On October 24th Israelis, Palestinians, and Jordanians will gather around the Dead Sea to form giant human numbers: Israelis will form a 3, Palestinians a 5, and Jordanians a 0. An aerial photograph will link them together to form the number 350. 25,000 people are expected in the streets of Bujumbura, Burundi to call for 350. People in China will be risking their freedom to do the same.
The first people in line to suffer from the impacts of climate change are in the developing world. They know it, and even though they have done nothing to cause this problem, they will be in the streets asking for 350ppm because their lives depend on it. How many of us in industrialized nations, who have caused this, will show up to stand with them?
350ppm atmospheric CO2 is the number scientists agree is the maximum amount of carbon we can have in the atmosphere before the climate begins spinning out of control. It is the maximum number at which life as we know it can survive on the planet. We are currently at 387ppm and we are starting to feel the effects: droughts in Australia and the Southeastern U.S., fires in California, devastating typhoons in southeast Asia, and melting glaciers on which 1/3 of the human population depends for drinking water.
In December, world leaders will gather in Copenhagen to draft a global climate treaty. Science says that the goal of that treaty MUST be to bring atmospheric CO2 levels back to 350ppm. U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Mr. Kofi Annan, the UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown have all stated that the Copenhagen talks are our last chance at averting locking human civilization and the planet into unstoppable catastrophic climate change. Science doesn’t do politics. Unfortunately many world leaders, including President Obama, do not seem to have understood that yet.
On Saturday, you will have the opportunity to change their minds and affect the course of the world’s history by joining millions across the globe to demand a climate treaty that will bring us back to 350ppm levels.
Please go to 350.org, find a local action near you and join it on Saturday. Encourage others to go with you. Photos from the actions will be displayed on Times Square billboards as they are uploaded.
In Boston, people will have the opportunity to participate in many local actions early in the day (find one at www.350.org), after which they will gather to show strength in numbers at the Boston Under Water Festival for a 3:50pm regional group photo at Christopher Columbus Park on the waterfront. http://www.350.org/node/5998
It looks like rain for Boston on Saturday. Don’t let that deter you: We’re going to have to deal with conditions much harsher than rain in the future… A photo with hundreds willing to stand in the rain for climate and justice will only show a stronger resolve and will send that much more powerful a message to Senator Kerry, President Obama, and other world leaders. I hope you will be one that’s willing to put up with rain and stand shoulder to shoulder with your fellow human beings for an hour or so to save the planet.
See you on Saturday!