October 8, 2010

Global Work Party

Courtesy 350.org

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Citizens in Ecuador plant hundreds of native trees. As part of the Global Work Party, events like this, which contribute to climate change, will take place around the world.

This weekend, hundreds of thousands of people around the world will take to streets, parks and other public places to fight global warming as part of the Global Work Party.

Participants of the event, to take place on Oct. 10, 2010, are encouraged to plant trees, install solar panels, build solar cookers, stage demonstrations, work in community gardens, organize bike rides and pick up trash. The charge: If you can think of a creative planet-saving activity, then turn it into a party.

“The goal of 10/10/10 is to really show politicians and the media that people all around the world are busy getting to work on climate solutions and that they expect their leaders to be doing exactly the same thing,” says Jamie Henn, from 350.org, an organization that, along with 10:10 Global and Project Laundry List, is helping to coordinate events.

The mission of 350.org is to raise awareness about lowering the atmosphere’s CO2 levels below 350 parts per million. According to the organization’s website, “If we can’t get below that, scientists say the damage we’re already seeing from global warming will continue and accelerate.” Current CO2 levels are 390 parts per million, says Henn.

A similar event last year—organized to coincide with the Copenhagen climate talks—encouraged 5,200 demonstrations in 181 countries, and this year’s promises to reach more than 7,000. So far more than 1,200 events have been planned in the U.S. alone, with at least one in every state. Just last week, Henn received a list of 248 events happening in China.

In Afghanistan, students will lead a tree-planting outside of Kabul. And in Iraq a group will work to put up solar panels at the University of Babylon. A group in India is hosting an anti-plastic rally.

A student group in Olympia, Wash., called Developing Ecological Agriculture Practices is organizing an event called “Permaculture Just Got Sexy,” to “explore how a permaculture lifestyle can prove to be the answer to sustainable human coexistence on this planet.”

And in Concord, N.H., more than 350 people are expected to turn out in costume for a rally in front of the state house to draw attention to “energy vampires,” appliances that use energy even when they’re turned off.

Inspired by 350.org, a Kansas City, Mo., organization, 350KC, will prep an urban plot for organic, no-till gardening next spring.

“There’s a huge number of events that are focused on urban farming and community gardens, food, and agriculture,” Henn says. “Here in Oakland, [Calif.,] they’re doing a big hip-hop show at an urban garden.”

He says he expects lots of community gardens to be planted on the 10th.

If you’re interested in joining the Global Work Party, visit 350.org to sign up your event or find one near you.

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