By Ashley Phillips
Green Right Now
This Saturday is International Day of Climate Action — a chance for everyone to take a stand on behalf of the planet and possibly participate in one of 4,300 actions that are planned in 171 countries.
With participation numbers like that, the number “350″ is becoming a popular rallying cry.
“We had no idea it would go viral like this. It seems far-fetched that you could get that many people to rally around a scientific data point, but the number just keeps climbing. It shows just how scared of global warming much of the planet really is, and how fed up at the inaction of our leaders,” said Bill McKibben, founder of 350.org.
Added Matt Fitzgerald, a organizer for the group: “We’ve been hearing from the politicians and the corporations, now we’re hearing from the people. And in over 170 countries they’re calling for a Copenhagen agreement that sets us on a rapid path to 350.”
350.org began the International Day of Climate Action campaign not only to wake up politicians, but wake up the world. The group wants everyone to know about and understand the number 350, which signifies the level many scientists have identified as the safe utmost limit for CO2 in the atmosphere, in parts per million.
Here are a few unique events around the US:
The Guadalupe Neighborhood Development Corporation’s (GNDC) extremely affordable, net-zero energy subdivision is truly raising the bar for local, affordable, community-based development. This large infill project involves subdividing approximately 7.2 acres into four tracts, which will be developed into both multi-family condominiums and single-family homes. Currently the land is vacant, and remediation of the brownfield is starting Saturday. Every unit on this property will have net-zero energy bills. A large portion of these units will be affordable to extremely low-income households. Join in and get dirty.
Join in a moving forum that will not only be good for you, but for the planet. Participants will take a walk in their neighborhood or across the city to talk with people about the urgent need to reduce our carbon emissions so we can quickly scramble back to 350ppm. Walkers/educators are asked to carry signs illustrating important concepts and will stop in businesses along the way (where appropriate and arrangements have been previously made) to speak with larger groups. Spread the environmental word.
Columbia College Chicago will be celebrating the arts and bringing awareness to the environment. The college will demonstrate how one can make their own paper by reusing old paper and turning it into pulp. Later, each person will be given a piece of chalk in to use to trace their “carbon footprint” on the sidewalk. Participants will make a pledge, write something meaningful, and decorate their footprint however they would like. There will be volunteers and organizations showcasing art and visual displays along the walk. There will be art stations, tables, and anything else participants want to use to express themselves.
The 2009 Go Go Green 5K will raise awareness about the urban ecosystem and educate the community on eco-friendliness on Saturday at Diversey Harbor. People of all ages are welcome. Participants are encouraged to bring household recyclables, old batteries and gym shoes to the race. The race begins at 9am.
Volunteers will be saving money while saving the environment for area senior citizens. Participants will be installing free compact fluorescent light bulbs for low-income senior citizens. This simple task will reduce electricity consumption and carbon emissions.
Enjoy socially responsible fine dining, with locally sourced foods and wines at unique sophisticated venues. Created and produced by Chef Rico Mandel & Helen McHugh, their new concept “Restaurant without Walls” blends the social consciousness of environmental awareness with a luxurious gourmet culinary theme at specially contracted, interchangeable locations.
Join 250 movers and shakers at Studio 54, for StartingBloc’s second annual Fellow-run fundraiser, BLOC PARTY II. This year they will be celebrating “social innovators”, presenting an inaugural award to Majora Carter, an environmental justice and green jobs pioneer from the South Bronx who has worked on climate change initiatives most of her career.
The Cathedral of St. John the Divine invites the community to come join in ringing bells, delivering messages and taking photos to commemorate IDCA. The cathedral will ring its iconic bells 350 times.
Maybe you do not have a couple of hours to get out this Saturday. It is OK. You can still make a difference from the comfort of your own home. Twitter has swiftly become the new communication tool for people everywhere, even celebrities and politicians. So TWEET it.
President Barack Obama is one of the people with the most power to create a positive outcome at the upcoming Copenhagen meeting. Let him know that 350 ppm target is the only way to stop the planet tipping into climate crisis. From 12-1 EDT, send “USA MUST formally adopt the 350ppm CO2 target at Copenhagen 09 – the ONLY WAY to prevent runaway climate change NO EXCUSES!” All the tweets sent to President Barack Obama need to contain the same message, to create maximum impact, according to 350.org.
It is not too late to join an event or even register your own. Either way, make this Saturday about something much larger than yourself.
Copyright © 2009 Green Right Now | Distributed by Noofangle Media