“Our mission is to inspire the world to rise to the challenge of the climate crisis—to create a new sense of urgency and of possibility for our planet.” – 350.org
On Sunday, October 10th environmentalists from all over the world will be taking part in an international campaign to raise awareness of climate change. Work parties will be held in thousands of communities across the globe, in order to change the way we view the world and inspire people to make a difference.
What originally began as a campaign in the United States in 2007, Step It Up (now known as 350) has expanded to become “the most widespread day of political action in the planet’s history” – CNN.
Last year, on October 24th, over 5200 global work parties were held in 181 different countries. This year, the organizers of 350 expect to witness an even larger turnout from activists, students, children, families and just general people who care about the world and want to make a difference.
The number 350 corresponds to the maximum amount of parts per million of carbon dioxide that our atmosphere is capable of handling in order for our planet to survive. Before the industrial revolution, our atmosphere contained only 275ppm of carbon dioxide. Over the years this number has risen. Today we stand above the safe zone at 392ppm, and unfortunately for the future of this planet, this number continues to rise by about 2 parts per million every year.
On October 10, 2010 Greenpeace Vancouver will be hosting a global work party in Surrey, where people will be filling bags with sand that has been left on the side of the road for the Enbridge Gateway Pipeline program. The goal of the work party is to slow down the construction of the South Fraser Perimeter ‘Road’ freeway (a vital part of the Gateway program), while at the same time protecting a vulnerable community from flooding caused by global warming. Take note that this action has a very low possibility of ending in arrest.
If you would rather not be a part of the Greenpeace work party, there are lots of other things you can do on that day to help raise awareness of the significance of climate change. People all over the world will be planting trees, picking up garbage, switching to solar power, working on a community garden or an organic farm, going for a bicycle ride, creating local wind projects, getting in touch with community and religious leaders, and overall, just becoming more energy efficient. There are tons of possibilities, and the only thing limiting you is the breadth of your imagination.
So get out there, have fun, and demonstrate to our world leaders that the future of this planet matters!
By Flavia Kajoba