Send Your Message to Ottawa on Saturday, October 24: Hamilton Wants Action on Climate Change.
By Jen Dawson
Published October 21, 2009
I do cry at movies and the odd emotionally manipulative TV commercial. That may not be you, but I dare even the most hard hearted among us to go www.350.org and check out the amazing events that are taking place around the world this Saturday and not feel moved.
I want you to feel moved. Because it's going to take a lot of movement to send the message to governments across the globe that we want real action on climate change.
"350" is the parts per million (ppm) of atmospheric greenhouse gases that scientists believe is the safe upper limit to avoid global climate catastrophe.
We're at 387 ppm now.
A United Nations summary late last month warned of rapidly approaching tipping points that could flip the planet into an uncontrollable heating cycle. It noted that the growth in emission levels has increased steeply since 2000 - going from a 1.1 percent a year increase in the 1990s to a 3.5 percent annual jump since then.
That's higher than even the worst case scenario envisioned by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in its report less than two years ago.
Canada may have signed the Kyoto protocol but we have failed to achieve our promised six percent cut in emissions from 1990 levels.
Instead, by the end of 2007 our country's greenhouse gas emission levels had risen by 26 percent, primarily because of industrial emissions like the rapid expansion of development in the Alberta tar sands.
To tackle climate change we need to move quickly and we need to act in unison, and 2009 will be an absolutely crucial year. This December, world leaders will meet in Copenhagen, Denmark to craft a new global treaty on cutting emissions.
The problem is, the treaty currently on the table doesn't meet the severity of the climate crisis. The global 350 events happening this Saturday, October 24 - 4,317 actions in 171 countries - are meant to focus attention on the issue and hold our leaders accountable to the latest climate science so we can start the global transformation we so desperately need.
Hamilton has added its voice to the global call for action, with an afternoon of events taking place at and near Gore Park downtown starting at noon this Saturday.
Music in the park with Kim and Frank Koren, The Human Race, and Peak Soil
Clear and accessible explanations on the science of 350 - as much or as little as you want to know
Workshops on raw food gourmet cooking, transition towns, greening sacred spaces, solar hot water systems and the link between food and climate change
A book launch by Mike Nickerson, author of Life, Money and Illusion: Living on Earth as if We Want to Stay
Screening of the movie Power of Community: How Cuba Survived Peak Oil
Information on new initiatives like Hamilton CarShare
Presentation of a huge banner with hundreds of signatures to federal politicians
At 3:00 PM we'll march from Gore Park to the Federal Building on Bay St. in time to send our message to Stephen Harper at 3:50 p.m.
More details on the day's events can be found at www.hamilton350.com.
Now is the time to make some noise. Even criers like me will leave the hanky at home and instead lend our voice to the call for action. After all, this isn't a movie or trashy TV commercial. It's the future of our planet.
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