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Oct 112010
 

By Barbara Kessler
Green Right Now

Climate change has been a matter for debate in government circles and a talking point on news channels for many years now. But increasingly, the climate change discussion is becoming a people’s dialogue.

This past weekend citizens around the world who believe that humans must slow global warming pollution,  deforestation and the loss of wildlife showed how to translate talk into action.

They gathered at 10-10-10 work parties, rallying people of all ages, economic strata and religious beliefs. In groups of 5, 10, or 100 or more they built gardens, planted trees, promoted carbon neutral transportation and protested the continued use of fossil fuels.

Apparently, saving the planet is everyone’s concern.

Here are a few photos from the 7,347 registered actions taken on behalf of the Earth. The full collection is dazzling in its breadth. People worked on climate-healing projects in every corner of the planet, from New Zealand to Iceland, Ghana to Chile, with dozens of cities represented in the U.S., China and Europe.  (The images are reprinted from the photo stream assembled by 350.org, the grassroots group that created the 10-10-10 campaign.)

People turn out in Oakland, Calif., to improve a school garden.

Hundreds in Oakland helped improve the Laney College school garden and hear hip hop musicians CL Smooth and Pete Rock. Improving community gardens can increase food security and reduce the distances food must be shipped.

Local residents got lessons in organic farming in Navdanya, India.

These Indian residents are displaying the number 350, because that is considered to be a level of atmospheric carbon (350 parts per million) that’s comfortable for human life. Measurements show that Earth is approaching 400 ppm, triggering accelerating climate transformations.

A student at a 10-10-10 work party in San Antonio hits at a "coal" pinata.

Events in several U.S. cities included demonstrations and speeches arguing for clean energy and against fossil fuels, because the burning of coal and oil contribute to the greenhouse gas effect that’s warming the planet.

Activists in Desde, Chile display a solar hot water heater before installing it.

The idea of the work parties was to show politicians that people can take action and start making a difference against climate change. Many gathering promoted solar power as a cleaner way to generate energy and start slowing carbon emissions.

Students in Iganga, Uganda installed solar panels on their school and planted trees, which absorb carbon from the air.

School children participated in many 350.org 10-10-10 events. Here teens planted trees outside their school, taking steps toward reforestation in Africa.

In Aspen, residents send a visual message.

Aspen activists decided to illustrate the problem of global warming by creating a human snowflake.

In New South Wales, a group installed an accessible, sustainable garden at a respite center.

This Australian work group constructed a garden to supply local food, and made it wheelchair accessible.

Students in Beijing hoist a multi cultural banner.

In China, 30,000 students launched the “Great Green Initiative”; they commemorated the work party with a banner in Chinese and English.

People paint a white roof in Harlem.

Volunteers painted a white roof at the Democracy Prep Charter School in Harlem. By reflecting solar heat, white roofs can make it easier to cool buildings and reduce their energy consumption.

Auckland, New Zealanders held a bike repair day.

Several work party events highlighted the need for lower carbon transportation. This one in New Zealand got practical, helping repair bikes, a doubly green effort because it help extend the use of the bikes.

In Philadelphia, a work party cleaned up Vernon Park and painted benches, while a juggler provided the entertainment. (Photo: Margaret Lenzi.)

The Clean and Green Vernon Park group planted, weeded and mulched, improving an urban green space.

Climate activists assemble near the White House to call for action.

Ultimately, the buck stops here, at the White House, and other centers of government around the globe. Climate activists want elected officials to hear their demands for cleaner energy and reduced carbon emissions. 350.org suggests calling your leaders, and makes it easy with an online widget.

Copyright © 2010 Green Right Now | Distributed by GRN Network