From Bill McKibben's letter (sent today via CommonDreams) on the events, rallies and projects scheduled for Oct. 24 to publicize the most important number in the world:
That number is 350, as in parts per million carbon dioxide. In the last two years, the scientific community has made very clear that it's the maximum safe level for carbon in the atmosphere, at least if we want to have a planet "similar to the one on which civilization developed and to which life on earth is adapated." It turns out that people all over the world do -- in more than 130 countries, they are organizing thousands of actions that will take those three digits and sear them into the planet's consciousness. For instance:
On the melting slopes of Mt. Everest, Pemba Dorje Sherpa, who holds the record for the fastest ascent of the highest peak, will be spreading banners and signs
On the dying coral reefs of the Maldives, the government's entire cabinet will don scuba gear and hold an official underwater meeting to pass a 350 resolution to send to the Copenhagen summit
On the shores of the fast-drying Dead Sea, Israeli activists will form a giant human 3 on their beach, Palestinians a 5 on theirs, and Jordanians a 0-reminding us we need to unite across all kinds of divides for effective action.
If you go to 350.org, you can find the action nearest you -- and if there's not one yet you can figure out something grand to do yourself. There will be churches ringing their bells 350 times, and farmers mowing the numbers into their fields, and hip hop artists staging concerts across urban America -- it's going to be a great day.
And it's going to matter. Since so far our leaders haven't shown enough willingness to do what needs doing, scientists and citizens have to stand up for the planet's real bottom lines. We can refocus this debate, share the news about the planet's limits, and about the planet's possibilities when we respect those limits.
Already 89 nations have signed on to the target--the poorest nations on earth, for the most part. The ones that have done the least to cause this problem. Their citizens, rallying in Mombasa and Quito and Phnom Penh, need to see that the rest of us are joining them in this fight. Please help us at 350.org - it's going to be a day of great passion, great joy, and great connection. You don't want to miss it.
-- Excerpt from Bill McKibben's letter