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.
We have the winners! This spring, 350.org and a Hungarian NGO called Messzelato announced a land art contest for schools in the Central Europe. More than 70 fantastic entries arrived from 7 countries (Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, and a surprise - we received land art pieces from Macedonian and Russian youngsters as well).
We encouraged non-formal youth groups or school classes between the age of 11-18 to pick up a local climate issue and try to visualize it in nature, with materials from nature (rocks, stones, water, leaves, flowers). That is the basic process of land art - the land-artist is a part of nature like the wind, for example, who by organizing its pieces creates a new fragile creation without destroying anything in the process. The land art piece can be a cut sign into the grass, or you can spell out your message with leaves on the ground. You can knit a nest from branches, but always on the place where you found them.
Thousands of Central European students and educators went out into nature...
Climate Change has emerged out to be one of the major problems of our generation and South Asia is the region in the world that will be severely hit by climate change in different sectors. Impacts of Climate change in the South Asian region are already being felt and this is evident in the Himalayas, the raising temperatures is leading to glacier meltdown, sea level raise in low lying places and change in the monsoon pattern.
South Asia is home to a fifth of the world's population, and 40 percent of its poor, the region which includes Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Climate change is already taking place, and the South Asian countries, particularly the poorest people, are most at risk. South Asia is going to face vast problems with climate change and this is related to poverty and the varied climate and geography in the region.
The growing challenges posed by climate change have threatened the existence of mankind and young people are entangled at the centre of this disaster. Youth possess the power to change the climate change with their comparative advantage to adapt and act as agents of change.
With the theme “Road to Copenhagen” Youths from the South Asian region are uniting and ready to raise their voice on climate change from September 3-6th 2009 in Dhulikhel, Nepal where 80 youth participants from the south Asian region and globe will be gathering and discussing on different agenda on climate change.
Masdar City is one of those projects I’d heard about from a distance, and didn’t know quite what to think about: a plan to build a carbon-free solar city near the oil-rich capital of Abu Dhabi along the edge of the Persian Gulf.
After a day with the good people at the Masdar Institute, however, I’m convinced it’s one of the sweeter efforts underway around the world. It’s not just the city, which will open in stages for the next decade and eventually house 50,000 people; it’s also a graduate school which accepts its first hundred masters students next month, and a policy think tank for the whole region, and a vehicle for investing in renewable projects around the world. Most of all, it seems like a beachhead for firing up the next energy economy smack in the center of the old one. (And it makes complete sense, too—the United Arab Emirates may have a lot of oil, but even more sun, if today’s roasting heat is any indication).
Anyway, the crew at MI (a thoroughly international lot of experts who include some of the world’s foremost energy and sustainability thinkers), as well as local NGOs like the Emirates Wildlife Society, joined me and my IndyAct colleague Sara el Choufi for a dialogue this morning. What’s needed, everyone agreed, was a mix of technical and political progress—and they promised to make sure Oct. 24 would be a red number day in Abu Dhabi!
Anyone following Bill McKibben on Twitter (or reading the 350.org blog posts carefully) will undoubtedly notice that he is all over the globe these days. Bill is in the midst of an exhausting global tour meeting and speaking with groups and audiences of all kinds trying to build the 350 movement world-wide. At present he's in the Middle East (further update coming shortly), but we also wanted to share the story of an immensely cool space we got to visit here in Mumbai last week: The Hub.
Popping up in a handful of cities around the world now are these activist, social spaces called the Hub. Essentially it's a space for people to come together, share ideas, hold discussions and talks, and get active. So far we know of other hubs in London, Sydney, and now Mumbai. Are there more?
The Mumbai Hub actually only just opened it's doors about 3 weeks back, and Bill McKibben's talk there was it's inaugural event -- and already it was a packed, exciting space to be in. We are very much looking forward to seeing what kind of creative October 24 actions develop from the folks in that space, not to mention how the activism scene evolves in Mumbai with this new space available. If you are in Mumbai, you definitely have to check it out...
And if you want to view this e-mail in your browser (with lots of pretty pictures), check it out here.
Ever have that feeling that there's just so much you want to do, and not enough time to do it?
I've got that feeling now. I just got back from China two days ago, where I met tons of new friends and allies in person--and now I have to play catch-up with my inbox. Here's my slightly daunting to-do list:
- 763 e-mails I need to sort through - 8 new 350 projects in Asia to launch - 500 Chinese Universities to help network - 42 new partner organizations to follow up with - 1 movement that I need to help get big enough to solve the climate crisis
But, before tackling my to-do list, I wanted to share a brief update on 350.org's strategy moving forward. So I recorded a video (embarrassing!) on my laptop to share some lessons from the last few weeks, and talk a bit about how 350.org will be playing our cards in the coming months.
