News that matters



  • On May 9th, for the first time ever, the world’s most important CO2 monitoring station recorded daily CO2 concentrations above 400 parts per million — the highest levels found on earth in over 5 million years.

    IMG_0679Already we’re seeing the deadly effects of climate change in the form of rising seas, wildfires and extreme weather of all kinds, and passing 400 PPM is an ominous sign of what might come next.

    The safe level of carbon dioxide in the atmostphere is 350 parts per million, but the only way to get there is to immediately transition the global economy away from fossil fuels and into into renewable energy, energy efficiency, and sustainable farming practices in all sectors (agriculture, transport, manufacturing, etc.).

    While the level fluctuates seasonally and varies across different latitudes, this is yet another sign that our dependence on fossil fuels is out of control.

    Bill McKibben
    Bill McKibben
    “We’re in new territory for human beings–it’s been millions of years since there’s been this much carbon in the atmosphere. The only question now is whether the relentless rise in carbon can be matched by a relentless rise in the activism necessary to stop it.”
    Dr. James Hansen
    Former NASA Climatologist
    “If humanity wishes to preserve a planet similar to that on which civilization developed and to which life on Earth is adapted, paleoclimate evidence and ongoing climate change suggest that CO2 will need to be reduced … to at most 350 ppm.”
    Payal Parekh
    Coordinator, Global Power Shift
    Crossing the 400 ppm threshold is a somber reminder that we haven’t taken the action we need. Nevertheless there is good reason for hope — activists all across the globe are fighting the fossil fuel industry and demanding clean, just and affordable solutions to our energy needs. At Global Power Shift, a convergence in Istanbul this June, 500 mostly young climate activists from 135 countries will come together to plan a global strategy for change. Upon returning home they’ll escalate action and create the global power shift our world needs to push for 350 ppm.

    Deirdre Smith
    West Coast Fossil Free Organizer
    My grandmother said that we are always walking toward our goals or away from them. As we reach 400PPM I am thinking about her, and wondering which way the the Board of Trustees from any of the 40 fossil free campus campaigns I work with are walking. Perhaps, this will be the moment we decided to walk toward our common goals, to treat each moment as a chance to invest in our future. That’s what my grandmother would hope, that’s what I hope, that’s what students are fighting for now.

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