I’ve already given a brief intro about what this magical number represents, but….(flip to next slide)
Self-explanatory (read aloud)
It has a lot to do with science, and, more specifically,… (flip to next slide)
Self-explanatory (read aloud) (flip to next slide)
Self-explanatory (read aloud) Climate change is already happening, and we are already seeing the impacts all around the world. Which means we must take action now to ensure a future safe from the worst effects of climate change.
We can all take action in our daily lives, by using less energy, consuming less, changing our lightbulbs and more. But to make the big changes in our world that are necessary to avoid the worst effects of climate change, we must focus on the politics. And as a problem that is truly global, we must find a global response.
350 represents a specific goal for our entire planet...
… .to ensure an equitable future safe from climate catastrophe. It's no small task, but for people and nations everywhere, we need to make sure all of the world’s decision makers pay attention to the most recent science that is telling us 350 is the right target to aim for. And that’s what we need this December, when world leaders will meet in Copenhagen, Denmark to craft a new global treaty on cutting emissions. The treaty currently on the table doesn't address the severity of the climate crisis--it doesn't pass the 350 test.
In order for 350 to become a reality for our world, we need to mobilize NOW!
… By moving away from fossil fuels and utilizing alternate sources of energy…..
… .And uniting together to make sure our voices are heard, and to hold world leaders accountable to protecting our collective future.
On 24 October, an international day of climate action, communities all around the world will hold rallies large and small to let their leaders know what kind of action they need to take on climate change: whatever can get us back to 350ppm. On that day, there will be actions at thousands of iconic places around the world - from the Taj Mahal to the Great Barrier Reef to our community – to send a clear message to world leaders: the solutions to climate change must be equitable, they must be grounded in science, and they must meet the scale of the crisis.
But first, let’s take a look at the science of climate change a little bit more. What’s interesting is that the essential science behind climate change is accepted by almost everyone – environmentalists, scientists, and politicians alike. What remains at the center of heated debates, however, is how severe climate change is and will become in the next few decades – and in turn, how we must respond. Over the last century, scientists have measured that the average temperature of the earth has risen more than 1.3 ºF (0.7 ºC), namely due to enormous amounts of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases that have been released into the atmosphere over the last 150 years. While this increase in warming might not seem like a lot, think about the fact that a rise in 3ºC is comparable with the warming that occurred between the last ice age – 15,000 years ago – and the temperature of the 18 th century.
The greenhouse effect refers to the rise in temperature that the Earth experiences because certain gases (water vapor, carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, and methane, for example) trap energy from the sun. Without these gases, heat would escape back into space and Earth’s average temperature would be about 60ºF colder. Because of how they warm our world, these gases are referred to as greenhouse gases – much like how the glass panes of a greenhouse let in light but keep heat from escaping, causing the greenhouse to heat up. Greenhouse gases in the atmosphere behave much like the glass panes in a greenhouse. Sunlight enters the Earth's atmosphere, passing through the layer of greenhouse gases. As it reaches the Earth's surface, land and water absorb the sunlight’s energy. Once absorbed, this energy is sent back into the atmosphere. Some of the energy passes back into space, but much of it remains trapped in the atmosphere by the greenhouse gases, causing our world to heat up.
For all of human history until about 200 years ago, our atmosphere contained 275 parts per million of carbon dioxide. Parts per million is simply a way of measuring the concentration of different gases, and means the ratio of the number of carbon dioxide molecules per million other molecules in the atmosphere. Then, beginning in the 18th century, humans began to burn coal and gas and oil to produce energy and goods. The amount of carbon in the atmosphere began to rise, at first slowly and now more quickly. Many of the activities we do every day like turning the lights on, cooking food, or heating or cooling our homes rely on energy sources like coal and oil that emit carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases into the atmosphere. Right now, the planet has reached 390 parts per million CO2 – and this number is rising by about 2 parts per million every year.
Before I go on, do you think that 390 ppm CO2 is a safe level for our planet? (wait for audience response)
To find out, we're going to take a look at some climate impacts that are happening now. Our first example is the rapid melting of glaciers around the world. From the Himalayas, to the Andes, to the Alps to the Arctic, glaciers are melting aroudn the world, and at astonishing rates, as you'll see from the following series of photos. Many major cities and populations depend on these glaciers for water, and agricultural productivity – the impending disappearance of these glaciers is a major threat to food and water security for major population centers worldwide. Over 1.5 billion people from India to China depend on the Himalayan glaciers, which are melting at a rapid rate Earlier this year in Bolivia, the Chacaltaya Glacier completely disappeared, one of the glaciers that once supplied water to farmers and inhabitants of the region.
For example, take a look at this picture of Muir and Riggs Glacier in Alaska in 1941.
And now take a look at that same shot of the glacier in 2004. The glacier has obviously receded in a drastic manner – in fact, it’s been measured that the glacier has retreated more than 20 km.
