Wednesday, October 14, 2009

International Day of Action

I'm excited about Saturday, October 24th. That is the International Day of Climate Action being promoted by the folks at As I write, there are nearly 2,500 actions planned in over 150 countries to help build international awareness and momentum around the scientific consensus that the CO2 our atmosphere should not exceed 350 parts per million (ppm).

On October 24th, I will be joining a group of human powered boats on the Willamette River to write the numbers 350 with our boats. What a fun and creative action this will be. If you visit the site, you can join an existing action or create your own. The point is to be engaged and involved because none of us can do this alone.

This is really a wonderful opportunity to re orientate our world with a sustainable economic system. The Chinese symbol for crisis is a combination of Danger + Opportunity. Both are present and I'd like to see us seize the opportunity and avoid the danger.

The current CO2 concentration is 387 ppm and climbing by 2 ppm per year. Scientists tell us that we must reverse this trend, reducing our global emissions to bring CO2 levels below 350 ppm.

While this poses challenges, I am proud that Portland has decreased per capita emissions 17 percent below 1990 levels, while the rest of the country has increase CO2 emissions by nearly 20 percent in the same time frame. We've done this through a variety of measures including land use planning, zoning, tree planting, hybrid autos, improved public transportation, multi-model transportation support, and more.

What are you doing on October 24th? I hope you'll join me in changing the world.

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