What impact did 350.org have and was the movement effective?What communication strategy did 350.org use to spread their message and further their goals?
What do we learn from this 2 minute video? Not about the science, the science is clear, “we know that climate change is happening”People protesting with the number 350, spreading the message on cell phones, installing solar panels, taking pictures of the symbol 350, we see a theme of universality and connectedness, this is not an issue that concerns only the U.S. but the whole world. On October 24, we will show the world that we need an international plan to protect us from climate change.Bold claims: “Spark the largest climate action the world has ever seen,” and “Together we will solve the climate crisis and transform our world.”
The movement was co-founded by Bill McKibben in 2007. Bill McKibben - well known American environmentalist and writer, he wrote one of the first books on climate change, The End of Nature in 1989. “creative activism” from Step it Up, scale up to a global level.350 was first proposed by James Hansen as a safe limit of CO2 in the atmosphere, they took this number and went with it.350 is special in several ways – it is universal – everyone can understand.350 is a symbol for the solution to our climate crisis. “Most important number in the world”This movement is based on a scientific number. It is also very clear target for policymakers. The steps to tackle the climate change problem are dictated by science, and one of the most respected climate scientists in the world – James Hansen advocates this number as the safe limit.The ultimate goal is to transform the world and save the planet. Extremely ambitious and many would say naïve. The audience is you – college students, young people, the alarmed and concerned (6 Americas report).
350.org’s social media strategy is based on an approach that incorporates these eight factorsconsumption-television viewership declining, average attention span shortening, newspapers dying-internet on riseNetworking-creates huge nets of support across great distances-used social networking to tap into and link together existing environmental or environmentally friendly groups, as well as draw in new people, provides opportunity to engage in a way that is familiar and user is comfortable, not asking a great deal, social networking allows users to be creative and organize events themselves-creates connection with the movement which empowers participants-easy way to make them feel like they have contributed and made a noticeable difference because the result is a tangible final productEach participant, due to use of social media, is able to bring their own artistic interpretation to the project-this involves investment and investment, even a little bit, equals caring, equals increased likelihood to follow debate and engage in project againIncreases effectiveness of mass event-technology enables all to partake, no matter what time of day, no matter where in the world-can get way more numbers than with a physical rallyLowers cost-sending out emails, twitter/facebook updates costs nothing compared to mass mailings and phone calls-lowers cost for participants-a couple of quick clicks on a website costs nothing and with lower participant costs, increases chances of participationBy bringing together a social space with political ideas and movements, a blending occurs that stimulates discussion and raises much more awareness compared to simply rallies-able to seamlessly insert politics into everyday thought and convo-newsfeed on facebookThe target demographic of the movement fits perfectly with people who use social media-studies show social media users tend to be more liberal voters, voters more likely to support climate legislationThe only way to put together a global campaign is to have some way to connect participants from all corners of the globe-this was not a US movement, but a global movement and therefore required a way for participants from all over the world to engage in a meaningful way-social media provides this opportunity like no other forum for discussion has before
School children in Vilandai, India.
Mt. Kilimanjaro, Tanzania
Robert College in Istanbul, Turkey.
Great Barrier Reef, Australia.
Massey High School in Waitakere City, Aotearoa New Zealand.
4,700 young people gather in Uden, Netherlands.
The Cairo cyclist club in Cairo, Egypt.
Soldiers in Afghanistan
Sao Carlos, Brazil.
Lantern walkers in Sydney, Australia.
An ancient native tribe called the Totonacas gather in Papantla, Veracruz, Mexico.
European youth climate activists gather in Berlin, Germany.
Social Media strategy: facebook, twitter, flickr, youtube.350.Org relies on these new forms of media to spread the message, but also to create activists, to make passive consumers into active citizens.Taking advantage of the web, but more specifically web 2.0 – user creation, user interaction, user sharing.Did 350.org just rely on new media to get activists all over the world? How did they get children in India to participate? Were they on twitter? It is not the children that organized, but one person – one organizer that pool together people for an action, maybe a teacher at an elementary school heard about the 350 event and decided to organize an “action.”They also had climate leadership workshops where they would train people in different regions, they have “friends and allies” a big network of organizations that help and support 350.org. Organizations include: Greenpeace, 1sky, Earth Watch Institute, David Suzuki Foundation, etc.