Or look at Pedersen Glacier in Alaska in 1920….
… and now in 2005. Not only has the glacier itself declined, but the lagoon in front of the glacier has become grassland.
Secondly, oceans are acidifying. What this means is that, as oceans soak up large amounts of carbon dioxide, the water is becoming more acidic, affecting coral reefs, algae, and marine life. As ocean acidification increases, calcium carbonate ions that protect coral reefs are becoming more scarce, and reef skeletons are eroding quickly.
Algae that live within coral reefs produce its vivid colors while secreting limestone to build skeletons that make up the reef itself. However, with increasing temperatures, the algae starts to photosynthesize at a rate too fast for the coral to handle. To protect its own tissue, the coral then expels micro-algae, causing the white skeleton to show through – also known as mass bleaching.
In addition to the fact that oceans are absorbing and releasing heat is the rise in sea levels. As ocean water warms, it also expands, and the rise will be increasingly compounded by glacial melting. Due to the melting of glaciers around the globe, land-based ice melt, according to the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), has caused a rise in ocean levels of about 5 cm per year. This might not seem like a lot, but the rise is slowly creeping upward, with the potential to make islands and coastal regions around the world uninhabitable. The IPCC conservatively estimates that sea levels could rise by 1m by 2100, which would have a devastating effect on major coastal cities, island states and populous delta areas such as those in Bangladesh and Myanmar.
In addition to rising seas, ocean warming also causes weather patterns to become more extreme..
As climate change has acclerated, so to has the number, frequency, and intensity of hurricanes (also known as cyclones and typhoons, depending on which part of the globe you live in). In 2005, three of the six most powerful Atlantic hurricanes ever observed hit North America. Australia was also hit in 2006 by three cyclones, each with winds over 155mph, offshore and on the coast. Stronger hurricanes in a warmer world makes sense. Warm ocean waters create hurricanes and cause them to grow in intensity. Scientists have observed that the larger the area of ocean with waters above 26 ºC, the greater the chance that a tropical storm will ensue. In May of 2008, Cyclone Nargis hit Burma hard, killing over 43,000 people, destroying about 95% of the homes, and making over 190,000 people homeless.
The damage done by 2005’s Hurricane Katrina topped anything produced by a single US storm for many decades. More than 1,800 people died, and billions of dollars were needed to repair property damage caused by the storm. Even today, four years later, New Orleans has not completely recovered from the tragedy.
Less dramatic, but no less devastating, intensifying droughts and heat waves due to climate change are majorly impacting countries around the world. Climate studies and scientists’ understanding of the greenhouse effect both point to an increase in hot spells and heat waves. Remember the massive heat wave in Europe in the summer of 2003? More than 50,000 casualties were reported that summer, and no heat wave in history has produced such a large number of documented deaths. While oceans might seem to have nothing to do with droughts, their increasingly warm temperatures offset the steady balance we typically have observed in the past. Drastic shifts in climate dictate the amount of water that gets absorbed into the atmosphere and that falls back down to earth, bringing both persistent wetness or dryness to different parts of the world. An example is the drying that is occurring in southern Australia. Over the last century, rainfall across far southwest and eastern Australia has declined greatly. As of 2005, the city of Perth had gone 38 years without reaching a yearly total of 1000 mm (39 inches) of precipitation, a mark once reached regularly. For a city with about 1.5 million people, that’s a dangerous statistic. . Warming temperatures help evaporate what little rain does fall before it can replenish water reserves.
While the number of droughts are on the rise due to climate change, as we saw before, too much rain at once has also been causing horrific floods. Precipitation intensity is increasing in certain areas, and snow or rain – once it comes – tends to last several days instead of just a few hours. What’s even worse is that higher temperatures not only allow more rain-producing moisture to enter the atmosphere, but they also take more water of out of land where it hasn’t been raining, resulting in both floods and droughts. Recently, in February of 2009, the Solomon Islands declared a national disaster after rain and flooding in the South Pacific nation killed 8 people and left another 13 missing, destroying homes and bridges. Flooding was also observed in Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Micronesia and the Marshall Islands, forcing tens of thousands of islanders to abandon their homes.
As you can see here, the number of floods witnessed worldwide since 1950 has skyrocketed.
Another cause of climate change is the devastation of forests. Increasing temperatures produce severe droughts, an deforestation exacerbates the problem due to the loss of the forest canopy, which helps retain moisture in the forest. Also, the increase in pests due to a warmer climate has led to rapid forest die-offs.
In 2006, 9.2 million hectares of forest in British Colombia had already been destroyed by mountain pine beetles – by 2013 the insect is expected to have destroyed 80% of British Colombia's forests, if not controlled. Once limited to lower-elevation tree species, these beetles have now moved to higher elevations as temperatures warm – threatening expansion eastward over mountain ranges that typically have stopped its spread. . Forest fires are on the rise and are expected to become more frequent and severe as the planet warms. Not only do these fires destroy homes and land, but they are also a major source of pollution. When trees are burned down, they release significant amounts of CO2 into the air. Additionally, the loss of trees causes less CO2 to be absorbed from the atmosphere. Large forest fires and beetle invasions have been experienced recently in all parts of the world, from Canada….
