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Mar 262012
 

From Green Right Now Reports

Leading US environmentalist Bill McKibben has announced the latest action by 350.org to try to show the public that climate change is rapidly destabilizing the planet, and threatening the future of humanity.

The new worldwide action, called Connect the Dots, will take place on May 5, across the planet, with local groups expressing the urgency of climate change with demonstrations specific to their region.

350.org, named for the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere considered by many leading scientists to be a tolerable level (350 ppm), has led similar events before to press the case that carbon pollution is forcing Earth into a potential tailspin of heatwaves, droughts, ocean flooding and ice loss.

CO2 in the atmosphere has risen sharply in recent decades, to 393 ppm (parts per million), created by the burning of fossil fuels from coal plants and transportation, and also by de-forestation. The resulting greenhouse effect that has raised temperatures, slightly but significantly across the planet.

350.org, a non-profit founded by McKibben, a noted environmental author and Middlebury College professor, has sought to draw attention to the problem for the past several years.

In his letter, McKibben calls upon climate activists to help Connect the Dots:

Dear Friends,

Across the planet now we see ever more flooding, ever more drought, ever more storms. People are dying, communities are being wrecked — the impacts we’re already witnessing from climate change are unlike anything we have seen before.

But because the globe is so big, it’s hard for most people to see that it’s all connected. That’s why, on May 5, all over the earth, we will Connect the Dots.

In places from drought-stricken Mongolia to flood-stricken Thailand, from fire-ravaged Australia to Himalayan communities threatened by glacial melt, we will hold rallies reminding everyone what has happened in our neighborhoods. And at each of those rallies, from Kenya to Canada, from Vietnam to Vermont, someone will be holding a…dot. A huge black dot on a white banner, a “dot” of people holding hands, encircling a field where crops have dried up, a dot made of fabric and the picture taken from above — you get the idea. We’ll share the images from around the world and give climate change a human face — we’ll hold up a mirror to the planet and force people to come face to face with the ravages of climate change.

Anyone and everyone can participate in this day. Many of us do not live in Texas, the Philippines, or Ethiopia — places deeply affected by climate impacts. For those of us not in directly-impacted communities, there are countless ways to stand in solidarity with those on the front-lines of the climate crisis: some people will be giving presentations in their communities about how to connect the dots. Others will do projects to demonstrate what sorts of climate impacts we can expect if the crisis is left unchecked. And still others of us will express our indignation to local media and politicians for failing to connect the dots in their coverage of “natural disasters.”

However you choose to participate, your voice is needed in this fight — and you can sign up to host a local event here

350.org has done giant global days of action before (over the last three years we’ve helped coordinate over 15,000 events in 188 countries) and they’re always beautiful moments when our movement stands together. This year we’ll use that same captivating tactic to draw attention to the struggles of our friends around the world — the communities already feeling the harsh impacts of climate change.

These will be beautiful events, we’re sure. But they will also have an edge. It’s right that we get a little angry at those forces causing this problem. The fossil fuel industry is at fault, and we have to make that clear. Our crew at 350.org will work hard to connect all these dots — literally — and weave them together to create a potent call to action, and we will channel that call directly to the people who need to hear it most.

May 5 is coming soon; we need to work rapidly. Because climate change is bearing down on us, and we simply can’t wait. The world needs to understand what’s happening, and you’re the people who can tell them.

Please join us — on May 5th, we need you to send the most important alarm humanity has ever heard.