The International Day of Climate Action on Saturday, October 24 was the most widespread day of environmental action in the planet’s history. People in 181 countries came together at over 5,200 events around the world, calling for united efforts and bold leadership on the climate crisis before the crucial UN Climate Negotiations in Copenhagen this December.
Every event associated with 350.org’s Day of Action highlighted the number 350, the benchmark figure that scientists today say is the safe upper limit for carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Incredible creative actions across the globe included mountain climbers on our highest peaks with banners, underwater demonstrations in island nations threatened by sea level rises, star athletes organizing mass bike rides, and hundreds upon hundreds of community events to raise awareness of the need for urgent action. Staff from 350.org are in the process of displaying photos sent in of events on the big screens in Times Square and projecting them at UN headquarters, hoping to put pressure on leaders to pay attention and craft policies that will put the world on track.
While groups formed the number 350 in a creative way on the melting peaks of Mt. Everest and the sinking beaches of the Maldive Islands, Ithaca locals and college students also rallied in their own climate change initiatives. Local groups met at Tompkins Cortland Community College for the event “Cool It! Doing Your Part to Stop Climate Change.” Attendees learned how to increase energy efficiency, lower consumption, and save money through discussions and family-focused activities.
PRI’s Museum of the Earth joined the Climate Action Day celebrations and was represented by speaker James Dake at the “Cool It” event. PRI also partnered with Cornell’s Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Cornell Cinema, and Cornell Center for Sustainable Future for a special showing of “An Inconvenient Truth,” followed by a presentation by Cornell University professor Charles Greene entitled “A Very Inconvenient Truth.”
On Friday, October 23, some 350 Ithaca College students, faculty, and staff gathered to dramatize the need for world leaders to take fast and effective action on global warming. Dressed as ghosts, the “climate Caspers” paraded around campus as symbols of the potentially deadly effects of climate change. Although the International Day of Climate Action has passed, Ithaca locals and their neighbors will undoubtedly continue to fight climate change, especially as the Copenhagen conference approaches.
The number 350 represents a clear and specific goal – to bring the atmospheric concentration of CO2 down to 350 parts per million or less to help stabilize our planet. Click here to view photos submitted from 350.org Day of Action events around the world, track 350 actions in our very own area, and learn more about the 350.org climate change mission.