… to Australia, inciting the need for climate action now.
Small islands are at risk of disappearing. Islands that are just a meter or two above sea level, such as the Maldives or Tuvalu, might be washed away in a matter of years due to rising ocean levels and increased flooding from tropical storms. If this were to happen, island populations would become environmental refugees, displacing millions of people. Already, the president of the Maldives has created an investment fund from tourism earnings so the nation can buy a new homeland in Sri Lanka and India, for its citizens in case of massive flooding.
From droughts, to rising seas, to eroding coastal areas, climate change has the potential to displace up to a billion people by 2050, some scientists say. This has major humanitarian and security implications.
Potential climate change refugees, most of which live on small islands, are responsible for an insignificant fraction of the world's carbon emissions, yet are considered among the most vulnerable people on earth to the effects of global warming.
All in all, climate change harms local livelihoods. One of the key points of debate surrounding national and international efforts to tackle climate change has been the potential economic cost. However, it needs to be kept in mind that, if nothing is done to stop climate change, local economies will be seriously compromised. From tourism, to agricultural production, to the insurance industry, unpredictable weather and harsher storms from climate change threaten to impact every corner of the global economy as it functions today.
In 2006, the Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change, a 700-page report compiled for the British government, was released, detailing the effects of global warming on the world economy. The key take-away of this report is that the costs of climate change in the future will be far greater than the costs of mitigation now. Climate change could sap anywhere from 5% to 20% from the global economy by 2100, and global warming could inflict worldwide disruption as great as that caused by the two World Wars and the Great Depression.
Even more basic than economic costs is the threat to our sustenance and nourishment. Flooding from melting glaciers disrupts food production, and unpredictable weather patterns make it difficult for farmers to cultivate crops. It is estimated that between one and three billion people living in Asia and African could lose 10-20% of their cereal-crop potential, increasing malnutrition in less developed nations.
Warmer weather increases the spread of parasitic diseases. Malaria-carrying mosquitoes are thriving in a warmer and moister climate, spreading the deadly disease to previously untouched parts of Africa’s highlands. Dengue fever, which is caused by 4 potentially fatal, mosquito-borne viruses, is also on the rise, with about 2/5 of the world’s population now living in affected areas, according to the WHO (World Health Organization).
Perhaps the most startling evidence yet that we are outside of the safety zone for planet Earth, has been the melting of the arctic. Take a look at the Arctic, in 1979, and most recently, in 2007.
The Arctic is sending us the clearest message that climate change is occurring much more rapidly than scientists previously thought. In the summer of 2007, sea ice was roughly 39% below the summer average for 1979-2000, a loss of area equal to nearly five United Kingdoms. Many scientists now believe the Arctic will be completely ice free in the summertime between 2011 and 2015, some 80 years ahead of what scientists had predicted just a few years ago. What this means is that climate change is accelerating, and impacts are happening much faster and more forcefully than previously predicted.
This is a chart that shows both how global temperature and CO2 concentrations have changed over time – scientists measure these by looking at ice cores from the arctic regions. By looking at this chart, you can see how closely temperature and CO2 have correlated over time – this is an essential piece of evidence in understanding how greenhouse gases effect global temperature. As you can also see, CO2 levels have been erratic over the course of time. However, they've stayed within the same range. Starting in the 18 th century with the industrial revolution, we began to creep slowly, and now more quickly, outside of that range. Now we are far outside concentrations we have ever seen in the past 600,000 years. As Reuters put it, &quot;carbon dioxide levels this year are literally off the chart” of levels we've ever seen in recorded history. This means we are conducting a big experiment on our planet's systems.
Now, back to our current level of C02: 390 ppm.
So going back to our original question – do we think we're above or below where we need to be? (read aloud and wait for audience response)
Accelerating arctic warming and other early climate impacts have led scientists to conclude that we are already above the safe zone at our current 390ppm, and that unless we are able to rapidly return to 350 ppm this century, we risk reaching tipping points and irreversible impacts, such as the melting of the Greenland ice sheet and major methane releases from increased permafrost melt. The fact that we're above 350ppm doesn't mean that we should lose hope. It's like going to the doctor who tells you that your cholesterol is too high – you likely won't have a heart attack that day – but you improve your chances considerably by acting quickly to lower it.
