- Created: Tuesday, 15 September 2009 05:00
FOR RELEASE: Tuesday, September 15 for Sept 17 talk
Nancy Hazard, Co-chair, Greening Greenfield Energy Committee
Tina Clarke, Consultant, 350.org and Transition Towns
Greening Greenfield Kicks off Fall Workshop Series With Climate Change Talk
Why is 350 the Most Important Number in the World? Strategies to Reduce the Climate Crisis
Thursday, September 17, 7pm at GCTV
GREENFIELD, MA – Greening Greenfield Energy Committee kicks off its fall seminar series with a talk on what you can do to reduce climate change called “Why is 350 the Most Important Number in the World? Strategies to Reduce the Climate Crisis.” Tina Clarke, a consultant with 350.org, the global movement founded by Bill McKibben, will speak at this free event on Thursday, September 17, at 7pm at Greenfield Community Television, 393 Main Street in Greenfield. Refreshments will be served.
Growing scientific evidence suggests that the world is reaching a “tipping point” on global warming, which is triggering the climate crisis. Last month eleven eminent U.S. generals joined the World Bank, the United Nations and 2,700 of the world’s scientists in warning that humanity has a short window of time left to take strong action if we are to avoid “catastrophic” climate disruption and the “collapse of civilization”.
Human activities are adding large amounts of carbon dioxide and other “greenhouse gases” to the earth’s atmosphere. Until recently, scientists did not realize that carbon dioxide in the atmosphere above 350 parts per million is likely to trigger runaway global warming and catastrophic climate change. Now leading experts warn that paleoclimatic evidence shows that 350 parts per million of carbon dioxide is the upper limit for preserving “civilization as we know it”.
Bill McKibben, author and founder of 350.org, a global citizens’ movement, says “The bad news is we’re already past that number—we’re at 390 parts per million, which is why the Arctic is melting, why drought is spreading across the planet, why people are already dying from diseases like dengue fever and malaria in places where they’ve never been seen before.”
How do we get carbon dioxide levels down? What solutions might best secure the stability of the climate system, and what strategies are working? Our speaker, Tina Clarke of 350.org, brings 25 years of experience in environmental and public policy. “Many of the solutions to the climate crisis are technologies and changes that offer tremendous economic and health benefits. Our economy will be better off if we achieve 350, and the global food supply will be much more secure.”
In this seminar, Tina Clarke will share information about why 350 is the upper limit for sustaining the world as we know it, and bring examples from around the world about how we can make a transition while increasing the security of our communities and local economies. Clarke will describe ways that individuals and communities can most effectively contribute to the transition. “If we focus our efforts on proven strategies, we can reduce the risk of what the U.S. retired Generals, the World Bank, and 2,700 scientists call ‘the collapse of civilization’, and at the same time create more jobs, reduce our energy bills, reduce asthma and other illnesses, lower costs of toxic pollution clean-up, and improve our economic resilience.”
She notes that, “We can do a lot to protect our quality of life by changing our practices to use less fossil fuels and create a more efficient, secure, and clean energy system - but we must act now. There is no time to lose.”
Over the past two years, NASA’s top climate scientist, James Hansen, and his colleagues showed that if humans continue to put large amounts of carbon into the atmosphere, and continue to climb far beyond the safe limit of 350 parts per million of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere, humans will no longer have a planet “similar to the one on which civilization developed and to which life on earth is adapted.”
350.org, founded by Bill McKibben, is asking people around the world to hold events in their communities on October 24 to raise awareness about this issue, and urge everyone to ask their representatives to support and pass legislation that aims to keep the planet habitable for humans. The ultimate goal is to get world leaders to adopt an aggressive plan in December when they gather in Copenhagen to negotiate a new climate treaty. Already Japan and the European Union have made commitments to cut climate change emissions 20-30% below 1990 levels by 2020. This reduction is far closer to the amount needed than the current Kyoto Treaty.
Tina Clarke is a consultant with 350.org (www.350.org), a certified Transition Towns Trainer (www.transitiontowns.org), and a consultant with the Massachusetts Municipal Association’s home energy efficiency program. She provides training and support for community energy and environmental initiatives, and has been an advocate, educator, consultant, and director of nonprofit programs since 1985, assisting over 400 organizations. She lives in an award-winning, Platinum LEED "Power House" - a passive solar, low-toxic home – in Montague that she helped design. The home won the Massachusetts utility-sponsored competition, the Zero Energy Challenge (www.zechallenge.com).
“We are very fortunate to have Tina Clarke come and share her knowledge with us,” said Nancy Hazard, Co-chair of the Greening Greenfield Energy Committee (GGEC). “Learning more about how climate change is accelerating, and how we can avert economic and environmental collapse is key to our mission. We hope it will encourage people to take our 10% Challenge.” The Greenfield 10% Challenge invites residents to take on the challenge of trying to reduce their energy use by 10% by the end of 2010, and save money in the process! Other GGEC events this fall include an October 1 workshop for homeowners on how to reduce climate change emissions from our homes by exploring deep energy retrofits and utility programs, and a November 11 workshop for renters on how to reduce energy costs. Becca king of GGEC will also start a four-session Low Carbon Diet workshop at Unity Church in October.
Other related upcoming events in Greenfield include a 350.org event in Greenfield on October 24, and the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association’s Green Building Open House on October 3. To find out more about these events, the Greenfield 10% Challenge, simple things you can do and more, go to go to www.GreeningGreenfield.org or call 773-7004. The Greening Greenfield Energy Committee (GGEC) works with the Town of Greenfield to build a sustainable Greenfield so that current and future generations can enjoy life in this beautiful abundant valley.