October 15, 2010

350 Day: Boulder. ~ Sarah Orleans Reed {Plus, Photos}

The biggest day of grassroots climate action in history.

350 Climate Action Movement: a Reflection on a “Global Work Party.”

Sunday, October 10th, marked the Global Work Party or “Day to Celebrate Climate Solutions.”

For the above and more photos, click over to Boulder Reporter.

It was organized by a network of concerned global citizens through the international 350 climate action movement.

“350” is the level of of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere in parts per million deemed by leading scientists to be a safe level for humanity.

Thanks to writer-activist Bill McKibben and 350.org, it is now also the numerical value around which a powerful international, grassroots climate movement is emerging.

This year, the movement celebrated a different number. Christened “10/10/10” for its unique and memorable date, the Global Work Party urged citizens to pick up a tool and “get to work” on local, sustainable climate solutions in their communities. It demanded of political leaders: “We’re getting to work, so can you!”

Last Saturday evening in Colorado, organizers in New Zealand were already celebrating the dawn of 10/10/10 and posted the first photograph of the day, depicting sun rise on the coast over a new array of solar panels. Global Work Party participants around the world proclaimed “Happy 10/10/10!” on their Facebook and Twitter feeds and offered words of encouragement to others around the world with plans to put up solar panels, plant gardens, or learn new sustainable life skills. The 350 Global Work Party in Boulder had the honor of bringing up the rear of the biggest day of grassroots climate action in history—and perhaps, the most pervasive global grassroots campaign ever organized.

In Boulder, an all-volunteer team of planners organized over 40 workshops led by local businesses, non-profits, and individuals.  A hundred and thirty high school students, children, and families joined the iMatter March: Kids Against Climate Change, converging with other Global Work Partiers at a mid-day rally featuring speeches from local leaders, including Representative Jared Polis.

But 350 is a movement based on imagery, rather than words.

I will allow the photos to speak for themselves:

1. Rally participants gather to hear speeches from U.S. House Representative Jared Polis; Hunter Lovins, President and Founder of Natural Capitalism Solutions; Sean Babington, representative of Senator Michael Bennett; Jonathan Koehn, Regional Sustainability Coordinator at the City of Boulder; Leslie Glustrom, Co-founder of Clean Energy Action; and youth from Earth Guardians. Elephant Journal’s Waylon Lewis emceed the rally.

2. The iMatter March from Naropa to the University of Colorado (courtesy of Earth Guardians).

3. Kristen Hartel from the City of Boulder teaches participants how to make natural, petroleum-free products such as kitchen cleaner and facial cleanse.

4. Representative Jared Polis inspires the crowd regarding climate challenge.

5. Earth Guardians and other youth with Boulder Mayor Susan Osborne assemble to plant trees (Courtesy of Earth Guardians).

Check out the youtube video from the Global Work Party:

More photos from Boulder and from all over the world are now available on www.350.org.  They serve as a powerful testament to the movement’s reach and diversity and its challenge to international political inertia on climate. In the next couple of days, we’ll learn even more about how many people participated on 10/10/10 and how they “got to work,” as exhausted but pleased organizers like myself and my team resurface, breath…and continue working.

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