By Cheryl Mahoney
As you know if you’ve been reading, last week I posted about spacemen and climate change for Blog Action Day 2009. The day prompted huge enthusiasm all across the web. The numbers are fairly staggering– there were 32,000 blog posts on more than 13,000 blogs, from writers on six continents (missed Antartica, I’m guessing), reaching at least 17 million readers. There was a 500% increase on that day for blog posts about climate change. Impressive numbers!
And today I want to write about another number: 350. Specifically, 350 parts per million of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. In 2008, climatologist James Hansen and a team of researchers announced that 350 was the upper limit, if we want to keep a planet “similar to the one on which civilization developed and to which life on earth is adapted.”
Personally, I’d like the planet to stay that way.
So everyone blogged about climate change, everyone talked grandly, what’s the next step towards keeping a planet suitable for civilization? The International Day of Climate Action. It’s being put together by 350.org, and it’s today, October 24th. Here’s more numbers: more than 4,500 actions are planned, in more 180 countries. Unless you live in Antarctica, I think you have a good chance at finding an action near you. (Have you ever heard of Vacoas? It’s a tiny island off the coast of Madagascar. It has four actions listed.) Write poems, plant trees, ride bikes, dedicate your email signature to climate change…people are getting creative with ways to make a statement.
And who is this statement being made to? World leaders, who are meeting in Copenhagen this December to agree on a climate treaty. Now is the time to raise public awareness and send a message to leaders that we’re serious about preventing changes to our planet.
It’s not too late to do something. You could donate $350 (or $35 if that’s easier on the budget) towards reforestation. Then tell them about it on 350.org. It could be as easy as that.
350–it could be a life-changing number. And, hopefully, an Earth not changing number.