350: Saturday’s climate change number

Posted by Alastair Otter on October 23, 2009
Posted in Green News, Lead

4017582490_99c5b0a97a_b350. It’s the amount of carbon dioxide that scientists believe is the safe upper limit for our planet. It’s also the name of a global movement that is mobilising the world to take action on Saturday October 24, the International Global Day of Climate Action. The day of action will include actions from almost every country in the world and will call on all governments to take action to reach achieve an “ambitious, fair, and binding global climate deal”.

Two years ago scientists issued a series of studies showing that a carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere of more than 350 parts per million (ppm) would be disastrous for life on earth. Right now the atmospheric concentration of CO2 is 390ppm and the 350 campaign on Saturday will be to call on leaders to set goals to reduce this to under the 350ppm threshold.

Around South Africa there will be a series of events celebrating the 350 declaration. Johannesburg celebrations will include the Jozi 350 Climate Action Day at Emmerentia Dam, and the Tree planting for carbon offset. Cape Town events will include the Human 350 on Table Mountain and the 350 melting iceblocks on Muizenberg beach.

The campaign has also attracted support from a number of prominent people including Bishop Desmond Tutu, who penned an article in support of 350.org which has been published in major US newspapers. In Unity doomed apartheid. Next up: climate change, Tutu wrtites: “In South Africa, we showed that if we act on the side of justice, we have the power to turn tides. Worldwide, we have a chance to start turning the tide of climate change with just such a concerted effort today.”

A full list of SA events can be found on the 350.org website.


2 Responses to “350: Saturday’s climate change number”

  1. Naomi Estment
    November 7th, 2009 @ 11:58 am

    Hi Alastair,

    Congratulations on a stunning site and thanks for this fabulous article!

    We happened to visit Table Mountain on 24th Oct, and came across the rock climbers doing their thing 350 for Climate Action. What an experience! My husband took a great photo from the cable car, which is included in this blog post:


    Thanks again,


  2. Andrea Kobeszko
    December 15th, 2009 @ 12:42 am

    Climate change is an issue of evergrowing concern. In November torrential rains sparked mudslides and flooding in El Salvador, killing over two hundred and leaving thousands homeless. El Salvador recently partnered with IEDRO, http://www.iedro.org, the International Environmental Data Organization, in an effort to rescue over a hundred years worth of data left in warehouses. IEDRO will rescue and digitalize all of these records, to be used by computer forecast models to improve flood and mudslide warnings in El Salvador.

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