Who was aware?350.org allied with 300 organizations around the world and enlisted "350 messengers" who have publicly allied themselves with the organization or its goal to spread the 350 movement, including RajendraPachauri (chairman of IPCC), Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Dr. James Hansen, President Mohamed Nasheed (president Maldives), and others.Who was aware of the movement? - What group of people? – Look at pictures submitted. Many pictures are from college students, school children, cyclist clubs, environmental groups, etc. 6 Americas Report – alarmed & concerned population.
1. & 2.Major stories everywhere-front page of NY Times, ABC, CBS, BBC, CNN, major int’l papers, Colbert report even picked up and did spot3. Environmental Blogs-environmental blogs like, lit up-treehugger awarded best climate activism and best political ambassador of 20104. Skeptics Blogs
New York times article-discusses 350-labels as protestors, organizers, volunteers-gives almost equal time to those critical of the movement-saying goal is too hard to reach, methods are wrong, no path to get there, serious organizations focus on legislation, as well as Bill McKibben, who defends movement and the development of a global community
Articles from Burma and India, both showing 350 demonstrations
Article is critical of 350, saying that the target of 350 is too high and simply a political choice-argue that 350 should really set a much lower carbon goal
Fox News opinion on 350.orgCompares 350 to al Qaeda, critical of all steps to reduce carbon.
LabelingMcKibben as “warmist,” “fear promoter,” insane – “off his meds?”.
Best Climate Activism of 2010.
There were 117 countries that adopted the 350 ppm or 1.5C target – a majority of the nations at the conference.Support for 350 was strongest with small island states (Barbados, Bahamas, Maldives, Samoa, St. Lucia, etc.) and LDC’s (Least Developed Countries) such as Bangladesh, Tanzania, Angola, Somalia, Senegal, etc. The U.S., China, India, Brazil, Japan and many European nations were not on board with the 350.org target.Australia was trying to get Tuvalu to back down from the 350ppm target to a 2 degrees limit, money would be on the table for adaptation.The U.S. China, India, South Africa and Brazil signed the Copenhagen Accord, which is not legally binding, no real targets to achieve emissions reductions, the COP delegates “took note” of the accord, they didn’t adopt it.
Depends on definition of success.Did they spark the largest climate action the world has ever seen? – Yes. According to Foreign Policy magazine the international day of action was “the largest ever coordinated global rally of any kind.” CNN said, “the most widespread day of political action in the planet’s history.” Note that CNN says “widespread” and not largest. Did they solve the climate crisis and transform the world? – No. The Copenhagen Conference is regarded as a failed conference, McKibben was extremely disappointed by the outcome and wondered why he even voted for Obama. However, that does not mean that they failed. They had extremely high expectations, and they did not win the battle at Copenhagen, but they are still active and planning another event this year.The beauty of the 350.org campaign, and the reason why Bill McKibben was selected as one of the top 100 global thinkers of 2009 was because he transformed the anti-global-warming movement by capturing the imagination of thousands of people around world using new media. For one day was able to get everyone to talk about this number – 350.
New slogan is “get to work.” Simple message to world leaders, “We’re working—what about you?” 350.org wants people to install solar panels, insulate homes, plant trees, ride bikes, etc. Same formula of “creative activism” – unleashing the imagination and using that to promote their cause.
Outline<br />Topic <br />What is 350.org?<br />Research Questions<br />What was their mission? Were they effective?<br />Approach<br />Pictures from day of action<br />Response from the media, skeptic’s and environmentalists<br />Findings<br />Who was listening to 350.org? Who did they influence? Were they successful?<br />
What is 350?<br />Premise<br />Team<br />Audience<br />Goal<br />Social media strategy<br />Bill McKibben<br />
Social Media Strategy<br />Media consumption patterns are changing<br />Potential to network, engage, and empower<br />Artistic interpretation<br />Mass event<br />Lowers cost<br />Blending of social with political<br />Target demographic<br />Global Campaign<br />
Spreading the Message<br />Were people aware of movement?<br /><ul><li>Who participated?</li></ul>There were over 2000 rallies in all 50 states, over 5245 rallies in 181 countries-thousands of people <br />Followers, fans, subscribers<br />Facebook: 79,351 fans<br />Youtube: channel views-39,476 total upload views-580,567, most pop video-204,342<br />Twitter: 15,264 following; 14,847 followers; 1,425 listed<br />