As James Hansen of America's National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the first scientist to warn about global warming more than two decades ago, wrote recently, &quot;If humanity wishes to preserve a planet similar to that on which civilization developed and to which life on Earth is adapted, paleoclimate evidence and ongoing climate change suggest that CO2 will need to be reduced from its current 387 ppm to at most 350 ppm.&quot;
The last section was a little sobering, but like I said, the fact that we're above 350ppm is not the end of the world – as long as we get back to 350 as soon as we can. Getting to 350ppm is no easy task, but its not impossible either – and it can mean very positive changes for communities worldwide.
We are already above 350ppm, and global emissions are continuing to rise 2ppm every year. This means we have to change course quickly, and that we must act globally.
It means transforming the way we get energy, transport ourselves, and consume resources. According to NASA scientist Jim Hansen, here's what we need to do right away: The number one way to cut emissions quickly and get back to 350ppm is to stop burning dirty coal as soon as possible. Without coal, we must find a way to make cheap, renewable energy widely available in order to ensure all communities the right to develop cleanly. Coal may be a cheap form of energy, but it causes major health problems for populations near where it is burned, and major contamination where it is mined. Aside from the devastation it creates for our global climate, there are many reasons to move away from coal.
The second important step for getting to 350ppm is improving land use - both agriculture and forests - in order to reduce emissions, and sequester carbon. Current deforestation is releasing vast amounts of CO2 that was once sequestered by trees as they grew. Stopping deforestation, and replanting forests with native species will allow forests, known as 'sinks', to absorb CO2 again. Eventually, the Earth’s soils and forests will slowly cycle some of that extra carbon out of the atmosphere, and CO2 concentrations will return to a safe level. By decreasing the use of other fossil fuels, and improving agricultural and forestry practices around the world, scientists believe we could get back to 350 by mid-century.
Getting back to 350 is a unique opportunity to remake our communities in ways that are healthier, more locally self-sufficient, and honor traditional and indigenous wisdom. We can get away from relying so heavily on sources of fuel and food that come from far away, and instead grow more of our own food locally, ride bikes and public transit, depend on local energy systems like wind and solar, and create economies that aren’t as dependent upon limitless growth. These types of solutions help create communities that are not only friendlier to our climate, but are also healthier for our children’s lungs and our collective well-being.
Implementing many of these solutions will require people – more specifically, labor. But in the face of an increasing unemployment rate, people need jobs desperately now more than ever. In fact, President Obama has promised to spend $150 billion over 10 years to create 5 million new green-collar jobs. Quote from UN Green jobs report
Overall, changing the way in which we currently create and use electricity will make our communities healthier.
This chart simply recaps the different solutions that can get us back to 350ppm – and the trajectories we will likely see with each one. [reiterate each solution, starting with the phase-out of coal] 350 is a tough diagnosis, but it also presents us with a huge opportunity to remake our communities in a local, healthy, and positive way.
The second part of our story is the politics of climate change. We went over the science first because the science doesn't negotiate or compromise – politicans can. Yet we need to understand the politics - so that we can affect the policy to make sure it's in line with the most current science, and is strong enough to avoid the worst effects of global warming.
And 2009 is a crucial year. In December of 2009, delegates, non-governmental organizations, and businesses from every nation will meet in Copenhagen, Denmark to finalize a new global climate change agreement that will define the terms of the next phase of the Kyoto Protocol, starting in 2012.
It is critical that, when these world decision-makers gather at this meeting, they understand and are held accountable to crafting a treaty that is equitable and informed by the most recent science.
Let’s step back for a moment and see why this meeting in Copenhagen is happening in the first place. Back in 1988 as the first scientists began to study global warming, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a scientific intergovernmental body to asses the risk of climate change caused by human activity, was established by the UN. Now, it's main activity involves utilizing the brainpower of over 2,000 of the world's top climate scientists to aggregate thousands of papers on climate change – and then issue a giant summary with policy recommendations to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). They issue these reports every 4 years. Their incredible work earned them a shared Nobel Peace Prize with Al Gore in 2007.
The UNFCCC was created in 1992 at the Rio de Janeiro Earth Summit – an agreement designed to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that is not hazardous to human health.
Originally, the UNFCCC set no mandatory limits on greenhouse gas emissions for individual nations and contained no enforcement provisions. Instead, the treaty included provisions for updates, called &quot;protocols“, that would set mandatory emission limits. The principal update is the Kyoto Protocol, which was finalized in Kyoto, Japan in 1997 after years of negotiations. As of mid-2007, 172 countries had ratified the treaty, as you can see from this map. The US had indicated early on that it wouldn’t ratify the treaty, given the absence of binding targets for developing countries. Under Kyoto, industrialized nations have pledged to cut their emissions of carbon by 5.2% compared to 1990, equating to a 29% cut in the values that would have otherwise occurred.
Each year since the Kyoto Protocol was brought into existence, there has been a two-week Conference of the Parties (COP) to discuss the terms of the treaty.
At these meetings, 10,000 participants come together for these two weeks – from government representatives to corporate lobbyists to reporters to citizens like you and me...
