Saturday is the International Day of Climate Action – raising awareness of taking action to tackle climate change to reduce our CO2 emissions back down to a “safe” limit of 350 parts per million. This is being organised and coordinatted across 170 countries by an organisation called 350.org. Set up by environmentalist and eduacator Bill McKibben Saturday will bring many different group activities to highlight climate change and the number 350 – in New Zealand there are currently 110 activities planned. It is actually more than raising awareness about climate change it is (as the website states) a chance for the public to take a stand and make it known that we have to do everything we can to reduce our emissions to 350ppm to slow global warming and reduce the likelihood of the temperature increasing more than 2 degrees celsius over the next 50-100 years. 350ppm is the safe upper limit for the amount of CO2 in our atmosphere.
The current ppm CO2 in our atmosphere (as measured by Earth Systems Research Laboratory (ESRL) / National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) at Moana Loa Observatory in Hawaii (where CO2 has been measured since the mid 1950’s)) is 384.78 ppm and climbing.
Check out 350 Aotearoa for what is happening in your region and how you can get involved. In Christchurch the activities includes Frocks on Bikes in Victoria Square, planting on the Southshore, artwork on New Brighton Pier, Port Hill Greens will be at Victoria Square asking people to reduce their emissions by 10% by 2010, Canterbury surfers will paddle out on the sea to show their support and many others.
Also CO2now.org is a great website for climate change information and how ESRL and NOAA study CO2 – there are also some interesting and informative videos and you can download a CO2 counter for your website or blog like the one above.
Read here for why 350ppm is such an important number.
And here is the wonderfully animated 350.org video.
And here are a range of great photos of what people have done to raise awareness of 350.
Get involved and take a stand today.