The Most Important Number in the World

Concept2 Rowing and the Craftsbury Green Nordic Racing Program are organizing a worldwide rowing/skiing challenge that will cover 350 million meters all before October 24. Volunteers in Panama City’s Parque Nacional Soberania gathered to plant 350 native species trees and almost doubled their target. Community members are gathering in Vancouver for a 350-person salsa dancing extravaganza. Five thousand school children in the Netherlands created a large installation using their bodies as the medium, highlighting Holland’s trademark windmills, and featuring one important number—350.

Why 350? It is the number leading scientists have indicated as the safe upper limit of carbon dioxide (measured in “Parts Per Million”) in our atmosphere. We have already exceeded that limit. But renowned environmentalist and author, Bill McKibben is urging a world-wide effort to reverse the current course of climate change. His campaign is named and will culminate on October 24th with citizen actions in communities around the world.

It is not too late to join the campaign, lead an initiative in your community, or support an action already in progress. To see what others are doing, find projects near you, or learn more about the implications of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, go to:

For two decades, Bill McKibben, has used his skills as a writer to enlighten readers about global warming and advocate for creative responses to the problem. His books include Deep Economy (2007), Fight Global Warming Now: The Handbook for Taking Action in Your Community (2007), and The End of Nature (1989). In 2007 he organized Step It Up—the largest coordinated demonstration against global warming in American history.

Now he is organizing, an international campaign dedicated to building a movement to unite the world around solutions to the climate crisis—the solutions that justice demand. Its mission is to inspire the world to rise to the challenge of the climate crisis—to create a new sense of urgency and of possibility for our planet. In order to bring together the public, media, and our political leaders behind the 350 goal, McKibben and friends are harnessing the power of the internet to coordinate the October 24th planetary day of action, six weeks before the world’s leaders meet in Copenhagen to formulate a new global treaty on carbon emissions.

Events are scheduled at hundreds of iconic places around the world—from the Taj Mahal to the Great Barrier Reef—with local community efforts across 100 countries. The Day of Action will showcase the tremendous efforts of existing individuals, organizations and communities working to tackle climate change from the ground up, joining them together on a powerful platform borne of hard science and inspired activism.

Please join us on Saturday, October 17th in welcoming Bill McKibben at the 29th Annual E. F. Schumacher Lectures. He will be joined by speakers Benjamin Barber and Alisa Gravitz. The location is the First Congregational Church of Stockbridge, Massachusetts. Tickets are 25 BerkShares/Dollars (15 for members of the Schumacher Center, seniors, and students). We recommend registering in advance.