The environmental organization known as 350.org is behind a new action designed to help people to see the relationship between extreme weather and climate impacts. The new campaign is called Connect the Dots, and it is specifically directed at ending fossil fuel subsidies and encouraging divestment from fossil fuels. The action including events, rallies and demonstration will take place around the world on May 5, 2012.
The point of Connect the Dots, is for people all over the world who have already felt the effects of global warming to share their first hand experiences with climate change. This campaign seeks to highlight how climate change is taking a toll. This includes extreme weather that has proven devastating all around the world
I was honored to be part of a conference call on Tuesday March 20 in which 350.org founder Bill McKibben explained the idea behind the initiative.
During the call McKibben said, “the hardest thing to get through to people is that this is not a future problem this is a problem today” Climate change is the most significant problem we have ever faced and the impacts are already being felt around the world. Because it is tangible and often very dramatic, extreme weather is perhaps the most convincing way to help people to visualize climate change.
McKibben cited a new study which showed that Americans increasingly understanding that global warming is real. According to the study the reason that people are increasingly accepting the veracity of climate change is due to all the extreme weather which many are experiencing first hand. Helping more people to make the connection between extreme weather and climate impacts is a key part of the process of driving change.
“nothing will help that more than days like this where people are forced to confront what is going on today…[it is] enormously powerful,” McKibben said.
McKibben said that we have to go on the offense not just defensively protect against egregious pipelines like the keystone XL. McKibben has been protesting the Keystone XL pipeline from the beginning and he was even jailed for his resistance. McKibben and the 350.org team have been at the forefront of the movement that successfully petitioned President Obama and members of the US legislature to cancel the pipeline project.
In addition to the Connect the Dots campaign, Mckibben has been busy trying to organize ongoing demonstrations to keep pressure on the keystone pipeline fight (Republicans are vowing to keep fighting to resurrect the pipeline). He has also been working tirelessly on the global campaign against subsidies for oil and divestment from the fossil fuel industry.
“I get so impatitient with the way things are going,” McKibben said, “we are up against the most powerful and rich organizations on earth…” That is why we must collectively say to the fossil fuel industry, “this is not ok, you are wrecking our lives”
Join us on May 5 to Connect the Dots between extreme weather and climate change.