Self-explanatory (read aloud)
However, the next few years could make or break the global mission to deal with climate change, as Kyoto’s first compliance period expires in 2012, and there is currently no clear consensus on what to do next.
Back in 2007, at COP 13 in Bali, Indonesia……
… negotiators created the Bali Roadmap, a two-year process to finalizing a binding agreement in 2009 at the Copenhagen meeting. The Bali Roadmap involves four main building blocks: adaptation, mitigation, technology transfer, and financial resources. As outlined by this Action Plan, mitigation, or emissions reduction, stands as the essential pillar. Developed countries, which are responsible for the vast majority of greenhouse gas emissions, will be expected to agree to major, binding targets for emissions reductions. So far, they have not. Adaptation indicates measures taken to minimize the vulnerability to climate impacts. Developing nations, justifiably, are seeking financing from the developed world (who are largely responsible for climate change impacts we see today) to adapt to climate change. Technology transfer is exactly what it sounds like – facilitating the spread of low carbon technologies around the world to assist countries in developing cleanly. All of these actions come down to financing, and questions of justice – how much should each country pay? Based on how much they emit, or have emitted historically? [this can be a good place for discussion]
In addition to how much countries must pay, there is major disagreement as to how much each country ought to have to cut their emissions. But first, we must establish the overall target that we must seek to reach – then we can break that down into how much each country is responsible for. The IPCC's Fourth Assessment Report in 2007 endorsed 450 ppm CO2 as the safety level for our atmosphere…
… However, reaching 450 ppm gives us a 50% chance of keeping temperatures below 2 °C of warming, which would have tremendously adverse consequences for everyone in the world, as we saw earlier on. If the arctic melted at 1 degree, should we really see what happens at 2 degrees?
It’s important to keep in mind that, currently, many policy-makers, institutions, and NGOs are still supporting targets that are out of date and greatly increase the risk of catastrophic climatic changes.
Just over a year old, 350 is a relatively new target being discussed in the scientific community, informed by the accelerating impacts that climate scientists are seeing worldwide, that we discussed earlier. At the last UN climate negotiations in Poland at the end of 2008, the 350 target began to attract more endorsers as new scientific reports and evidence of early impacts made it clear that we are already above the safe level for CO2. In fact, over 90 countries are now endorsing the 350 target.
At the same meetings in Poland, 40 of the most vulnerable nations who will feel the impacts of climate change first and worst, the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) and the Least Developed Countries (LDC’s), included in their policy statements the need to adopt a much stronger target than those currently being debated, and to support a 350ppm target. Leon Charles, chair of AOSIS, stated, “Two degrees is really not a safe level for small island states. For many of them it would be like a death sentence in the long run.”
In his annual speech, Nobel laureate Al Gore told delegates at the most recent climate negotiating session that we must now “toughen our goal” to 350ppm.
Hopefully, 'soon' will be by the end of 2009. Because by the end of the year, negotiators from almost 200 countries must agree to new terms for a climate treaty. [Note to presenter: Here would be a good place to talk about what position your country has at the negotiations. For more information, visit the UNFCCC website: http://unfccc.int/. Also, talk about current national or regional initiatives, if relevant.]
But the current plans for the treaty are much too weak to get us back to safety. This treaty needs to put a high enough price on carbon that we stop using so much. It also needs to ensure poor countries a fair chance to develop. One way thought to promote the export of clean technologies to emerging countries is through carbon trading. Annex I countries – the world’s industrialized countries – that exceed their emissions targets can buy allowances from other Annex I countries that are doing better than their carbon-cutting targets. For example, the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), a part of the original Kyoto treaty, allows developed countries to get credit for bankrolling projects such as reforestation or wind farms that reduce emissions in developing countries. By mid-2007, more than 700 CDM projects had been approved, and are expected to keep more than 2 billion tones of CO2 equivalent out of the atmosphere by the end of 2012. Yet, critics argue that emissions trading does little to solve pollution problems overall, as groups that do not pollute sell their conservation to the highest bidder. Some see CDM as a tool that legitimizes the polluting actions of Annex I countries by permitting them to buy their way out of any commitment to reduce their own emissions. Additionally, the Kyoto Protocol has been ineffective in reducing emissions, since it didn’t become international law until the 1990-2012 period. By that point, emission amounts had risen substantially in many countries – for example, over 20% in Canada. It appears that few, if any, of the world’s big economies will meet their Kyoto targets by 2012. And even if they did, scientists now say that it would only make a small dent in the world’s increasing output of greenhouse gases. Indigenous peoples financing Overall, these current issues are a result of the lack of trust between nations. Therefore, negotiation is critical, and nations need to put aside nationalistic tendencies to counter a global problem that doesn’t have borders.
