As part of an ongoing international campaign to raise awareness of the severity of climate change and solutions, Bill McKibben’s 350 movement is preparing for a massive worldwide day of action. Over 1,600 individual events have been planned in at least 128 countries.
The campaign has chosen to focus attention on the number 350 because this is the upper-limit atmospheric level of carbon dioxide which the biosphere must return to from its current 390ppm to ensure avoiding drastic changes to ecosystems and human societies.
The upcoming date of the global actions is October 24th, chosen several months ahead of the UN climate change meetings scheduled for December 2009 in Copenhagen, Denmark. The Copenhagen gathering of world leaders is designed to determine a successor to the Kyoto Protocol, and create emissions reductions and sustainable development programs which avoid further environmental destruction.
The targets for a safe and acceptable global carbon dioxide level have varied significantly over recent years, with the IPCC and other groups discussing a range of possible emissions targets. The most up-to-date science suggests that we are already over the safe level to prevent significant ice loss in polar regions, Greenland, glaciers across the world, as well as cause widespread coral reef bleaching and systemic global change. In order to push for the political will to substantially reduce atmospheric levels of greenhouse gases, the 350 movement has been busy uniting a global network of awareness and activism.
350.org’s website summarizes the goals of the October 24th global day of action as:
- Lifting public awareness on the need for an international climate treaty to reach 350
- Assembling a coalition of hundreds of organizations committed to this vision of a more sustainable world
- Connecting you with others in your community and across the planet who are building this movement
- Providing on-line resources and tools that make pulling together an event easy
- Linking your October 24 event with hundreds of other actions at iconic places around the world
- Leveraging the day of action for meaningful political change
350.org invites anyone interested in the contributing to the movement by providing information and resources including media, networking opportunities, and outlines for actions through an array of online social organizational web applications. Events for the October 24th date vary widely. Presentations, seminars, races, and outdoor expeditions are among some of the thousands of proposed activities. For further information or to plan your own event, visit www.350.org.