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October 24th, 2009
08:09 AM ET

All over the world today, "350" signs

Organizers call it "the most widespread day of environmental action in the planet's history." Today, in 181 countries and all 50 U.S. states, people are taking part in an event organized by 350.org.
The goal, the group says, is to bring attention to the need to lower carbon levels. In the Newsroom, we're explaining what the "350" means.
For facts and analysis about this issue and more, check out cnn.com/environment and our special section on "Eco Solutions."
Participating in the 350 event? What do you think about it?


Filed under: In the Newsroom • Josh Levs
soundoff (26 Responses)
  1. TJ

    Josh,

    Why perpetuate the hoax of global warming? Why not try to control the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere? There's a LOT more of it. And Hansen is a crack pot.

    October 24, 2009 at 8:31 am |
  2. Mick M

    Josh,
    This '350' thing is a total farce. The Globe has been cooling for over 10 years. The Gore religion of global warming or climate change is noting but a hoax. There is solid evidence to prove that CO2 levels actually follow the warming events throughout history.
    The current hysteria about climate change and CO2 levels(even though CO2 is a harmless trace gas in our atmosphere) is all political and nothing but an attempt to raise taxes and control our lives.

    Please tell the truth and not propagate the lies about the climate.

    Sincerely

    October 24, 2009 at 9:21 am |
  3. michael armstrong sr. TX.

    I think if you hang them next to the high way some people are going to try and drive 350 miles per hour but truth fully the majority of the poor and middle class people dont give a care about the environment right now there minds are set on more important things like paying there bills and feeding there families trying to make it from one day to the next screw the polar bears.

    October 24, 2009 at 9:38 am |
  4. David Bangs

    Thank you for explaining what the 350 signs are all about. Monitoring the actual amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is a good idea, because it helps people understand what drives climate change.

    For billions of years carbon has been gradually moving from the atmosphere and into the ground. By aggressively digging it up and spewing it back into the atmosphere, we are reverting to ancient levels.

    There are no dinosaur remains in Florida, because CO2 levels were high, the climate was hot, and the Florida was under water. I don't want to find out what happens if we revert to those C02 levels.

    October 24, 2009 at 11:34 am |
  5. Cara

    The 350 global day of action is terrifically important: thousands of scientists worldwide (in fact, nearly EVERY trained scientist worldwide) recognize that our fossil fuel abuse is damaging the only planet humans can live on. Changing to new energy sources is already creating new jobs, and if we ctoninue, will give us breathable air, less cancer, less asthma, and a protected planet where humans can survive into the future.

    October 24, 2009 at 12:15 pm |
  6. Ron Unruh

    I have mixed feelings about the whole "Global Warming" debate. I think clean air/water and ecologically responsible industrial programs are a good thing but I am alarmed at the way science is being distorted (perhaps extorted) to perpetuate this religious fervor over the war on climate change.

    Not since Pope Urban II launched the first crusade in 1095 has there been such grandiose, philosophical determination to do something utterly and humanly impossible. And this time we are supposed to believe that science is leading the way? I'm sorry but I just don't buy it. Who's really orchestrating all this?

    October 24, 2009 at 12:25 pm |
  7. Toni Thalenberg

    Anything that reinforces the reality of climate change and its terrible consequences for our planet is important. The 350 events show that awareness has spread across the world, absorbing not only the leadership, but, more and more, citizens as well. Hard to believe that there are "aginners" still left– people who refuse to accept the overwhelmingly persuasive scientific evidence– but their children and grandchildren will not thank them for their obtuseness. Deliberate ignorance does not do them honor. Those of us who understand the enormous threat promised by climate change will just have to work harder.