Unfortunately, the United States has been both the biggest emitter, and the least cooperative when it comes to climate change. Even though China now produces as much CO2 annually, the US still produces many times more carbon per person than China, India, and most other countries. And America has blocked meaningful international action for many years by refusing to sign the Kyoto Protocol, and without their participation, it has been nearly impossible to make significant progress. Now, with Barack Obama as president of the U.S. there is at least hope that the US will sign on and play a positive role. President Obama has consistently emphasized that he has no intention of delaying firm targets for reducing emissions, declaring that “delay is no longer an option” and that “denial is no longer an acceptable response.” Of course, Barack Obama cannot save us from climate change, but he could play an important role, if we hold him to his word.
If the meeting in Copenhagen were to be held now, it would produce a treaty that would be woefully inadequate. In fact, it would lock us into a future where we'd never get back to 350 parts per million—where the rise of the sea would accelerate, where rainfall patterns would start to shift and deserts to grow. A future where first the poorest people, and then all of us, and then all the people that come after us, would find the only planet we have damaged and degraded.
That’s why we need to make our voices heard this year!
Which brings us to the final, and hopefully most uplifting, part of our story - the movement. We like to think PPM doesn't just stand for parts per million, but also for 'people powered movement' - which is what we'll need to demand our world leaders put the planet back on track to 350ppm. October 24 comes six weeks before those crucial UN meetings in Copenhagen. If we all do our job, every nation will know the question they'll be asked when they put forth a plan: will this get the planet back on the path to 350? If this global movement succeeds, we can get the world on track to get back to 350 and back to climate safety. It won't be easy, and that's why we need all the help we can get.
Here's the good news: This movement is big, it exists everywhere, and it's wired. Global public opinion polls have found 9 in 10 people want action on climate change, and 7 in 10 want to see dramatic action ‘very soon’ Also, 110,00 civil society organizations are now listed on WiserEarth.org, and the number just keeps increasing. In addition, people continue to mobilize daily online. Since 2007, Avaaz.org has collected 10 million signatures online for human rights and environmental causes.
About 25% of the world’s population is on-line – billions of people are on e-mail lists, and millions of people are on Facebook and YouTube. We live in an extremely networked time, as the Internet has become an essential tool for building momentum behind all kinds of activism. Therefore, all the pieces are already in place for a successful movement around the world.
More specifically, a global climate movement is now surfacing in all corners of the Earth….
… .from Bali, Indonesia…..
… to Lebanon…
… .to Australia.
To our community! [Customize this slide with a photo of local climate action]
Since the climate crisis is going to affect future generations the most, today’s youth is very active in trying to make a difference and find solutions. Here are just a few of our youth partner organizations – the Energy Action Coalition in the U.S, the Indian Youth Climate Network, the Caribbean Youth Environment Network - who are making a major difference in their countries and regions around the world.
Sometimes it seems like all this action isn't quite adding up to make a dent on these big decisions being made about our future. However, a global movement connected by a common goal, and by the web can help weave our collective actions together to make the seemingly invisible, all the sudden visible.
350 is a simple, clear message for everyone who believes in fighting for safety from dangerous climate change. A message that demands equitable, science-based solutions from world leaders, and holds them accountable to a clear course of action.
So who is 350.org anyway? 350.org is a grassroots, distributed international climate change campaign with the 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 through a network of partner organizations, messengers, and a coordinating team of young people from around the world. 350.org is represented by citizens around the world who seek a fair solution to the climate crisis.
… in Cameroon….
… in the Canadian Arctic…
… .in India…
… in Colombia…
… and thousands of other places on Earth.
Customize this slide! Include some info about what your community is doing locally to spread the word about 350.
Like I mentioned before, 350 is a network of 100s of partner organizations….
… from international NGOs, to local grassroots movements.
Here's a quick snapshot of some of the groups involved in this effort – you can see all of them on 350.org's website.
Our local group here is a part of the 350 network too [Customize this slide with your logo or website]
350 is also aided by inspiring global leaders…. [feel free to delete this section, or parts of it for length consideration]
… such as Sheila Watt-Cloutier, a Can adian Inuit activist. She has been a political representative for Inuit at the regional, national and international levels, most recently as International Chair for Inuit Circumpolar Council. Watt-Cloutier has worked on a range of social and environmental issues affecting Inuit, and has most recently focused on persistent organic pollutants and global climate change.
And Van Jones. Van Jones is working to combine solutions to America's two biggest problems: social inequality and environmental destruction. In 2007, he founded Green For All, a new organization working to build a green economy strong enough to lift people out of poverty, and has recently moved to a role in President Obama's administration as the &quot;Special Advisor for Green Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation&quot; at the White House Council on Environmental Quality.
Or Desmond Tutu, Archbishop of Cape Town from 1986 until 1996 and the 1984 winner of the Nobel Peace Prize. Tutu, as most of you probably know, rose to worldwide fame during the 1980s as an opponent of apartheid. Since his retirement, Tutu has continued to work as a global activist on issues pertaining to democracy, freedom and human rights.
