350: The Most Important Number on the Planet
Data collected from ice cores, shows us that CO2 levels have been below 300 parts per million (ppm) for over 800,000 years. We are currently at almost 390ppm. Dr. James Hansen of NASA stated “If humanity wishes to preserve a planet similar to that on which civilization developed and to which life on Earth is adapted, paleoclimate evidence and ongoing climate change suggest that CO2 will need to be reduced from its current 385 ppm to at most 350ppm.”
Above 350ppm of CO2 in the atmosphere we risk tipping points- or points of no return and are in danger of losing the climate that sustains us. Some of these include, loss of Arctic sea ice, rising sea levels, shifting climatic zones, ocean acidification and loss of alpine water supplies that provide food and water to millions of people.
No one knows for sure how we get back to 350ppm. There are a myriad of ways to lower our carbon footprints. Once we all agree upon the goal and start working together, the path will emerge. Everyday we delay means we are adding more CO2 into to our atmosphere.
“If there’s no action before 2012, that’s too late. What we do in the next two to three years will determine our future. This is our defining moment.”–Rajendra K. Pachauri, International Panel on Climate Change.
The best time to act is as soon as possible. The best action to take is as much as possible–individually, nationally & globally.
Check it out @ 350.org