    October 24, 2009 at 12:38 pm |
  8. MARILYN VAUGHN

    I HAD SMOKED CIGARETTE'S AND A CHAIN SMOKER BACK IN 1980"
    MY LUNGS HURT SO BAD I REALLY NEEDED TO QUIT OR I WASN'T
    GOING TO LIVE VERY LONG. I HAD TRIED MARIJJUANA A FEW TIMES AND I THOUGHT I WOULD TRY TO STOP SMOKING CIRGARETTE'S BY LIGHTING UP A MARIJUANA CIRGARETE WHEN
    I HAD AN URGE TO SMOKE. MY LUNGS STOPPED HURTING
    AND I KNEW IT WAS BETTER TO SMOKE MARIJUANA THAN
    CIRGARETT'S THAT WERE SO ADDITING BECAUSE OF THE NICOTINE. I WAS ABLE TO QUIT AND MY LUNGS FEEL GREAT.
    I KNOW MARIJUANA WAS ILLEGAL, SO I NEVER TOLD ANYONE.
    SOMETIMES WHEN SOMEONE OFFERS ME A PUFF ON A MARIJUANA CIRGARETTE I WILL TAKE ONE BUT I'M NOT
    ADDITED AND I DON'T BUY MARIJUANA. IT HAS HELPED MORE
    PEOPLE WHEN THEY ARE SICK AND CIGARETTE'S HURT YOU AND CAUSE CANCER. WE REALLY NEED TO LOOK AT THIS HUGE
    PROBLEM AND MAKE IT LEGAL SO PEOPLE CAN GROW IT IN THEIR BACK YARD AND STOP THE CRIME.

    October 24, 2009 at 12:50 pm |
  9. Will Drucker

    My family just watched your 350.org coverage and were very impressed! I'm so glad CNN is giving airtime to this historical event and giving voice to real people who care about this real issue. It saddens me to see that the first three posts on this blog were denying the existence of global climate change. I encourage these individuals to do some objective research of their own to find out the facts about climate change and the potential consequences.

    Regardless of one's position of global climate change, isn't it a good idea to begin the transition away from fossil fuels, which are finite and will run out at some point? Furthermore, even if global climate change turns out to be a "hoax" like some people allege, isn't it the prudent to take measures to avoid the potentially catastrophic repercussions, especially when these solutions have been proven to be beneficial for the global economy, public health and equity around the world.

    My issue with the segment concerns the quote (from May 2008, which may be a little outdated given the pace of climate change science), which was shown in order to explain why 350 was the number the 5,000+ actions are rallying around. It said that the IPCC agreed upon 550 ppm as the upper limit of CO2 in the atmosphere permissible by 2025, and that Jim Hansen endorsed 350 as the correct target. This is not only incorrect but undermines the authority of the 350 campaign. Here's is an article that states that in 2007 the IPCC called 450 ppm the "really scary threshold". The IPCC chairman, Rajenda Pachauri, has officially endorsed 350 as the highest concentration of CO2 that is permissible in the atmosphere. I think that for the sake of accuracy and legitimacy, CNN should retract their original quote and emphasize that there is now consensus on 350 ppm.

    October 24, 2009 at 12:53 pm |
  10. Julian

    THANKS for covering International Day of Climate Action!! We can do it 350!!!

    October 24, 2009 at 1:14 pm |
  11. Joel

    Hi Josh
    Save the trees, save the frogs, save the polar bears. CO2 levels yatta yatta. Just more boloney to clean out everyones pocketbook. The earth will do what the earth will do. Those little exhaust holes in cars and trucks all over the world I believe have no effect on the atmosphere at least none that can be proven by anyone. Man will continue to destroy our world with Nuclear weapons, fallout, and stupidity. We need to get rid of the epa and get our factories in the USA back to work. We need to start taking care of ourselves and let the rest of the world do the same. Use our resources of energy in Alaska and anywhere else in the Country to make ourselves self-sufficient. We should be more concerned about young men being put in harms way and death. These young men are our resources of the future. We kill more brainage than anything else– 911 proved that. Look what happened to the economy when we lost all those intelligent people who helped run the world's economy . We also should use the forty or sixty thousand men going to Afganistan, headed for death in the name of freedom to remain in the USA protecting our borders. Oops got off the subject.