In India, there is Vandana Shiva. Shiva is a world-renowned environmental leader and thinker, and has fought for changes in the practice and paradigms of agriculture and food. She has assisted grassroots organizations all over the world, and is a figure of the global solidarity movement known as the alter-globalization movement.
350 was started by a team of young people from all over the world…
… and author and environmentalist Bill McKibben. A writer, an activist, a scholar-in-residence at Middlebury College, and co-founder of 350.org, McKibben wrote The End of Nature , the first book for a general audience on climate change.
Along with Bill McKibben, 350.org was co-founded by a team of university friends. Together, they ran a campaign in 2007 called Step It Up that organized over 2,000 rallies at iconic places in all 50 states, all on one single day.
These creative actions - from skiers descending a melting glacier to divers hosting an underwater action - helped convince many political leaders, including then Senator Barack Obama, to adopt Step It Up 2007’s common call to action: cutting carbon 80% by 2050.
Now, 350.org is building off of Step It Up's model of creative activism and making it global.
A national goal to cut carbon emissions 80% by 2050, which had once been a radical target for the United States, was quickly adopted by major political figures once they saw people out in the streets, all across the country, demanding it.
The Step It Up team had a simple strategy that produced results: creative actions, combined with a targeted policy message, allowed for a real change in the policy discussion. 350.org has now taken this same strategy and is trying to implement it at an international level. 350 ppm is a goal that many of us in the movement can agree upon, and that is a very specific call to action that holds politicians accountable to what the most recent science is telling us.. As a number, it is widely translatable and is already becoming a symbol for creative climate actions worldwide.
Now it’s time for you to get involved! [this whole section will depend on how much your community is already involved in 350 – for some, this may be a great time to discuss what you want to do – for others who are further ahead in planning, you might want to cut much of this section]
You can register an event in your community for the 24 th of October international day of climate action – a day when thousands of communities worldwide will join together to show their support for strong climate action that gets us back to 350ppm.
Why October 24 th ?, you might be wondering… October 24 th is 6 weeks before the UN Climate negotiations in Copenhagen. The timing here is crucial--there is a narrow window when we can have the most influence in international climate politics. Too early and we're irrelevant, too late and we've missed our chance to have a real impact. Though the final climate meeting in Copenhagen doesn't take place until December, governments will be finalizing positions before the meeting takes place. Also, October 24 is United Nations Day. With creative actions happening all over the globe, and photographs of those events appearing online, in the media, and on politicians' desks, 350.org hopes to change what these negotiators think they can achieve right before they make the important decisions of the UN treaty. Right now most of them know the science of 350ppm, but they don't think it is politically possible. On October 24, we are going to show them that not only is it possible, but it is what everyone all over the world is demanding they do.
October 24 will be a single, powerful day to join together with people all over the world….
… and make our voices heard….
… to the media…
… to decision-makers…
… and to the world.
Actions and events on October 24 th can take any shape or form. Whatever you choose to do, just remember to plan a time for taking an action photo that visibly displays the number 350. If possible, choose an iconic or meaningful location for your action -- a place you wish to protect from climate change or which represents what matters to you and your community.
United by our common call to action….
… some people will gather…
… others will march….
… hike to the tops of mountains….
… dive underwater….
… ride our bikes….
… create art….
… and lobby our politicians.
Anything goes…so come up with your own idea!
Where will you take action?
Many will rally at iconic places – places that represent countries, and the threats that are posed by climate change.
No need to say anything
No need to say anything
No need to say anything
No need to say anything
So, where do you think you will hold your event on October 24 th ? [have a discussion about what you could do in your commiunity]
All these actions will combine to create a giant, creative, worldwide demonstration that demands a better course of action for our planet.
So, please, sign up! Take a stand to help ensure that a science-based treaty is adopted in December.
Contact [name of organization] at [contact info], or 350.org by e-mailing email@example.com. And thank you for your time today…I hope that you will join the movement! The 350.org crew will do everything it can to support you, providing templates for banners and press releases, resources to spread the word, and tools to help you build a strong local climate action group. If you need some help, both [name of organization] and 350.org are just a phone call away.
