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350 is the Magic Number

Photo:, Vilandai, India school children

Photo:, Vilandai, India school children

As we find ourselves in December with record breaking warmth throughout much of the nation, following harrowing storms on both coasts (with more on the way for the Pacific Northwest), more than a few folks have been wondering: “WTF with the weather?!”

Climate crisis is no longer passably deniable no matter how far you’ve got your head shoved in the sand—sure, if you are in the habit of dismissing science elsewhere in your belief system, you might well be able to convince yourself that there is no global warming–but for the REST of us…we gotta do something. is a global grassroots campaign to get us motivated and into action about the climate. The number 350 is the target that scientists warn we must bring our greenhouse gasses DOWN to, to assure our safety and longevity. Our number is currently 392 parts per million of CO2–so we’ve got some work to do. 350 is organizing via a grand scheme, trying to motivate communities everywhere, all at once. They do massive worldwide actions, with thousands of events in hundreds of countries occurring simultaneously. Getting back to 350 will take some pretty grand actions, empowering sustainable energy resources is just the beginning, as are new paradigm plans regarding planting instead of clear-cutting, reducing waste, protecting biodiversity and habitats zones, and more. It will require a global treaty, and making this simple to understand and easy to remember number part of the planet-wide discussion is a meaningful step. We needn’t remember a lot of science, but we do need to hold leaders’ feet to the fire about 350.


Not too hard to embed in the old brain pan, is it? Speak of it, call it out, activate around it. 350–we can get there, but only together.




Photo: Maldives Installation,


Tomorrow, Sunday, is October 10, 2010, or 10-10-10. Across the globe, individuals, groups, NGOs, and corporations have planned small solutions to combat climate change on this calendar anomaly day, in what is called a Global Work Party. Over 7,000 events are expected to take place in 188 countries for the 10/10/10 Global Work Party, the single largest day of carbon-cutting action in the planet’s history. The day is being organized by in partnership with hundreds of organizations around the world. Please click on the links below or the sidebars for more information. Earlier this week, President Obama announced solar panels would be re-installed on the White House (President Carter installed solar energy panels, but then Reagan, confusingly–and confusedly–took them down). Here are some other ways things got kicked off early:

  • In Mexico City, the mayor of the largest city in the Americas pledged that the metropolitan area would cut its carbon emissions 10%.
  • In the Maldives, President Nasheed installed solar panels on his rooftop.
  • In Illinois, the governor pledged to put solar panels on the roof of his official residence.
  • At United Nations headquarters in New York, staff collected 350 old incandescent light-bulbs, replacing them with efficient compact fluorescent bulbs.

It will be nearly effortless for you to find at least one way to add to the movement tomorrow. Change out a lightbulb, plant a tree, weather strip your windows for the winter, put an insulating blanket on the hot water heater…but do something. You won’t get another 10-10-10 in this lifetime.

Olympian Giving

As the Vancouver Olympic Games move toward their finish this weekend, it’s fun to look at some of the charitable support these winter athletes have given to causes near to their hearts. As new faces and names become known to a larger audience, whether draped with a medal or not, with more attention comes an opportunity for greater reach for causes, so expect even more athletes to lend their name and support to causes in the wake of the Games.

Ice Dancers Tanith Belbin and Ben Agosto create charity skate shows that support organizations American Cancer Society, and The American Red Cross.

Gretchen Bleiler, the Olympic Snowboarder, works with the National Resources Defense Council.

Freestyle Skiier Emily Cook is an active supporter of Right to Play.

Meryl Davis and Charlie White, silver medalists in Ice Dancing, spend huge amounts of time off-ice working with The American Cancer Society, The Humane Society, March of Dimes, and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Figure skater Rachael Flatt partners with Reading is Fundamental.

Chad Hedrick, Bronze in Long Track Speed Skating, works with the Special Olympics of Texas.

Snowboarder Lyndsey Jacobellis does some truly creative work with the ASPCA, even starting her own program, Hats 4 Hounds.

When Todd Lodwick is not training for Nordic Combined, he’s tirelessly supporting Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy, his commitment strengthened by his son, Finn, who has been diagnosed with epilepsy.

Evan Lysacek spun gold in Figure Skating, and his work with  Ronald McDonald House (where he is a celebrity board member), and Make-a-Wish Foundation is equally precious.

Julia Mancuso takes the glory of her double silver medal victories in Alpine Skiing to her work with WWF Climate Change.

Steve Nyman, Alpine Skiing, helped build an orphanage in Haiti prior to the earthquake, and works with Team Darfur, and A Child’s Hope Foundation.

Bronze medal Bobsledder Erin Pac supports Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

Noelle Pikus-Pace, when not on the Skeleton track, works with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

Angela Ruggiero, of the US Hockey Team was the Director of the New York Islanders Project Hope, on the advisory board for  the Women’s Sports Foundation, an athlete ambassador for Right to Play, an advisor to Moms Team, and a member of

Johnny Spillane who competes in Nordic Combined, works with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.

Silver medal Snowboarder Hannah Teter gives proceeds from her Maple Syrup company, Hannah’s Gold, to a Kenyan village, Kirindon, she has adopted and for which she helps provide water, AIDS education and support of AIDS-afflicted mothers, and economic stability.

Figure Skater Johnny Weir is active with the Elton John AIDS Foundation, the Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity, and UNICEF.

Snowboarding sensation and double gold medalist, Shaun White, just put his autographed board up for auction with Rachael Ray and her foundation, Yum-o!

More inspiring inforation about celebrity charity giving is found every day at Look to the Stars.