¬†¬†¬†¬† This weekend people all over the world will¬†tell the world’s leaders that the time for¬†decisive action on climate change is now.
¬†¬†¬†¬† With the leaders of 192 nations gathered in Copenhagen¬†to address global warming,¬†people are¬†insisting that the summit yield a binding treaty that commits nations to¬†significant reductions in¬†carbon emissions that are warming the planet and destabilizing the climate.
¬†¬†¬†¬† Please add your voice to the call!¬† The international organization, www.350.org, is coordinating the hundreds of events that are scheduled for this weekend.¬† To find¬†the event nearest¬†you, just click on the link above.¬† There you can find a map of planned events all over the world.¬† 350.org, by the way, is an excellent resource for scientific information on global warming,¬†for climate change-related news from around the world, and for the significance of the number ’350.’.
¬†¬†¬†¬† The events during this Weekend of Action will be varied.¬† On Friday and Saturday evenings many communities will host candlelight vigils.¬†¬†At the vigils, 350.org has invited people to stand in support of the people of island nations who are already experiencing the first impacts of¬†global warming.¬† Residents of the Maldives in the Indian Ocean, for example (see link to video below), have been seeing their homeland shrink, thanks to rising seas caused by melting glaciers.¬† I am organizing a vigil here in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, in the town of Woodstock.¬† To learn about it, click on:¬† http://www.350.org/node/13278.¬†
¬†¬†¬†¬† This weekend¬†will also see daytime demonstrations of concern,¬†gatherings featuring education and music, and meetings with elected officials.¬† On Sunday morning,¬†some churches will ring their bells 350 times.¬† The number 350 is the concentration in parts per million (ppm) of carbon that our atmosphere can hold and still maintain the stable climate we have known for generations.¬† The concentration of carbon in the atmosphere is now 387 ppm and rising rapidly.
¬†¬†¬†¬† It really matters that our own national leaders, as well as those¬†of¬†other nations in the world,’get it’ that the people want action, not more vague promises and calls on other countries to act first.¬† We are rapidly running out of ‘next years.’
¬†¬†¬†¬† So I hope you will participate in an event near you this weekend.¬† If none is scheduled, consider organizing one yourself.¬† Yes, the time may be short for organizing a public event, but there is certainly plenty of time to gather a group of people together to act for our beloved planet.¬†¬† Here are just a few ideas:
- ¬†Invite friends to a¬†pot luck¬†meal and¬†discussion of climate change.¬† Ask each person to bring some information to share.¬† Don’t underestimate the¬†value of educational events.¬† Despite all the talk about¬†global warming, most people are not yet well informed.¬† For example, most people do not understand the¬†significance of ’350.’
- Bring people together to brainstorm ideas of what to do about global warming.¬† You might come up with a list of actions people can take in their daily lives, as well as actions that go beyond the personal to include calling¬†your U.S. Senators to urge them to support the House-passed cap and trade bill when it comes up in the Senate.¬†¬†When your list is completed, consider sharing it with others by contacting the press or by emailing it to¬†all in your email network.
- Contact your mayor, county government chair, or Governor’s office to set up an appointment.¬† Invite several concerned citizens to join you in such a meeting, where you urge¬†your city, county, or state government to¬†institute green policies that¬†will reduce carbon emissions.¬†¬†Making government¬†buildings more energy-efficient, purchasing hybrid cars for government use, and¬†beefing up public transportation, especially train service, are just a few of the requests you may want to make of your elected officials.¬†¬†¬†
¬†¬†¬†¬† Click on the link below to view a brief video of the Maldives Islands’ underwater cabinet meeting.¬† The meeting is part of an impressive effort by the Maldives to¬†dramatize¬†how global warming is affecting them¬†now and will affect the rest of the¬†nations soon if the world’s leaders fail to¬†act decisively.¬†
¬†¬†¬†¬† And if you organize or participate in a Weekend of Action activity¬† this weekend, I would love to hear about it!–April Moore