With less than 3 months before the International Day of Climate Action on the 24th of October, we've got our work cut out for us. And with December's UN negotiations in Copenhagen rapidly approaching, silence and inaction are our enemies.
October 24th represents a golden opportunity to show what a global climate movement can be: a single day to unite our voices and ensure that the world gets a global climate treaty that actually meets the science.
The truth is that if the UN negotiations were to be held today, they would produce a treaty that is flawed and inadequate.
As President Mohammed Nasheed of the Maldives Islands -- who is personally organizing a 350 event with his citizens! -- recently said:
"Copenhagen can be one of two things ... an historic agreement event where the world unites against carbon pollution ... Or, Copenhagen can be a suicide pact. The choice is that stark."
There is still time to make the right choice--if we can build a movement strong enough, loud enough, and big enough, we can set the world's climate agenda.
The 350.org campaign is committed to helping stitch this movement together--but we can't do it without you. If your community isn't yet on the map (http://www.350.org/map) for the 24th of October, please register an action today: http://www.350.org/oct24
Mountain bike racing is about fits and starts. It’s about being in the right place at the right time and fighting to keep your position through turns, twists and obstacles. The best riders are scrappy and tough, pairing fitness with the most delicate technical skills.
Veterans of mountain biking race in all elements, travel to the world’s farthest reaches and connect with the planet in a way that eludes most folks. It’s these skills, this exposure, that make mountain bike racers likely climate crusaders. They know the planet they’re working with. A look at the 350athletes page supports this theory: our stable of elite riders is diverse and talented.
This month those same riders have been gathering exposure on our behalf. We highlighted Lea Davison’s video 350 plug after a national level race in the US.
Heather Irmiger, known for demanding a spot with the 350 crew , recently won the US championship and World Cup veteran Kashi Leuchs retired from World Cup racing citing climate work as his next big challenge. (Read the cyclingnews article on Kashi that speaks to his 350 connection here)
We’re thrilled to have a persistent group of folks pushing the cause. Keep your eyes peeled for more 350athlete news as we steer towards the October 24th day of action.
There are many ways of how we can show our politicians that we need to get back to 350 ppm. One of our new partner organizations in Germany – The Compensators* - decided to delete 350 t of CO2 for October 24th. How could this possibly work?
Here's a bit of an explanation: One of the instruments the European Union is using to reduce their CO2 Emissions is the EU Emission trading system (EU ETS). Each emitter gets a certain amount of emission allowances allocated by the state, and each allowance stands for one ton of CO2. If they want to emit more than they have allowances for, they have to buy more allowances on the market. The logic behind the EU ETS goes like this: the less allowances there are on the market, the more expensive each allowance gets, and the more likely is it that emitting industries will look into alternative sustainable modes of production.
There are still quite a few problems with the EU ETS – the system was not as efficient in reducing emissions as it could have been in its first test phase, and there are lots of discussions going on about how the system can be made better. But the great thing about the EU ETS is that thanks to the Compensators*, now people can buy emission allowances that can be deleted rather than being used by emitting industries to destroy our planet. Obviously we won’t be able to buy off all existing allowances and force the EU to totally decarbonize their economy, but we can still make s strong point to our European leaders.
Since the start of the “Delete 350 t of CO2” action on 24th of July already 63 t of CO2 have been bought up by supporters of the 350 movement, and the organizers are very hopeful that on October 24th we will be actually able to delete a lot more tons of CO2 than 350 – the only action where we will accept a higher number than 350. Here you can find out more about the action and how you can help deleting EU ETS allowances for October 24th.
What do tigers and thousands of school children in India have in common? They can both roar extremely loudly, and they both need desparately for the world to get back below 350 ppm CO2.
Yesterday over 1,000 school kids from across Delhi, India, braved sitting (or lying) in completely drenched grass and under a hot, hot sun for an hour to form a giant Tiger-350 aerial image with their bodies. Photographers and media climbed up on top of Teen Murti Bhavan, the home of Jawaharla Nehru, the first prime minister of India -- not quite as tall as the crane that was intended to be there, but enough for a beautiful image and call to action for sure... (time lapse video below)
Image and video credit: Spectral Q / Shiv Ahuja
And the image wasn't the entire festivity for the day. Organized in collaboration with our good friends at Kids for Tigers, Delhi Greens, the Indian Youth Climate Network, the Shri Ram School, and Spectral Q, the school children had a fun-filled morning of face-painiting, art and poster-making -- all as part of an effort to send a powerful message to Indian and world leaders: we need international action to get the world back below 350 ppm CO2, protecting tigers, the forests in which they live, and humanity.
And some of those same leaders they wished to influence were just inside at the same venue attending the 5th National Bengal Tiger Consultation organized by Sanctuary Asia and The Wildife Conservation Trust.
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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