By Chris Keenan
Moving Planet is an annual event that is celebrated worldwide, in an effort to advise, educate, and increase awareness about climate change. This year, there is an emphasis on the “350” part of their plan of action. Whether going to an event or looking at their website, you will see the number 350 splashed around in various places. 350 refers to 350 parts per million (ppm), or the level of greenhouse gases the organization says we need to reduce to in order to be “safe” from most of the negative effects on climate change.
While this is a worldwide event, there are those for whom this is much more important and vital than others: those who will be more directly and quickly affected in the event of rising sea levels, catastrophic weather events, and other potential disasters. These are the island dwellers who cannot simply drive home from work, close their garage door, and insulate themselves from the reality outside their doors. The very land they stand on is put in danger by global climate change. Rising sea levels, for many of these countries, is the worst possible outcome of climate change as it could significantly change the landscape of their homes. If that landscape even exists anymore.
Island dwellers have already begun to suffer the consequences of living in the age of climate change. Higher than average temperatures have punctuated droughts, floods, increased intensity of storms and hurricanes, and this could just be the beginning for these folks if we don’t act and start to change our ways now. There is a point of no return, and we are fast reaching it, which would have dire consequences for those who live in islands around the world. Those in the pacific are the highlight of this event due to the sensitive nature of the geographic area they inhabit.
As countries around the world geared up for this event, eyes were on the seventeen participating island nations who were prepared to make their voices heard. Youth movements in these countries have planned a number of different events in order to get their message across as loud and clear as possible. And on the day of the event, turnout and participation was much greater than expected. Citizens across the world turned out to support a growing environmental education, a change in our attitudes, and even our lifestyles. We, as a planet, came together, if just for one day, to try to further awareness and save the only planet we have.
Photo credit: 350.org, Flicker Creative Commons
Chris Keenan is a green and general blog writer. He writes for many sites including Precision Garage Door. Chris also maintains a personal house and garden blog.