350 Updates

Coal Plants and Politics: Surprising Sources of Hope

The United States is obviously the largest global warming villain on earth--it's pumped more carbon into the atmosphere, for a longer stretch of time, than anyone else, and under President Bush the U.S. has refused to enter into serious negotiations with the rest of the planet. But every once in a while something comes along that gives you a little hope, and this week there were two:

In the western state of Colorado--a bastion of mining interests--the big electric utility Xcel announced it would shut down down two coal-fired power plants in the state and in their place build one of the world's largest utility-scale solar power plants. This is the frist time...

 

Developments in Accra

The Accra UN meeting kicked off with more discussion of sectoral targets. Under this kind of system, countries would commit to reducing emissions from particular part of the economy (cement production, for example), instead of committing to a country-wide cap on emissions.

This may help relieve an impasse between developed and developing countries, but it is unclear (and somewhat unlikely) whether sectoral targets alone will reduce emissions in time to get to 350.

For more of an inside scoop, our friends at Taking it Global are blogging the conference also.

 

New Ally! Roots & Shoots Shanghai

We're pleased to introduce one of our newest allies, Roots & Shoots Shanghai! They're part of the worldwide network of Roots & Shoots organizations founde by Jane Goodall.

I had the opportunity to meet up with Roots & Shoots while on a recent organizing trip to China. They're exactly the type of group we're looking to partner with: grassroots, full of energy, and engaging hundreds of people in positive solutions to global warming.

Read on to learn more about their work and the global Roots & Shoots network:

 

Accra: Not Just a Rest Stop!

This coming Thursday marks the start date for the United Nations Climate Conference in Accra, Ghana. This is the next in the series of international meetings to craft a new international climate change treaty. Unlike in Bonn, Germany, we aren't able to send a 350 delegate, but all the same, we will follow the meeting closely and keep you updated on our blog!

The Accra meeting is set to take up issues concerning nuclear power and forestry, some of the most controversial issues within the process. The controversy surrounding nuclear power hardly needs to be explained. As for forestry, the photo above was taken at the Bali climate meeting, and there will likely be similar political statements made in Accra. REDD stands for "reducing emissions from deforestation in developing countires," and it is a mechanism currently under consideration in Accra.

 

The Green Long March

Check out this video of the Green Long March, China's largest youth conservation movement, and read on to find out how you can show your solidarity by taking action in your community:

When I spoke with our Chinese allies, they mentioned how important it would be to them to know that people around the world appreciated their work and were taking action with them. Right now, while the whole world is watching the Olympics, is our best chance to demonstrate our solidarity with the people working to create a truly green future for China.

Can you organize a sports-themed 350 action in your community during the Olympics?

It's easy: gather your friends together after an athletic activity and take a team photo with a 350 sign. Then, upload it to 350.org with a “sports” label. Take action before the Olympics end on August 23, and we'll send your photo to our Chinese allies so they can see your support.

You'll be taking action with some of the world's top athletes.

This month, we've launched 350Athletes, an elite band of high-profile sports stars leading the charge for the call to 350. The team even includes Olympians like cyclist Adam Craig. Sports are a great way to reach out to new people – whether they're climate organizers half-way around the world or sports-fans in your neighborhood. Please join the 350Athletes and our Chinese allies by taking action during this Olympics.

 

The Indian Youth Summit on Climate Change 2008

There will undoubtedly be more to share regarding the Indian Youth Summit on Climate Change in the weeks to come -- video and more reflections are still in the works -- but now that some photos are ready I thought I'd share the news of this fantastic event...

From Kerala to Kashmir, Rajasthan to West Bengal, and beyond, over a 150 Indian youth (and a few foreign friends, like me) came to Hyderabad on August 7 - 10 to spark the youth climate movement in India. It worked -- the Indian youth movement is now kicking into high gear with enormous potential and energy.

This was an extraordinary assembly of young people.

 

New 350 Messenger: Keibo Oiwa

We're pleased to announce that Keibo Oiwa, the founder of the Sloth Club, Japan's leading 'Slow Life' environmental group, joins us as our first Japanese 350 Messenger. 350 Organizer Claire Tsai and I met Keibo on the outskirts of Tokyo during a trip to Japan to build the 350 network - and reported on our experience in a blog post here.

Keibo's words are a good reminder that as we rush to build a global movement, we also need to take time to slow down and remember what we're fighting for. Thanks to Keibo and sloths across Japan and the world for joining the 350 team!

 

350 Craft Contest Update: Submit your entries by Friday!

A few months ago, we announced an exciting partnership with Craftster.org and several other crafting organizations and websites, to host a t-shirt and craft design competition to help spread the word about 350. The contests are now drawing to a close - you have just a few days to finish up your best 350 t-shirt design, hat, quilt or whatever awesome idea you've come up with, and submit it to www.craftster.org/350. The submission period ends Friday, at which point the entries will be opened up to the general public for viewing and voting.

The submissions are rolling in and looking great so far - we'll share one sneak peak with you, a beautiful quilt with a 350 design from a supporter in Belgium. There are still a few days left - so pull out the sketch pad, knitting needles, or sewing machine, and whip something up that can help spread the word in new and creative ways, and win one of great prizes offered! Visit www.craftster.org/350 today to learn more and upload your entry...