Think Globally, Act Locally

Ban-Ki-Moon (right)-with CM HarrellLast week we posted on Shrinking Big Foot; a program on Climate Change for elementary schools. Well, last Sunday his Excellency the UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon attended a performance of the Shrinking Big Foot assembly followed by a discussion with the kids who attended. One of the kids asked him “What are the most important issues facing the UN?”. He was very sincere in his reply that Climate Change is one of the biggest issues (along with world hunger). He personally tries to do his part. He says he ends up staying in big hotels all over the world for his job and he is always amazed at how much power they have on when he arrives in the hotel room. He said it sometimes takes him up to 10 minutes to turn it all off.

Sunday’s visit followed another global connection.  On the 24th of October, people in 181 countries came together to raise awareness of Climate change and the level of carbon in the atmosphere.  The event was organized by 350.org; the City of Seattle helped organize locally.  Why “350?” Scientists say that 350 parts per million CO2 in the atmosphere is the safe limit for humanity. We are at 387 now. This December, world leaders will meet in Copenhagen, Denmark to craft a new global treaty on cutting emissions that hopefully will meet the 350 test.  At over 5200 events around the world, people gathered in the shape of 3 5 0 or bearing 350 signs, from Bangledesh 350 dhaka-bangladesh to Australia 350 sydney-lantern walk to under the Space Needle at Seattle Center.350 seattle-usa   Even more inspirational photos are on the 350.org website. 

What can you do? Locally, transportation is our largest source of Global Warming.  We figured out if everyone in Seattle drove 20 miles less each week, or 1000 miles a year; we could meet our GHG reduction goals inspired by Kyoto protocol, the last global treaty on cutting GHG emissions.  Here are some examples of ways you might be able to drive 20 miles less each week.