Dear World, Bill McKibben and his friends at 350.org have sent you an invitation. On October 10, 2010, there will be a party in your town and all are invited, BYOB. It is a work party, with equal emphasis on work and party, designed to show that average citizens can and will do something about climate change. You can join a group already in gear or start your own. Bring your own playlist!
At press time there are already 1,077 groups in 109 countries around the world scheduled to do something awesome on 10/10/10. Last year there were 5200 demonstrations in 181 countries, so we have some organizing to do. This year’s events are on a Sunday and I just checked my calendar. I am pretty free, you? Up for a party? No, not yet inspired? Check out the photo gallery from some of last year’s events. The 350 sign spread out in front of one of the Great Pyramids-now that is inspiring!
Not the organizing type? No problem. Use the interactive map to find a party to crash. You will be welcome, don’t worry. If you are in the neighborhood, you might want to check out the Athens, Georgia 350 work party or get busy with an organic cook-out for the planet in Emory, Virginia. They’re restoring habitat and removing invasive species at a Farm Living History Center in Germantown, Maryland. Sounds good to me!
Not a joiner? Fair enough, do your own thing. Event organizers can be trendsetters and help stop global warming in their own style. 350.org provides organizers with a 10-Step plan to get the party started, as well as other action resources such as media guides, posters, stickers and fliers. Most of the work is done so all you need to do is invite a few people, show up and have some fun.
If opportunities to party with ultra-cool eco folks, eat organic food and restore native habitats do not light your fire then try this. According to 350.org, scientists have concluded that while 350 parts per million is the safe upper limit for CO2 in the atmosphere we are already in the red at our current 392ppm. Unless we are able to rapidly return to below 350 ppm this century, we risk reaching tipping points and irreversible impacts (good-bye Greenland). Until about 200 years ago, carbon dioxide levels were historically about 275ppm, but our desire for fossil fuels and other factors have gotten us to the dangerous and current 392 level, a level that increases at 2ppm every year. That’s right, this number is the highest in the history of our planet and it is going up.
Scared yet? Me too, but also ready to get to work. I am going to find an event in my area for the 10th of October. I am going to spend my Sunday removing a few parts per million. I’ll bring the chips. You bring the salsa.