350: the answer to my fears

Posted by Marti Townsend at Nov 11, 2009 03:55 PM |
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Marti's 350 pumpkinFrom Marti:

Big mahalo to 350.org for organizing the global day of action on October 24, 2009 in support of bringing greenhouse gas emissions down below 350 parts per million.  Over 5,200 events were held in more than 180 countries giving rise to the “most widespread day of political action in the planet’s history.”  Wow!

We joined in on the demonstrations held in Hawaii and continue to do our part to advocate for 350 in fun and interesting ways (I carved that one myself!).  As fun as it was to carve my 350 pumpkin, the gravity of what global warming will do to the Pacific weighed heavy on my soul.

If global temperatures are allowed to rise 2 degrees — which is what world leaders discussed in Barcelona as “tenable” — then that will result in at least a 2-foot rise in sea level.  I don’t know about everybody else, but the sudden loss of our coastlines here is anything but tenable. And is nothing but immoral when you’re talking about many inhabited islands throughout the Pacific that are a mere few feet above sea level. Failing to reach the 350 goal in the immediate future means as many as 200,000 people throughout the Pacific will become “climate refugees,” losing their homes, livelihoods, and ways of life to rising sea levels, ocean acidification, and natural disasters, just to name a few of the evils triggered by global warming. Who are you, Mr. World Leader, to decide that is okay?  It’s not.

But. If the success of the 350 global day of action demonstrates anything, it is that there is the popular political will around the world necessary to achieve the 350 goal.  And, thankfully, now is the time to make this massive global push to end global warming really influence policy decisions.

On an international level, world leaders will be meeting again next month in Copenhagen, Denmark to negotiate an agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

At the U.S. level, the Obama Administration is expected to release a draft National Ocean Policy by December 9th to address the shocking mismanagement of oceans under U.S. control.

And here in Hawaii, hearings are being held through November by the Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Taskforce on the implementing a fossil fuel fee.  Also, the Climate Change Taskforce (of which we are members) will have recommendations for the Legislature to act on when it convenes in January.

Watch for updates on how to participate in all of these decision-making opportunities.  Click here to see when and where the Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Taskforce is meeting next.

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