The much-anticipated 350.org launched today. Its name comes from the number of carbon dioxide molecules (parts) per million that scientists (including NASA's James Hansen, whose groundbreaking Congressional testimony on climate change 20 years ago is being celebrated by Grist and the Worldwatch Institute this week ) have determined our atmosphere can safely absorb--in other words, if we want to avoid runaway climate change, this is the number to shoot for.
And how much carbon is in our atmosphere right now? About 385 ppm .
Here's 350.org's mission:
Our first job is to make sure everyone knows the target so that our political leaders feel real pressure to act. Reaching 350 ppm will require unprecedented international cooperation. The United Nations is negotiating a treaty that could put the world on a course to solve the climate crisis, but the current plans for the treaty are much too weak to get us back to safety. 350.org will bring millions of new voices to the table, united by our common call to action. Together, we will redefine the possible and rally the world behind the solutions that science and justice demand.
And here's a slick video that spreads the message across language barriers: