If we have any hope of protecting the environment and ourselves, we must get climate change under control. The nations of the world are meeting in Copenhagen in December to try to hammer out international agreements to reduce the greenhouse gases that have caused the world's temperatures to soar, endangering the systems upon which all life depends.
But news reports are discouraging: already, headlines are announcing that major policy shifts are unlikely. We need commitments from every country, but especially the U.S., to reduce our dependence on the fossil fuels whose burning is warming the globe. The worldwide demonstrations tomorrow can show our "leaders" that it's time to follow the will of concerned citizens everywhere, and unite behind concrete plans not simply to slow climate change, but to stop it.
This morning, I received the following letter from Bill McKibben, the founder of tomorrow's International Day of Climate Action. I reprint it here in the hopes you'll participate.
Saturday's the day — October 24, the International Day of Climate Action. So join the nearest 350 actionknowing you'll be part of something big.
Very big, in fact. This campaign has gone viral–there will be over four thousand events taking place simultaneously in over 175 nations. As far as we can tell, you'll be part of the single most widespread day of political action about any issue that our planet has ever seen…
- In Cambodia, citizens from across the country will gather at the famous Angkor Wat to take a giant 350 action photo.
- In Hungary, hundreds of bathers will jump into the public baths in Budapest and do a 350 synchronized swimming performance.
- In the United States, 350 people will dance to Michael Jackson's Thriller in Seattle — because if we don't stop global warming, we might as well be undead.
When you're out there marching or rallying, biking or kite-flying, singing or taking part in whatever is going on in your community, take a minute and try to imagine all the other people doing the same kind of things all around the world–every one taking the same basic scientific fact and driving it into the public consciousness.
350 is the most important number in the world–scientists have told us that it's the most carbon dioxide we can have in the atmosphere, and now we're making sure everyone knows…