Monday, October 26, 2009

global citizens call for climate action


Roughly 400 people showed up at the Legislative Building in Winnipeg this past Saturday as part of a potentially record-breaking worldwide demonstration telling world leaders to commit to real climate action.

The global action was coordinated by American-based group 350.org (check out the rally photos-- very inspirational!) and the demand on governments was clear: commit to reducing carbon dioxide emissions to 350 parts per million (ppm), the largest amount deemed safe by scientists, in Copenhagen this December.

(Note: numbers had dwindled a bit by the time of the photo, taken after the march to The Forks)

181 countries participated in 5200 actions worldwide, and according to a 350.org organizer I emailed before the rally, 270 of those were set to be in Canada.

My question is this: is 400 really a good turnout in a city the size of ours? It's certainly no embarrassing failure, but is it enough to show the government that this is an important issue that needs urgent action?

I once heard a statistic that every letter sent to government represents the opinion of a thousand people. Maybe that applies here too. If so, 4000 voices is not too shabby.

But why don't more people come out? Do they not care at all? Did they not hear about it? I only came across the event on Facebook, and reading an article in the Free Press the day-of. It would be fairly easy to miss. Is this a case of inadequate publicity? Or do people just not feel like getting out of their cozy houses on a chilly Saturday? I hope it's the former-- much easier to remedy.

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