Global Work Party Day for climate change Sunday, Oct. 10
Following my tradition started from last year, I will be participating along with other members and supporters of 350.org, a Fort Lauderdale Global Work Party Day event hosted by 350.org. On Oct. 10, almost 7,000 events will take place in 188 countries showing action against climate change. Visit www.350.org for more on the international movement. Locally,I have gathered a group from 10:10 a.m. to 2:10 p.m at the drawbridge just east of I-95 on Davie Boulevard.
Parking: (if you must) on the west side of the bridge, back into the neighborhoods. There are bus lines that run on Davie Blvd.
Please bring a sign with “350.org” on it or “No idling”, anything that will get the point across to address lowering our carbon footprint. We will be asking drivers to please turn off their cars while the drawbridge is up.
If you are attending, please email for more details, click on the event website or simply show up and support a direct impact event.
Another local event is Greenfest on Fort Lauderdale Beach at 5:30 p.m.. Learn more on .
As background please review the following links. It will provide additional information that can be shared with others. Empower yourself, empower others, see you Sunday! Please be sure to wear a hat, sunscreen, 350.org T-shirt, banner, bring water, it will be hot.
Idling at a drawbridge? Turn your car off
Fort Lauderdale event “Tell Ten Today, Tell Ten (million) Tomorrow”
Background- 350.org refers to 350 parts per million is what many scientists, climate experts, and progressive national governments are now saying is the safe upper limit for CO2 in our atmosphere.
Bill McKibben – Co-founder and Global organizer for 350.org. “Accelerating arctic warming and other early climate impacts have led scientists to conclude that we are already above the safe zone at our current 392ppm, and that unless we are able to rapidly return to below 350 ppm this century, we risk reaching tipping points and irreversible impacts such as the melting of the Greenland ice sheet and major methane releases from increased permafrost melt.”
There are three numbers you need to really understand global warming, 275, 392, and 350.
For all of human history until about 200 years ago, our atmosphere contained 275 parts per million of carbon dioxide. Parts per million is simply a way of measuring the concentration of different gases, and means the ratio of the number of carbon dioxide molecules to all of the molecules in the atmosphere. 275 ppm CO2 is a useful amount—without some CO2 and other greenhouse gases that trap heat in our atmosphere, our planet would be too cold for humans to inhabit.
So we need some carbon in the atmosphere, but the question is how much?
Beginning in the 18th century, humans began to burn coal and gas and oil to produce energy and goods. The amount of carbon in the atmosphere began to rise, at first slowly and now more quickly. Many of the activities we do every day like turning the lights on, cooking food, or heating or cooling our homes rely on energy sources like coal and oil that emit carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases into the atmosphere. We’re taking millions of years worth of carbon, stored beneath the earth as fossil fuels, and releasing it into the atmosphere.By now—and this is the second number—the planet has 392 parts per million CO2 – and this number is rising by about 2 parts per million every year.
Scientists are now saying that’s too much – that number is higher than any time seen in the recorded history of our planet—and we’re already beginning to see disastrous impacts on people and places all over the world.
James Hansen of America’s National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the first scientist to warn about global warming more than two decades ago, wrote recently:
“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 350 ppm.”
That will be a hard task, but not impossible. We need to stop taking carbon out of the ground and putting it into the air. Above all, that means we need to stop burning so much coal—and start using solar and wind energy and other such sources of renewable energy –while ensuring the Global South a fair chance to develop. If we do, then the earth’s soils and forests will slowly cycle some of that extra carbon out of the atmosphere, and eventually CO2 concentrations will return to a safe level. By decreasing use of other fossil fuels, and improving agricultural and forestry practices around the world, scientists believe we could get back below 350 by mid-century. But the longer we remain in the danger zone—above 350—the more likely that we will see disastrous and irreversible climate impacts.”
Do your part by starting today. Join us as we encourage motorists to turn off their vehicles. Idling is a needless and wasteful activity that too many drivers do unconsciously. The numbers tell it all, idle for five minutes each day; for a six cylinder car that equals a half a cup of gasoline or about $30 a year. Got an eight cylinder vehicle? Make that one cup of gasoline a day or $60 a year. You are literally burning your money, money nobody can afford to waste.
Cars run better and more efficiently if turned off when idling for over 10 seconds. Yes, you read that correctly, TEN SECONDS. It has become second nature to me and I am surprised how many times I am able to turn off my vehicle when I might have left the car running, picking the kids up from school, chatting to a friend in the parking lot, at a drawbridge, at the bank, the list goes on and on. Broward County has an anti-idling policy but only for the staff. It is time to urge our cities and counties to develop an anti-idling policy for all citizens and not just for municipal employees.
By the way, I live here too and it is hot but opening a window in the car usually will let in enough of a breeze to be comfortable or park under shade. I know that this is not always possible but look for opportunities to make it work. Think, this is why we have a brain to make adjustments to fit the condition at hand and YES, you do make a difference. If a million people all think “I am but one person my actions won’t make that much of a difference” amplified by a million people offering the same rationalization and an opportunity for having an impact has been missed. With the earth clearly under stress from human activities, it is time we became partners with our planet.
As an architectural consultant, LEED AP, LEED certification reviewer, real estate broker and AIA associate, Valerie J. Amor is dynamically engaged in sustainability and issues regarding the built environment. Actively participating in several local, county and national organizations and committees focused on sustainability issues, she is also owner/principal of Drawing Conclusions and founder/president of Green Collar Connection, companies engaged in sustainable design, real estate development, green job training and research. Knowledgeable and well connected she brings you timely and thoughtful articles. Reach her at .
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