Introducing the 350 Team: Will Bates

Over the next few days and weeks we’re going to provide a bit more of an introduction to who we are — the 350.org coordinating team. No, there aren’t 350 people behind this operation — we’re a small team of mostly young people. You can read a brief introduction to the team as a whole by clicking here. Also, you can watch a great video narrated by 350 team member Jamie Henn by clicking here. And stay tuned for more posts introducing the team coming soon. I’ll start things off…

I’ve been doing grassroots climate activism of various sorts for a good three or four years now — what a whirlwind few years it’s been. I got my start with the climate movement as a student in college here in Vermont, USA (a lovely little corner of the planet that’s doing much to lead the charge against climate change), and it has been the focus of my life since then.

After college some of our present 350 team and I helped organize a 5 day walk across Vermont demanding action on climate change. The momemtum from that effort led us to larger national organizing with Step It Up 2007 here in the States. And now, after the extraordinary experience of traveling to the UN climate change conference in Bali, Indonesia and other travels in South Asia, I’ve ended up as part of our little team, and growing movement, shooting to reshape global action on climate change.

It’s often hard to have climate change be at the forefront of everyday life. Partially it’s the realities of the ever-worsening scientific accounts of the dangers we face and injustices resulting from a heating planet. And some of it is the frustration of watching so many institutions continuously ignore those realities and resist necessary and just changes. (And then there’s just the time at the computer working on projects like Step It Up and 350 — as I’ve said before, I’m much more hard-wired for the outdoors, but the world of computers does help connect this movement at the rate that’s needed).

Despite all that, it’s endlessly uplifting to spend my days connecting with so many of you — people all around the world both making the real changes that will heal our planet and society and building the movement that will drive our larger institutions in the right direction. And it’s been particularly amazing to me as we have commenced work on 350.org to unite with people in countries all around the world. I’ve even had the opportunity to connect face to face with some in India and Nepal, where much of my 350 work will be focused. Previously as a more locally-oriented, Vermont-based activist I always knew I was part of something larger than myself. It makes it that much more real, however, to spend part of every day emailing and talking with folks around the globe. It gives new meaning to global conciousness or global citizen.

I’ll end by saying that 350.org is an invitation to be part of a global movement. Please offer your voice locally in your own community, but also connect or reconnect with folks all around the world to create this movement. We all have a stake in fighting climate change, and it’s essential that we unite to reach 350. I look forward to remaking our world with you all.

That’s me. More of the team to come.

 

350 Global Map

Check out local groups around the world on the 350 global map!
Launch the Map