October 8, 2010

A new message from Bill McKibben

When we first announced the Global Work Party scheduled for this weekend, I had three worries: 1) Since so many of you had done such a good job last year–5200 events in 181 countries, what CNN called “the most widespread day of political action in the planet’s history”–I was concerned that it was going to be hard to top. 2) Because the Global Work Party called for real, tangible Work, I thought fewer people would be willing to rise to the challenge. 3) It had been a discouraging year, with the failures in Copenhagen and in the US Congress, and the unwillingness of governments all over the world to take any sort of meaningful climate action. People told me the movement was deflated, and that no one had any energy left. As it turned out, I didn’t need to worry. Thanks to you, this weekend will be as the day when a single message blanketed more of the planet than ever before. This won’t just be the most widespread day of carbon-cutting action in the planet’s history–it will be the most widespread day of just about anything the earth has ever seen. In the same year when global temperatures have set one scary new record after another, you are rewriting the record books for civic engagement. We don’t have the final numbers yet because registrations are still streaming in, but it’s clear that we’re on track to shoot past 7000 events in 188 countries. That leaves four countries unaccounted for: North Korea, Andorra, Equatorial Guinea, and San Marino. Barring those, the entire planet is engaged. Which makes sense, since this is the first issue that involves the entire planet. We look at the map of events around the world and some days it seems crazy, that this many people would volunteer to do this much work in this many places. But mostly it just seems beautiful. And now we need to make sure that everyone sees just how beautiful. Your photos will be how we show politicians and the media that people around the world aren’t just ready for climate solutions–we’re getting to work building them. So remember to email your top photo to ‘photos@350.org’–and put your City and Country in the subject line, and put a short description of your event in the body. Try to get a “350″ in your photo somehow–it’s our universal message knitting this whole thing together. And if you can get a photo that shows how people are getting to work on climate solutions, even better. You can read simple instructions of how to submit your event photos, and be sure to check out this great guide on how to take an unforgettable photo. Things are happening fast here, and I’ve got to get back on the phone with reporters to try to explain to them about everything happening around the world. We are so grateful for all that you’re doing, and committed to making it count. Onwards! Bill McKibben for the whole 350.org Team P.S. It’s been an amazing week already–first the announcement from the Obama administration that they are going to put solar on the White House. Then we got reports from President Nasheed’s solar installation in the Maldives.  To kick off the Global Work Party, President Mohamed Nasheed of the Maldives installs solar panels donated by Sungevity. The event came just two days after the Obama Administration’s announcement that the White House is going solar.