A Dipatch by SSC Intern Lila Holzman
Saturday, October 24 was declared a day of action to draw attention to “350” and all that it implies in terms of climate change. It was organized by 350.org, an international campaign whose mission is: “to inspire the world to rise to the challenge of the climate crisis—to create a new sense of urgency and of possibility for our planet.”
The number “350” refers to the parts per million (ppm) of carbon dioxide that scientists have declared to be a safe upper limit for our atmosphere. Currently, CO2 levels are at 390ppm, which is why our planet is already seeing effects of climate change including ice melting and drought. 350.org believes that by putting pressure on world leaders through actions such as occurred on October 24, the 350ppm goal will be driven home and the upcoming UN Climate Negotiations in Copenhagen will produce stronger results.
On Saturday 181 countries hosted over 5200 events making this “the most widespread day of environmental action in the planet’s history.” Over the weekend, 350.org’s day of action was the top story on CNN, The New York Times, and Google News. Photos of such events’ visual representations of 350 were projected in New York’s Times Square and some were even sent to the Secretary General of the United Nations. Approximately 19,000 photos were submitted from all over the world and can be found on the 350.org website.
Organizer Bill McKibben alerts that 350.org members will be in Barcelona, where the last negotiating session will take place before the December Copenhagen conference, to distribute photos and factsheets promoting the 350ppm requirement. McKibben adds that:
“We’re busy planning with other big organizations for how best to coordinate actions going into Copenhagen. We’ll let you know as quickly as we can as plans develop.”