We need you to read this closely, if you would.
You’ve always counted on us to tell the truth, and it would be useless to pretend we’re happy with the outcome of the Copenhagen climate talks.
You’ll likely hear the Copenhagen drama spun in a thousand different ways, but here’s our honest take on the outcome: our leaders have been a disappointment, and the talks have ended without any kind of fair, ambitious, or legally binding global agreement. It’s unclear whether the weak "accord" which emerged early this morning will provide a platform strong enough to deliver the kind of action we’ll need in 2010 and beyond.
That doesn’t mean you have failed. On the contrary, the movement you have built around the world allowed everyone to understand the scientific issues at stake. Over and over in Copenhagen, UN delegates came up to anyone wearing a 350 t-shirt with words of wonder and gratitude. We were told repeatedly how much this movement has altered both the tone and substance of these negotiations.
For the first time since these climate talks began almost 20 years ago, a citizens’ movement has made it much harder for the great powers to simply impose a weak agreement on everyone else-that’s why the US, China, and India had to cut their own deal amongst themselves. Many small nations, poor nations, and vulnerable nations simply refused to go along smoothly with a global suicide pact-because they knew that 350 equaled survival.
Indeed, that very chant–"Three-Five-Oh…Sur-vi-val!"–went up spontaneously among the crowd of hundreds of young people who gathered in the freezing cold at 1 a.m. under the subway stop outside the Bella Center, where the talks were being held in Copenhagen. They hadn’t been allowed inside for days — last night they came to stand outside and deliver the verdict from the movement: this is not enough, this is not over, and we are witnessing a monumental failure of leadership.
That failure can’t be allowed to stand. It is our future, the future of every spot on earth and of every person in every generation to come. So we will together, in the weeks and months ahead, figure out how to build a stronger movement, one that will head this earth back where it needs to go. You’ll hear from us in the weeks ahead with new ideas, and if you have some of your own please share them by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
We’re approaching a period of holiday around much of the world, and when the new year dawns it won’t be all that we’d hoped for. But we are confident, and that confidence comes from you. From every corner of the world, in places warm and cold, poor and rich, Muslim and Christian and Hindu and Buddhist and Jewish and none-of-the-above, we share one basic message: 350 equals survival.
On we go.
The 350.org team
P.S.-Just in case you’re feeling a little down, here’s a special selection of pictures that our friend Shadia Fayne Wood put together after Oct. 24 labeled "350 Cute." They remind us what we’re fighting for.
Malé, The Maldives
To see the full selection (an incredible 250+ photo collection), click here: www.350.org/cute