Wednesday, October 28, 2009

One of Over 5,000 Simultaneous 350 Events in Over 180 Countries

Keene, NH: October 24th—Over 80 people from Keene State College, Antioch University New England, and the wider Keene community gathered Saturday for a downtown rally, a march along Main Street, and a concert at the Keene State College Student Center. At the Student Center, they also took an areal photo of people assembled to make the number 350 to represent the Keene community as part of the largest international day of climate change activism ever. These participants joined more than 5,000 communities in over 180 countries as part of a global day of action coordinated by to urge world leaders to take bold and immediate steps to address climate change and reduce carbon emissions.

“There’s no doubt now that the citizens of Keene want to see real action from the world on global warming before the problem gets any worse,” said Anastasia Dubrovina, student at Keene State.

Around the world today—from capitol cities to the melting slopes of Mount Everest, even underwater on dying coral reefs—people held rallies aimed at focusing attention on the number 350 because scientists have insisted in recent years that 350 parts per million is the most carbon dioxide we can safely have in the atmosphere. The current CO2 concentration is 390 parts per million.

“That’s why glaciers and sea ice are melting, drought is spreading, and flooding is on the increase,” said Bill McKibben, founder of and author twenty years ago of the first major book on climate change. “And it’s why we need a huge worldwide movement to give us the momentum to make real political change. Our leaders have heard from major corporations and big polluters for a long time—today, finally, they heard from citizens and scientists.”

These global actions come six weeks before the world’s nations convene in Copenhagen for the United Nations Climate Change Conference to draw up a new climate treaty. 89 countries have already endorsed the 350 target, as well as the chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Rajendra Pachauri, the world’s foremost climate economist, Sir Nicholas Stern, and Nobel prize-winner Al Gore.

Images of the events from around the world, including the rally at Keene State College, were featured on giant video screens in Times Square in New York as part of a 350 countdown, and are accessible at as part of a online photostream. Visual documentation From the Day of Action will be delivered to the United Nations on Monday.

“People have said the science of global warming is too confusing for average citizens to understand,” said McKibben. “Yesterday’s events prove that millions of people understand exactly what is at stake in the next few years, and that they want swift action to safeguard the future.”

Even though the forecast predicted heavy rain all day, over 80 Keene State students and Keene community members gathered together to act on our need for climate action.


Founded by author and environmentalist Bill McKibben, is the first large-scale grassroots global campaign against climate change. Its supporters include leading scientists, the governments of 92 countries, and a huge variety of environmental, health, development and religious NGOs. All agree that current atmospheric levels of CO2—390 parts per million—are causing damage to the planet and to its most vulnerable people, and that government action at the Copenhagen climate conference is required to bring the earth’s carbon level swiftly down to 350 ppm. is member of a global alliance of faith groups, non-governmental organizations, trade unions and over a million individuals calling for a fair, ambitious, and binding international climate change treaty.

For more information, visit