    October 24, 2009 at 2:16 pm |
  12. dennis cranford

    Josh, One, this global warming stuff is the biggest farce, we all know the world/environment takes care of itself. But then again how is Al Gore going to get rich if we don't follow him and Obama like they are the Pied Pipers.. Come on, when did either of these two ever tell the American people the truth. It's all about power and money. Give it up..

    October 24, 2009 at 2:31 pm |
  13. Adam

    Climate change is not about saving the polar bears, and it's not even about preserving the planet for future generations anymore. The adverse effects of a warming planet are occurring every day and effect all corners of the globe. The more we understand the immediacy and the severity of this problem, the more we can mobilize to do something about it. 350.org's International Day of Climate Action is just the beginning...

    Thank you for covering this story!

    October 24, 2009 at 2:43 pm |
  14. Rebecca

    Thank you for doing what so many of our media sources fail to do–report the issues your viewers actually care about, rather than the sensationalized entertainment pablum that often makes up our "diet" of news. The events coordinated by 350.org are unprecedented; a global working-together to make our concerns over climate change heard despite the failure of our political leaders to do what needs to be done.

    I am sorry that Mr. Armstrong and others who believe that environmental action is irrelevant fail to understand the very real link between climate change and poverty. The poorest people in our world suffer the most from climate change and the natural disasters it produces. And poverty is a leading cause in climate change: farmers in Haiti and many other tropical regions often have no choice but to employ practices of slash-and-burn agriculture in order to generate fast income; this in turn results in deforestation of some of the most important habitats in the fight against climate change. The action represented by people all over the world today is not an isolated issue. It is not about polar bears; it is about all living creatures on our planet. And that includes us.

    October 24, 2009 at 2:59 pm |
  15. Alex

    Josh
    I use medical marijuana. The VA has me at 90% disability and 50% of that is for migraines. It is impossible to attain the drugs I need from the VA to help ease the pain without serious addition. The marijuana helps ease the initial onset of the migraines and I no longer loose vision in my right eye upon the onset of the migraines. It helps with my knee pain, my shoulder pain, right elbow. The VA is going to give me a new knee and a new should when I am 65. You only get one each.
    That is over ten years away. The pain now is very much less all around. Of course I fully support the Federal legalization of medicinal marijuana.

    October 24, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  16. Joan

    Any society that takes away someone's freedom or possessions because of what they smoke, or drink, or even shoot into their veins is tyranny. We've been living under tyranny for decades, and we're too ignorant to realize it.

    October 24, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  17. kathy from Maryland

    I argree it should be lealized it helps me eat.
    I am 100 lb woman with little apetite and it helps me eat.
    It also helps with my menstral cramps.
    I have been smoking marijuana for thirty six years.
    I have been told by doctors that when it becomes legall they would perscribe it to me.
    it has been Medically legal in maryland and our state Signed by our Representive.
    Marland did not show up on your map and I was wondering Why??

    October 24, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  18. Andy Withers

    Josh,
    This Global Climate Change is 100% garbage! Politics of the Loonie Lefties. We do not get real science from them, only slick video of polar bears behind a teary-eyed Hollywood spokes-loon. Or video of calving glaciers. Whatever. But REAL science is all about verifying your theories by reproducible experiments. "Consensus" of scientists has no place in real science. And try as you might, you will not find even one scientific experiment that proves global warming is man-made.

