Yesterday the world comemorated the Global Action Day. This is an invitation to help build a movement – to take one day and use it to stop the climate crisis. On Oct. 24, we will stand together as one planet and call for a fair global climate treaty. United by a common call to action, we’ll make it clear: the world needs an international plan that meets the latest science and gets us back to safety.
And we now now have a number to express our peril: 350. NASA’s James Hansen and a team of other scientists recently published a series of papers showing that we need to cut the amount of carbon in the atmosphere from its current 387 parts per million to 350 or less if we wish to “maintain a planet similar to that on which civilization developed.” No one knew that number a year ago—but now it’s clear that 350 might well be the most important number for the future of the planet, a north star to guide our efforts as we remake the world. If we can swiftly get the planet on track to get to 350, we can still avert the worst effects of climate change.
If we all do our job, every nation will know the question they’ll be asked when they put forth a plan: will this get the planet back on the path to 350? This will only work with the help of a global movement—and it’s starting to bubble up everywhere. Farmers in Cameroon, students in China, even World Cup skiers have already helped spread the word about 350. Churches have rung their bells 350 times; Buddhist monks have formed a huge 350 with their bodies against the backdrop of Himalayas. 350 translates across every boundary of language and culture. It’s clear and direct, cutting through the static and it lays down a firm scientific line. On October 24, we’ll all stand behind 350–a universal symbol of climate safety and of the world we need to create. And at the end of the day, we’ll all upload photos from our events to the 350.org website and send these pictures around the world.