Today is ‘Climate Impacts Day’, which is organised by 350.org. This year for them is all about connecting the dots between climate change and the crazy weather we’re seeing. And if you’re wondering why they’re called 350.org, 350 parts per million (ppm) is the number which according to scientists is the safe limit of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. We’re currently sitting at 392ppm.
Despite increased public awareness, there still seems to be a belief that the effects of climate change will appear sometime in the vague future. And yet we are also complaining because it is too hot / too dry / too wet / too stormy / too windy. Why aren’t we connecting the dots? We are already seeing the effects of climate change! 2011 has been a year of environmental disasters in numbers and intensity never seen before.
There are lots of events today in support of the cause: At St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, people will literally be ‘connecting the (hand-painted) dots’ in a game of Twister. On Majuro Atoll in the Marshall Islands (see picture below), people will hold up large cardboard dots at sunrise. Apparently they have seen sea levels rise by 7mm a year since 1993 already, so they probably need no convincing that climate change poses a big threat to the planet.
Here in New Zealand, there will be a gathering at Udell’s House in Pohara, Golden Bay, which was buried in a landslide after a ‘one in 500 year’ rain event. A ‘Don’t be a fossil fool’ petition will be handed to two members of Parliament (Gareth Hughes from the Green Party and Moana Mackey from the Labour Party). And at Cuba Mall they’ll get people to gather at the giant umbrella with lots of umbrellas – should make a great photo! Don’t miss out: click here to find an event near you.
As an update, here are photos from some of the ‘Connecting the dots’ events in New Zealand today:
Udell’s House in Pohara, Golden Bay
Handing over a ‘Don’t be a fossil fool’ petition at Parliament
Gathering at Cuba Mall with lots of umbrellas