October 10, 2010, or 10/10/10, looks to be a grand day for figuring out climate solutions. Why so? It is the day non-profit 350.org has set aside for a global effort to organize individuals around the world to do hands on solutions to fighting global warming. As of October 6, over 7,000 events are expected to take place in 185 countries, including students planting hundreds of trees in a valley outside of Kabul, Afghanistan; the mayor of Mexico City, Mexico signing a commitment to cut carbon emissions 10% over the next year and joining thousands for a solar-powered festival in Chapultepec park; parishioners weatherizing their church in Atlanta, Georgia; and over 300 universities in China and India taking part in the Great Power Race, a student clean energy competition.
The focus of all of these Global Work Parties, as they are called, is to raise awareness around issues related to climate change. This is a very important issue to Bill McKibben, renowned environmental author and co-founder of 350.org. McKibben is one of the best known of all environmental journalists, and his non-profit has mushroomed under his leadership, coordinating last year 5,200 simultaneous demonstrations in 181 countries. To learn more about McKibben, 350.org and what exactly will go on on 10/10/10, we caught up with him over email for a quick interview:
EarthTechling (ET): What is the purpose of 350.org?
Bill McKibben: To finally build a global movement around climate action – and around the science at its core. We know, thanks to NASA and others, how much carbon is too much: anything above 350 ppm. since we’re at 390 now, that explains the urgency. This isn’t some future problem – it’s a present crisis.