Lighting a candle for hope – Will you start a ‘Vigil for Survival’?

Since the Oct 24th Global Day of Action, we’ve been gearing up with partners and laying the groundwork to build a strong, lasting movement and figure out what’s next on the road to Copenhagen and beyond. Well, we’re ready to share more of what we’ve been up to — especially in light of recent news. Below is the latest invitation we just sent to our entire list

Dear friends,

Usually we write you with good news. This time it’s much more mixed.

Earlier this week Barack Obama and the leaders of some other large nations announced that they weren’t going to reach any kind of legally binding climate agreement in Copenhagen–declaring that they need more time, despite the five years of preparation they’ve already had.

That’s sad and it’s dangerous–the planet is running out of ‘next years’. But it does give all of us more time to organize a movement to make them respect the science.

So it’s time for the next big steps. The world needs your help once more.

There’s a global mobilization coming together for the weekend in the middle of the Copenhagen conference–Dec. 11-13.  Our collective message? "The World Wants a Real Deal" — people all over the planet are demanding a binding global climate agreement guided by the latest science and built upon principles of justice and equity.

There will be big rallies on Saturday the 12th in many cities, and on Sunday the 13th communities of faith the world over will ring church bells, beat drums, blow horns — all 350 times.

Our main hope is that you will help organize a candlelight vigil at some iconic or strategic place near you on Friday or Saturday night, December 11th or 12th?  Around the world people will gather to light lanterns or candles, in solemn solidarity with the citizens of those nations who will be first to face the challenges to their very survival.

Click here for details about staging a local vigil and to register one in your community: 350.org/vigil

Eventually all of us will be hard-pressed by rising seas, spreading drought, and temperatures too hot for growing food. But right now–this year, this decade–there are countries being pressed to the brink. They’re at the forefront of a fight for real change in Copenhagen, and need your help to amplify their voices.

As Maldives President Mohammed Nasheed said last week at a summit of the most vulnerable nations:

"We will not sign a global suicide pact, in Copenhagen or anywhere."

Instead, he and the other nations called for a "survival pact," for commitments by the developed world to cut emissions enough to get the atmospheric concentration of CO2 back to 350. They know the simple, mathematical truth of global warming: 350=Survival.

Some of the planned candlelight vigils will take place at iconic places in communities all over the world.  Others will be outside American consulates and embassies, and at senators’ offices throughout the United States. Partly this is because the US is, historically, the country most responsible for the carbon in the world’s atmosphere. But it’s also because America, if it chose, could lead the way to a sane global climate policy. The election of Barack Obama ended America’s automatic veto on progress–but the U.S. is still offering insufficient actions, far short of what scientists say is necessary.  And Obama has yet to offer the leadership the crisis requires.

In a very real sense, the short-term survival of many nations, and the long-term health of the whole planet, rests in the hands of Obama and the United States Senate. Their positions, along with the level of leadership provided by the European Union, China and a few other nations, can make or break a global climate treaty.  The decisions made by this small group of people will, in large part, determine whether or not the world forges a real deal–not just any deal, but one that is strong enough to pull us back from the brink of climate catastrophe and put the planet on a path to 350. Their courage–or lack of it–will help set the future of the planet for geologic time.

The candles we will light are candles of hope.

Onwards,

Bill McKibben for the whole 350.org Team

P.S. Can you share this call to action?  Please take a few seconds to share the message on Facebook, Twitter, and anywhere else you can. 

  • The People’s Climate March was INCREDIBLE. Check out the photos and more at peoplesclimate.org

  • People’s Climate photos pouring in from around the world — check out the growing photo galleries here.

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