Climate change could force 1 BILLION from their homes by 2050. “ ” - April 30, 2008, The Independent. CREATES CLIMATE REFUGEES
[Small islands] are like the canary in the coal mine in terms of the dramatic impact of climate change on a whole civilization of people. They didn’t cause the problem, but they will be among the first to feel it. “ ” - James J. McCarth, Oceanographer
The most comprehensive review ever carried out on the economics of climate change warns that global warming could inflict worldwide disruption as great as that caused by the two World Wars and the Great Depression. “ ” - Environmental News Service STERN REVIEW, 2006
The world has never faced such a predictably massive threat to food production as that posed by the melting mountain glaciers of Asia “ ” - Lester Brown, Earth Policy Institute, Author of Plan B DISRUPTS FOOD PRODUCTION
Global Warming Increases Malaria, Dengue Fever Threat, UN Says. “ ” - Bloomberg, Nov. 27, 2007 AFFECTS OUR HEALTH:
Climate change will draw ever-deeper lines of division and conflict in international relations… over the distribution of resources, especially water and land. “ ” - Report: World in Transition THREATENS SECURITY:
is the MELTING OF THE ARCTIC. New predictions Satellite observations Mean IPCC prediction Most likely change (melt) IPCC range Actual observed melting it has melted nearly 80 YEARS ahead of when scientists predicted YEAR % change in ice cover
CO2 CONCENTRATIONS ARE OFF THE CHARTS CO2 in PPM TEMPERATURE Years Parts per Million CO2 TODAY: 387ppm 550ppm? More? EARLY 1900S LAST ICE AGE Where we’ll be mid-century if we keep this up
do you think we’re above or below where we need to be? So,
CO2 IN THE ATMOSPHERE WE’RE HERE: 387 WE NEED TO BE HERE: 350 PARTS PER MILLION CO2 YEAR
“ If humanity wishes to preserve a planet similar to that on which civilization developed and to which life on Earth is adapted, paleoclimate evidence and ongoing climate change suggest that CO2 will need to be reduced from its current 387ppm to at most 350ppm.” - NASA climatologist Dr. James E. Hansen, 2008
As effects of warming grow, UN Report is QUICKLY DATED. “ ” -February 12, 2009, Yale Environment 360
350ppm has begun gaining traction in the INTERNATIONAL CLIMATE NEGOTIATIONS
Two degrees (450ppm) is really not a safe level for small island states. For many of them it would be like a death sentence in the long run. “ ” - Leon Charles, Chair of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS)
Gore won the loudest cheers [at COP14 in Poland) for supporting a tougher limit on levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere than a widespread aim of 450 ppm or more. ‘We will soon need to toughen that goal to 350,’ he said. – Reuters, December 2008
DECEMBER 2009 By the end of this year, negotiators must agree upon the final terms for a NEW CLIMATE TREATY in Copenhagen
Many are concerned about the prospects for a treaty that is fair and just:
KYOTO HASN’T REDUCED EMISSIONS
FINANCING FROM DEVELOPED TO DEVELOPING NATIONS
But there is reason to hope that a new treaty could be BETTER My presidency will mark a new chapter on American leadership on climate change.
There is a lot of work to be done this year. If the nations of the world were to agree upon a deal right now, it would be FLAWED AND INADEQUATE .
That’s why we need to make our voices heard in 2009
POTENTIAL FOR A GLOBAL MOVEMENT: WE ARE READY FOR ACTION: Global public opinion polls have found 9 in 10 people want action on climate change, and 7 in 10 want to see dramatic action ‘very soon’ WE ARE ORGANIZED: 110,00 civil society organizations listed on WiserEarth.org WE ARE NETWORKED: Since 2007, Avaaz.org has collected 10 million signatures online for human rights and environmental causes
BILLIONS on email lists 100+ MILLION blogs 50 MILLION Facebook users 55 MILLION users/month on YouTube Roughly 25% of the world’s population is on-line.
350: a simple, clear message for everyone who believes in fighting for safety from DANGEROUS CLIMATE CHANGE
Who is ? A global movement of concerned citizens A network of partner organizations Messengers A coordinating team of young people from around the world ALL OF US who seek a just and equitable solution to the climate crisis
Climate change is already dangerous. As the Arctic melts and the small islands sink below a rising sea, the world cannot stand immobile. Inuit and all Peoples have the right to live safely in their culture. As a shared humanity, we must back away from the precipice. 350 is a good target to head towards. -Sheila Watt-Cloutier, Former International Chair, Inuit Circumpolar Conference
Getting to 350 means changing everything about our global economy. It means providing clean-energy jobs to rewire every corner of the world and catalyzing a global transformation built on principles of equity and opportunity. -Van Jones, Civil Rights and Environmental Advocate
Climate change is a reality. Life depends on a sustainable environment. With no world, there can only be nothing- no birds, no animals, no trees, no us. That’s why getting involved with 350.org is so important – it’s an effective way to take action to turn around the climate crisis. -Desmond Tutu, Archbishop Emeritus
I am completely behind the 350 campaign. A shift from industrial agriculture to ecological, local food systems would be the biggest single step to move towards 350 and a safe climate, while simultaneously solving the food crisis. -Vandana Shiva, Environmental Leader
350 IS COORDINATED BY A TEAM OF YOUTH FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Civilization is what grows up in the margins of leisure and security provided by a workable relationship with the natural world. That margin won’t exist, at least for long, as long as we remain on the wrong side of 350. That’s the limit we face. -Bill McKibben, author, environmental leader, and Director of 350.org And author and environ-mentalist Bill McKibben