    Sure, there are plenty of global climate computer models, but these models never predicted the global cooling of the last decade, while CO2 continued to rise. I'm just a simple country Electrical Engineer. That's applied science, not pure science. But I do manage to understand the abuse of numbers relative to this "350" publicity stunt. We could also write 350ppm as 0.035% of the atmosphere. I guess if you are trying to support the unsupportable, "350" seems like a much bigger (much worse?) number than 0.000350 or 0.0350%. In fact, I'm delighted to round up the number to 0.04%, just for simplicity. It does not matter! Here's why- the REAL number related to human activity is about 16ppm, or 0.000016 or 0.0016%. Why? Because the 350ppm number is the total CO2 concentration, while humans only contribute about 4% per year to that number. Of course this is tiny by comparison to all other – natural – sources. Obviously, reducing the current 380ppm to 350ppm is more draconian than anyone can possibly imagine given the paltry 4% contribution from humans.

    So please keep pointing out the complete folly of adopting massive, socialist taxation programs like Cap-and-Trade based on the non-science of global warming. With any luck and continued persistence by us "deniers", Al Gore and the IPCC may yet be asked to pay for the damage they have done.

    October 24, 2009 at 4:38 pm |
  19. Ed

    I can't believe that marijuana is illegal while alcohol is not.
    Alcohol is harmful in many ways even with moderate use. Moderate use of marijuana is beneficial. However, I am fearful that legalizing marijuana might lead to over control by the government and big companies.
    It would be an improvement though of the archaic bans now in existence today.

    October 24, 2009 at 5:07 pm |
  20. Isaac D.

    I think most of us are ready for this to be looked at,
    conservatives are lashing out about freedom yet
    do not think I should be free to make my own decision on the matter...
    One thing news stations fail to talk about on this subject
    is one of marijuana's best attributes
    that is it can give piece of mind,I was a pretty angry person
    until marijuana helped me to relax and take a look at others perspectives on thing other then my own.

    stop talking to these bone head politicians as well
    who are not educated on the subject,
    only educated people on this subject and the citizens
    who have the right to choose.

    October 24, 2009 at 5:08 pm |
  21. Matt

    I think this is incredibly important and pray it brings some hope back for Copenhagen.

    October 24, 2009 at 7:50 pm |
  22. Alex Livingston

    Finally, climate change gets some media coverage!
    It's the first issue that affects EVERYBODY on the planet.
    350!!!

    October 24, 2009 at 8:00 pm |
  23. Ann

    I took part in a group with a 350 sign today because in the face of such a serious threat as climate instability, I choose to believe that we have to change our ways. I also believe that when we put our considerable minds together we can find lots of ways to provide transportation and heat our homes without using fossil fuels. My dad grew up in Pennsylvania and he and many of his family worked in the coal mines. I have known for a long time, i.e. health effects, of this association of humans and coal. I hope people will see that we can do something to reverse the worst effects, but we need to be quick about it. And being part of a 350 demonstration was uplifting and life affirming.

    October 24, 2009 at 9:48 pm |
  24. Gess Healey

    You forgot to mention that this International Day of Action (350) comes 6 weeks before President Obama goes to Copenhagen for the Global Climate Change Treaty. Let's HOPE he scores big and not back out like Bush at Kyoto.

    October 25, 2009 at 12:15 am |
  25. Nadine

    Thanks for giving all of us a voice. We are all at fault for what is happening to the earth. Our dependency on fossil fuel will destroy all of us. Our economy depends on our switching to alternatives such as wind or sun for our power. Thanks for waking us up.

    October 25, 2009 at 2:02 am |
  26. Zan

    I saw a bunch of folks today wearing 350 garb and thanks to this report, we know why. Though, I did have to put "350" in the CNN search engine to find any information. Maybe it is like the gay rights march a couple of weeks ago, where I had to get my news from John Stewart.

    That being said, 350 ppm makes sense. We were there once before.... recently, and as I recall my lifestyle wasn't any lower.

    I also like all the positive externalities that come with taking CO2 reducing action: better air quality, more transportation options, home grown electricity, healthier planet and a healthier population.

    I sure wish we would collectively pull our heads out of the sand and deal with this issue.

    October 25, 2009 at 2:59 am |
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