March in Santa Cruz for the Global Day of Climate Action

The website 350.org reports that on October 24th, people in 181 countries came together for the most widespread day of environmental action in the planet’s history. At over 5,200 events around the world, people gathered to call for strong action and bold leadership on the climate crisis.

Numerous events took place in Santa Cruz, CA, including a march which began at the wharf and went up the sidewalk of Pacific Avenue. The march ended at the clock tower where there was a rally and a mock trial of the private automobile, the largest contributing source of CO2 in California and Santa Cruz County. The trial was presided over by the honorable Fred Keeley, a former member of the California State Assembly and currently the Treasurer of Santa Cruz County.

Understanding 350

http://www.350.org/understanding-350

So, what is global warming and what’s the problem anyway?

The science is clear: global warming is happening faster than ever and humans are responsible. Global warming is caused by releasing what are called greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. The most common greenhouse gas is carbon dioxide. Many of the activities we do every day like turn the lights on, cook food, or heat or cool our homes rely on energy sources like coal and oil that emit carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases. This is a major problem because global warming destabilizes the delicate balance that makes life on this planet possible. Just a few degrees in temperature can completely change the world as we know it, and threaten the lives of millions of people around the world. But don’t give up hope! You can help stop global warming.

And what does this 350 number even mean?

350 is the number that leading scientists say is the safe upper limit for carbon dioxide — measured in “Parts Per Million” in our atmosphere. 350 PPM — it’s the number humanity needs to get back to as soon as possible to avoid runaway climate change.

If we’re already past 350, are we all doomed?

No. We’re like the patient that goes to the doctor and learns his cholesterol is too high. He doesn’t die immediately — but until he changes his lifestyle and gets back down to the safe zone, he’s at more risk for heart attack or stroke. The planet is in its danger zone because we’ve poured too much carbon into the atmosphere, and we’re starting to see signs of real trouble: melting ice caps, rapidly spreading drought. We need to scramble back as quickly as we can to safety.

Learn more, see photos from demonstrations around the world and find ways to get involved at http://www.350.org

Crossposted at Indybay.org.

Author: Bradley Allen

Bradley Allen is a reporter and photographer in the Monterey Bay Area, and a collective member of the San Francisco Bay Area Independent Media Center (Indybay). Follow him on social media: @BradleySA.