350.org Event at Camp Bayou

Oct 24, 2009

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On 24 October, concerned families people gathered at Camp Bayou in Ruskin, along with other committed enivironmentally-concerned people in 181 countries, for the most widespread day of environmental action in the planet's history. At over 5200 events around the world, people gathered to call for action on the climate crisis. To make this global call to action count, it must be impossible to ignore 350 - the safe upper limit of ppm (parts per million) of CO2 (carbon dioxide) in the atmosphere that will allow for a sustainable future of all life on earth forever. We are now at 387 ppm.

What does the number 350 mean?
350 is the most important number in the world—it's what scientists say is the safe upper limit for carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

Two years ago, after leading climatologists observed rapid ice melt in the Arctic and other frightening signs of climate change, they issued a series of studies showing that the planet faced both human and natural disaster if atmospheric concentrations of CO2 remained above 350 parts per million.

Everyone from Al Gore to the U.N.’s top climate scientist has now embraced this goal as necessary for stabilizing the planet and preventing complete disaster. Now the trick is getting our leaders to pay attention and craft policies that will put the world on track to get to 350.

Is 350 scientifically possible?
Right now, mostly because we’ve burned so much fossil fuel, the atmospheric concentration of co2 is 390 ppm—that’s way too high, and it’s why ice is melting, drought is spreading, forests are dying. To bring that number down, the first task is to stop putting more carbon into the atmosphere. That means a very fast transition to sun and wind and other renewable forms of power. If we can stop pouring more carbon into the atmosphere, then forests and oceans will slowly suck some of it out of the air and return us to safe levels.

Is 350 politically possible?
It’s very hard. It means switching off fossil fuel much more quickly than governments and corporations have been planning. Our best chance to speed up that process will come in December in Copenhagen, when the world’s nations meet to agree on a new climate treaty. Right now, they’re not planning to do enough. But we can change that--if we mobilize the world to swift and bold climate action, as was done on October 24th..