Saturday, October 24, 2009

International day of climate action begins in the Mission



Across the globe, folks are rallying to let our rulers know we want carbon emissions cut back to 350 parts per million (ppm), the level at which there is some hope living conditions on this planet might remain something like they've been during human history. Read all about it at 350.org.



These folks are laying out a climate change quilt in Dolores Park. Later today there will be a convergence of folks from numerous local actions at 3 pm at Justin Hermann Plaza at the foot of Market Street in San Francisco.

Human activity -- good things like factories that make goods that make life easier; bad things like traffic and deforestation -- has driven CO2 levels well above 350 ppm. The counter on the right of this blog always shows the current level. Not looking good!

We're completely irresponsible if we don't do something about this -- we broke it; we have to fix it.

UPDATE: Here's the quilt all spread out later in the day.


The quilt makers describe the project at 350 Reasons.

In December, 2009, the world's leaders are meeting to create new agreements about how to work together on the climate crisis, and 350 needs to be the number they are working for. Each panel of the 350 Reasons Quilt is a tribute to something that the person who created it loves about life on Earth. All sewn together, the quilt will represent 350 reasons to dedicate our energy, time and creativity to keep Earth's atmosphere below 350!



***

I'm the wrong age to have properly appreciated what was happening when Earth Day came on the scene in 1970. I'd spent the 1960s in demonstrations for civil rights and against the Vietnam war that ended in tear gas and charging police. I didn't understand a "movement" sponsored by a U.S. Senator that rapidly acquired corporate sponsors.

I was wrong. That phase of environmental awareness got us, in this country, a Clean Air Act that is the reason the San Francisco skyline looked like this today rather than being clouded in visible smog.



The current environmental crisis is of a completely different order, as is the movement to confront it. Folks all over the world are raising the cry for 350 ppm. The most visible and immediate harm from climate change hits poor people in poor countries -- yet remedies demand change and some sacrifice from rich and powerful individuals and countries and their corporations. The activists for 350 in this country look to me to be mostly relatively comfortably-off folks with young children -- another generation. They understand what they are up against, but are not discouraged or cynical. More power to 'em!

1 comment:

Darlene said...

Yeah for the folks who continue to bring awareness to this. We mustn't let it die like other news items seem to do.

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