The 10/10/10 goal: Reduce carbon dioxide to 350 parts per million
By Summit Voice
The following e-mail from Bill McKibben showed up in the Summit Voice inbox early Saturday morning, as organizers with www.350.org started watching images come in from rallies held around the world in an effort to spur grassroots change to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
I tend to get caught up in writing stories about the latest scientific reports that, day-by-day, are cataloging the impacts of our changing climate, from ocean acidification to the increasing size of marmots to vanishing tundra wildflowers. It’s easy to forget that making change happen is up to each and everyone one of us, both on the personal and political level.
Several 350 events will be held around Colorado, with one big rally on the Capitol steps, where activists will show how much money Colorado politicians have accepted from oil companies. Other events will focus on tree-planting and other beneficial direct efforts to combat global warming.
It’s quite simple, really. Right now, we are at about 388 parts per million of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Scientists tell us if we can bring down the level to about 350 ppm, we should be able to avoid the worst impacts.
I know it’s Columbus Day weekend, but this is a good story. It’s blown up very very big. We’ll have more than 7,000 events in 188 countries (We’re missing Equaotrial Guinea and North Korea, but we’ve got stuff going on in lots and lots of wild places: tree planting in Afghanistan, community rebuilding parties along the flooded Indus, ten work parties apiece in Iran and Burma). The pictures are amazing.
And though it won’t change the world overnight (the UN negotiations will continue to drag, ditto Congress) it will have some impact. In fact, already has. The mayor of Mexico City yesterday kicked things off by pledging 10% carbon reductions, and seems to mean it; the governor of Illinois said he’ll put solar panels on his roof too. And at the UN, the staff collected 350 old incandescent lightbulbs, used them to make a great poster, and then put in cfls.
These work parties are way more numerous than the tea parties at their height—400 in California alone, all tied into the fight on Prop 23. Anyway, I’m at 1850 M street NW, 11th flr, where if you happen to be in DC you can come see the photos flood in. (Or you can watch the raw photostream here, a live slideshow will soon be on our website at 350.org) I can be reached anytime at 347-551-2329, or via email.