Sunday, October 10, 2010

10-10-10 October 10, 2010 + 350ppm

Yes, that's 10/10/10, representing today's date, October 10, 2010 and it's all about 350ppm or 350 parts per million.

Huh? Blah blah blahblahblah. Yadda yadda yadda.

I'm just going to give you the bullet points.

350ppm is the scientifically based target sustainable level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

From the website:

What is 350?

350 is the most important number in the world—it's what scientists say is the safe upper limit for carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

Three years ago, after leading climatologists observed rapid ice melt in the Arctic and other frightening signs of climate change, they issued a series of studies showing that the planet faced both human and natural disaster if atmospheric concentrations of CO2 remained above 350 parts per million.

Everyone from Al Gore to the U.N.’s top climate scientist has now embraced this goal as necessary for stabilizing the planet and preventing complete disaster. Now the trick is getting our leaders to pay attention and craft policies that will put the world on track to get to 350.

What is 10/10/10?

10/10/10, today, is a day of "work parties" around the world - in theory doing something concrete to help in the war on CO2 - in reality, largely symbolic to get the word out about the problem, both to world leaders and the citizenry, and the urgency of working towards solutions.

There will be around 7,500 "work parties" today in 188 countries.

I'm reading a great book on the subject. It's titled "Getting Green Done" by Auden Schendler, the Director of Sustainability for Aspen Skiing Company. It may be the best I've read on the subject.

And lastly, here is the gist:

American represent 5% of the world's population, yet we use 25% of the world's resources. Americans burn more fossil fuel per capita than any nation on earth - nearly 1 million btu's per person per day, equivalent to 100 pounds of coal, 1,000 cubic feet of natural gas, 8 gallons of gasoline, or 1 lightning bolt of energy per person per day.

The fact is, this is not sustainable. Not in the long term, and possibly not even sustainable in the next twenty years.

The fierce urgency of now. On a global scale.

Combined with a huge dose of hope. But here is my definition of hope:

"Hope is not a lottery ticket you can sit on the sofa and clutch, feeling lucky. It is an axe you break down doors with in an emergency. Hope should shove you out the door, because it will take everything you have to steer the future away from endless war, from the annihilation of the earth's treasures and the grinding down of the poor and marginal... To hope is to give yourself to the future – and that commitment to the future is what makes the present inhabitable." [Rebecca Solnit]

Have a beautiful Sunday!

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