Another big event I missed because of real life/day job was 350.org and the more than 3000 extraordinary climate actions across nearly every country, from the bottom of the Great Barrier Reef to the summit of Mount Everest. Click to see the events map:
The 350 day of action is named for 350 parts per million, the amount of carbon in the atmosphere that scientists say would be the safe for the climate. (At the moment, we're at 387 parts per million and climbing fast.)
Quick links to more info about 350.org:
Of course, all this is leading up to the Copenhagen summit in December when 192 nations of the world gather again as they did back in 2000 and made the millennium promises which still remain unfulfilled. One particular fulfilled promise is now endangering us all unless positive and real action is taken and that is Millennium Development Goal 7 Environmental Sustainability.
What is becoming ever more apparent is the connection between global climate and poverty. CARE is thought of as an organization helping the poor in the far flung regions of the world, but it too is taking a stand against climate change.
CARE is working toward a world where people living in poverty can create opportunities despite the obstacles they face. But the reality about climate change is that it makes poor people even more vulnerable. Agricultural production is declining in the poorest developing countries, especially in sub-Saharan Africa. Less reliable rainfall is effecting planting seasons, crop growth and livestock health, and leading to increased malnutrition.
In Zimbabwe, women make up 75 percent of the labor force in agriculture, and their livelihoods depend almost exclusively on natural resources. Droughts and the occasional cyclone, combined with limited resources for irrigation, left many women either waiting for the rainy season or suffering through floods that destroyed their crops and devastated their landscape. CARE worked with them to better manage their scarce water resources and modify their farming techniques in order to adapt to new climate conditions.
As President Obama told the United Nations recently, "Developing nations are already living with the unfolding effects of a warming planet: famine and drought, disappearing coastal villages and the conflict that arises from scarce resources. Their future is no longer a choice between a growing economy and a cleaner planet, because their survival depends on both."
The international community is negotiating a new agreement to guide global efforts to address climate change. These negotiations will conclude in Copenhagen, Denmark, in fewer than 50 days! The United States must help lead those efforts and forge strong agreements that cap emissions to prevent catastrophic warming and respond effectively to climate change affects already in motion.
P.S. CARE has launched a new Web site just about climate change. Click here to view all the resources we have made available.