Thursday, October 8, 2009

Help Raise Awareness about Climate Change

Sure we all know that Halloween is just around the corner. But do you know what October 24th is?

It is the International Day for Climate Action. On that day, paddlers around the world will be gathering on local waterways and using their canoes, kayaks and rafts to spell out the number "350" on the water. This event is an effort to increase public awareness about the need to control climate-changing greenhouse gases, and to show support for effective climate change legislation.

Why the number "350?"  In 2008, NASA released studies that showed that if we let the amount of carbon in our atmosphere climb above 350ppm (parts per million), we will do serious damage to the planet. In its reports, NASA said that a planet with carbon in excess of 350ppm will not remain "similar to the one on which civilization developed and to which life on earth is adapted."

Unfortunately, we are currently at 386ppm, so we have already exceeded this limit. Strong citizen action is needed now to reverse this dangerous situation. Environmental activist and author Bill McKibben launched a website called in response to the NASA reports, and his organization is organizing the International Day of Climate Action. The goal of this campaign is to push global leaders to reach an agreement at the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference this December that will reduce the level of carbon in the atmosphere to 350ppm.

Climate Action Day will feature events on land, on the water, and even in the air. As of today, there are 1784 actions scheduled in 141 countries.  Let's add to the count!

On October 24th, go outside and enjoy nature. Schedule a paddling day on your favorite lake or river, form your 350 and capture it with pictures or video. Your 350 can be any size,and your event will be a fun way to get friends and family out on the water. Whether your 350 is large or small, it will send a strong message that paddlers are concerned about climate change. This is not just limited to paddlers though, cyclists, hikers, geocachers, and walkers are also invited to participate. Every action will make a difference.

If you plan to participate, let us know and also go to the event registration page at and register your Climate Action Day event. Please send your photos/videos to to show off your 350 and we'll post them here for all to see.

Info and photos contributed by the American Canoe Association.

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