Several actions marked 350.org's International Day of Climate Action Saturday in Denver, Colorado, and among them a rally of around 500 people gathered for a large group photo in front of the state capitol building at 3:50 P.M. MST.
The events are part of thousands of actions taking place around the globe in what is turning out to be the largest political action on a global scale in history.
The rally in Denver was organized by 350Denver.org, and petitions were circulated amongst the crowd to President Barack Obama to enhance international agreements to fit the goal of 350 parts per million (ppm.) of harmful carbon imbalance in earth's atmosphere. The humans, that would be us folks, have contributed to an increase in carbon to around 390 ppm. today, up from nearly 300 ppm. a little over a century ago.
The significance of the number 350 is that is sets a visible goal upon which world leaders in finance capital, government, the energy industry etc. can practicably agree, and it has a motivating effect amongst the global population, the peoples, the "grassroots" as we're known, by providing a visible and meaningful symbol and goal in which we can participate and advocate (or maybe agitate is not a better word but sounds like more fun), and work collectively with millions of people we don't even know, whose language we can't even speak, together on a goal that is possible.
A long way of explaining the potency of a number so easy to memorize such as 350 perhaps, but it is evident that 350 is having just that impact. As I write this the globe is just finishing up the last few actions and it is quite obvious the world has been swept by this number. It may be optimism but the turnout around the globe speaks for itself, and the multitudes speak in unison to say "reduce to 350 ppm." however you can.
There is debate among many in the environmentalist movement over the methods that will complete this goal. However, I didn't notice much in-depth debate on that matter at the Denver rally, and for the most part the message was from the population to the elected officials, and it was simply to reduce pollution, however, the power of making 350 ppm. a goal and a symbol, simultaneously, may well prove to overcome the political paralysis that comes about in a population of movement participates who agree on the ends and not the means.
So, as much as I love the gritty stuff, there was no debate or contradiction among rally attendees regarding whether the current legislation for reducing carbon emissions will be effective enough, or whether cap-and-trade market solutions will somehow bring us to 350, or fail to suffice.
Nevertheless it is my pleasure to report that a rally happened. The most important part, I suppose, are the pictures this time. Enjoy. Let's not neglect to follow our progress towards this goal of 350 ppm. fellow humans.