Climatologists tell us that the earth’s climate was stable for 10,000 years of human development, but now temperatures are rising. David Roberts, policy writer for the blog Grist, at a TEDx conference at Evergreen State College,entitled “Climate Change is Simple,” explained just what we are facing in the future if we keep on filling the air with carbon emissions. He says that an increase of four degrees Celsius would be the hottest the earth has been in 30 million years. If that temperature were reached, sea levels would rise three to six feet, we would have drought on 40% of the earth, and half of the animal species would be extinct. But, here’s the thing: we’re on track to reach six degrees Celsius this century, and, at that point, climate change would be irreversible. Climatologists believe that in order to stabilize the earth’s temperature, global CO2 emissions must peak within the next five to ten years.
When we hear this, do we tell ourselves that it just isn’t true? Is it so overwhelming that we just throw up our hands and say, “There’s nothing I can do about it””? Is this the kind of world we want our grandchildren to grow up in – one in which the only giraffes they encounter will be in a museum? A world without fish because our oceans have become too heated and acidic to support life? This isn’t the world any of us want for our grandchildren. Of course it isn’t! So, join me, Citizens of the Earth, in forcing our governments to make changes that will stabilize the temperature of our planet, so that the animals and fish can continue to live here, so that we can continue to live here..
One organization in the forefront of this movement to control climate change is 350.org,, which lists as its mission to build “a global grassroots movement to solve the climate crisis. Our online campaigns, grassroots organizing, and mass public actions are led from the bottom up by thousands of volunteer organizers in over 188 countries.”
Where does the number “350” come from? According to 350.org’s mission statement, it stands for climate safety. “To preserve our planet, scientists tell us we must reduce the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere from its current level of 392 parts per million to below 350 ppm. But 350 is more than a number –it’s a symbol of where we need to head as a planet.”
On 10/10/10, 350.org organized the “Global Work Party” – “a day of climate solutions projects, from solar installations to community garden plantings — and changed communities from the bottom up with over 7000 events in 188 countries.”
In 2011, they helped lead the fight to stop the Keystone XL tar sands oil pipeline, and they’re busy now, in 2012, to “create a wave of hard-hitting climate activism all over the world that can lead to real, lasting , large-scale change. We think we can turn the tide on the climate crisis – but only if we work together. If an international grassroots movement holds our leaders accountable to realities of science and principles of justice, we can realize the solutions that will ensure a better future for all.”
So, what can you do about climate change? Start by joining 350.org and finding out what events they are sponsoring in your area.
More ideas are coming!