350: Global Climate Action

RINGING BELLS TO HIGHLIGHTx350logo

350On Saturday, October 24, 2010, people from around Carmel gathered to ring bells as part of the largest day of climate action ever. Carmel joined more than 5,200 community actions in over 181 countries coordinated by 350.org to urge world leaders to take bold and immediate steps to address climate change and reduce carbon emissions to a safe level – 350 ppm. Carmel United Methodist church also played a part by ringing the church bells 350 times.

As part of a climate education effort, Carmel Green Initiative organized this event to raise awareness about 350.  According to a study done by NASA a year ago, a concentration of 350 parts per million (ppm) or less of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is required to maintain a stable climate.  Currently, the carbon dioxide level is at 389 ppm which is why it’s so urgent to raise public awareness.

Clicke here to view photos.

We’re excited to be part of a worldwide effort to call for climate action and join with other 350-events in Indiana scheduled at Garfield Park, Butler University, Goshen College, Indiana University in South Bend, Vincennes University, University of Southern Indiana, St. Mary-of-the-Woods, Fort Wayne, Columbus, Bloomington and Oldenburg, Indiana.

Click here to view photos of 350s around Indiana.

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To learn more about 350 and view events around the planet, visit 350.org

Why 350?
The number 350 ppm refers to parts per million of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere and is the level scientists have identified as the safe upper limit for CO2 in our atmosphere.  The planet is currently at levels of 389 ppm  and climbing. CO2 is a greenhouse gas that is causing the planet to get warmer. Dr. James Hansen, a leading climate scientist, believes that we need to lower the concentration to 350 ppm to avoid catastrophic climate changes by the end of this century.

If we’re already past 350, are we all doomed?
No.  But we need to scramble back as quickly as we can to safety.

What is 350.org?
350.org is an initiative trying to get world leaders to agree on policies that will reduce carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere to 350 part per million.   World leaders are meeting in Copenhagen in December to discuss a new climate treaty to replace the Kyoto Protocol, which expires in 2012.  350.org has chosen Oct. 24 as an international day of action to send them a message, and to create awareness of the need for us all to become involved in reducing our CO2 output.