ppm.
Read on for a guest post from our friend Paul Thompson, an October 24 organizer and Ultimate Frisbee enthusiast!
Blend fast moving, body diving and high flying Ultimate Frisbee with 350's message and put it between the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial....what do you get? A lot of interested world tourists and top athletes learning about the importance of blending fitness, competition and awakening the planet to our collective future.
Founder of the event Tom Coffin, long-time disc player and organizer on the Washington DC scene wanted to showcase the excitement of an Ultimate Frisbee tournament on a grand stage at the first Washington DC Ultimate Championships July 18-19, 2009.
When Minnesota climate activist and Cool Planet's founder Paul Thompson heard about this event he asked Tom if he would be interested in linking his love for the flying disc and the passion of Ultimate Frisbee players with Paul's passion for Climate Change Action and building strong communities to transform our thinking about a sustainable future.
The results? Two days of hard played games and the winning team "Truck Stop" winning the First Annual Climate Prize, a $2,000 contribution towards a Peace Corps partnership project in the South Pacific Island Nation of Vanuatu that will provide solar electricity to help the islanders have evening lighting to work on income generating projects. Another small contribution to make a BIG difference in building self sufficiency in the developing world.
We each have our own communities whom we can activate for this year's day of action on October 24. Here is a beautiful example of a great 350 leader doing just that:
At the recent national Synod of the United Church of Christ, environmental activist and UCC leader Reverend Jim Antal encouraged thousands to “Do what almost 100 churches in Massachusetts have done: On the internet, go to 350.org and learn the facts. Then on October 24, ring your church bells 350 times and teach your community about climate change. That weekend, thousands of actions around the world will make 350 the most recognized number on the planet. And then adopt new spiritual disciplines of shopping, eating, driving, advocating, sharing, spending, using energy, voting, recycling, and more. We have the power to let our grandchildren experience the Eden into which we were born.”
Here is the text of Rev. Antal's 1 minute “speak out” before about 3,000 UCC members representing our 5,600 churches, and 1,200,000 members:
“Look at my T-Shirt....
Let me hear you say 350.....
350 is the most important number in the world... and as a person of faith, you need to know why.
God’s earth can only survive if our atmosphere has 350 parts per million of carbon OR LESS.
That’s the limit... 350.
We now have 390 parts per million, and it’s going up fast.
Here's a post from Bill McKibben, who was recently in Lebanon for an Arab media workshop on Climate Change:
This tiny Lebanese village is tucked away in the mountains about an hour from Beirut. For the last two days, some of the best environmental journalists and bloggers from around the Middle east have been gathered in a forest lodge here for a series of briefings on climate issues sponsored by our friends at Indyact, and sponsored by the whole crew at the GCCA.
We talked through the global science, and heard from local researchers describing how the cedars of Lebanon (read about them in the Bible) are falling prey to an insect that reproduces wildly in the new heat. The country's snows are disappearing, and the crew at this lodge have had to reforest the whole area after a nasty fire two years ago.
Take a look at this great video from our friends at the Green Long March in China:
Last week, 350.org arts ambassador, Kevin Buckland, joined the Green Long March -- our lead organizers in China -- on their Grasslands Route, an environmental march through Inner Mongolia. Along the way, Chinese students held environmental awareness events and spread the word about the October 24 International Day of Climate Action.The Green Long March is doing amazing work across all of China and we're so grateful for their leadership.
Art is an integral part to this campaign (so much so that a friend started to call us artivists instead of activists). I don't know about the label, but I love the idea: art has always been essential to political change, from the local to the international. October 24 will be a powerful call for climate action because, in large part, of it's beauty.
As you plan an event for that day, think about how to make it visually stunning. Maybe you can take action in an iconic place that will make a striking backdrop for your action photo. Or you can get kids (and kids at heart) to help you paint your banner with finger paint. Make it bright, make it beautiful, and together, we'll make a huge impact.
This morning, the group Panamá Más Verde and its volunteers, planted native species trees to promote the 350 movement. Our original target was a symbolic 350 but we ended up planting almost double!
The reforestation project is part of the Panama Canal / PRORENA initiatives to sustain the Canal's watershed in the long term and this activity is the first towards 350.org in Panama! Aquí les adjunto las fotografías, no sabia a donde enviarlas.
A guest post by Amanda Ravenhill, coordinator of our business outreach.
Big news today! Carrotmob and 350.org have linked up to bring you the ultimate, synchronized "joycott" on October 24th, the International Day of Climate Action. It's not often that an idea comes along that flips an idea as big as capitalism on its head, so we're all pretty excited about this partnership...
Confused? Let me break it down: a Carrotmob is a network of consumers who buy products in order to award businesses who are making the most socially responsible decisions. Now, there are some red flags in there, words like "consumer" and "products" and "business", words that aren't often associated with real climate action. But Carrotmobs start from the premise that people DO buy products from businesses every day, so we might as well harness that powerful force. And while smarter consumption isn't the silver bullet to create a safe climate, it could very well play a significant role in the coming years.
But let me take a step back. How does a carrotmob actually work? Think of it as a joycott, as in the opposite of a boycott. In a Carrotmob, activists reward businesses that are doing "good" by storming their store with our consumer dollars to help them do "well." Businesses compete with one another to see who can do the most good, and then a big mob of consumers buys products in order to reward whichever business made the strongest commitment to improve the world.
Hosting a carrotmob is a method of activism that leverages consumer power to make the most socially-responsible business practices also the most profitable choices.
Still confused? You can see a fun animation of the Carrotmob concept here:
On October 24th were looking to have 350-inspired Carrotmobs all over the world, inviting businesses to take part in this movement by competing with one another to pledge the highest percentage (over 35.0%) of their income from one day’s sales toward energy efficiency improvements for their business. Whichever business commits the most within the businesses you invite to compete, wins the mob. It’s actually a win-win for the climate and the company.
So if you want to do something really cool on October 24th and have just been waiting for an exciting action idea to put you into play, this one’s for you.
Six young people on their way back home after attending the Indian Youth Summit on Climate Change decided to make their journey time an opportunity to spread the message of 350 in an unique manner.
They split themselves into 2 groups to reach out to maximum number of people traveling in the train, spread across 16 compartments. Each group went about talking to the passengers on the train about the larger issue of climate change and the importance of 350 in both the indegeneous languages and English. By the end of the day they had reached out to at least a 1000 people and spread the message. Upon reaching the destination, Secunderabad (a city in the state of Andhra Pradesh in India) they gathered as many people as possible and shot the photograph posted here.
The picture above is me, and our great Lebanese 350/Indyact colleague Sara El Choufi, with three of our wonderful Omani allies at last night's talk. Lamha Alhabsi and Samiya Alhabsi are sisters, and that's their friend and coworker Ghalia Al-Zaabi. In collaboration with the British Council they organized a wonderful evening last night at Sultan Qaiboos University, which is the main institution of higher education in this Persian Gulf country.
Oman is hot, at least yesterday, but also very beautiful. The coastline near the old city of Muscat is as beautiful as any I've ever seen. And though the climate movement is very new here, our allies are filled with energy and enthusiasm--they're heading out to a series of festivals in the next few weeks to sign people up for Oct. 24, and promise something memorable for the big day.
Oh, and that box I'm holding? My new glass version of the ceremonial dagger that Omani men wear in the belt of their robes. Many thanks to everyone here for a very special night.
Scientists say that 350 parts per million CO2 in the atmosphere is the safe limit for humanity. Learn more about 350—what it means, where it came from, and how to get there. Read More »
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