On 10/10/10, the president of the Maldives climbed onto the roof of his official residence to install solar panels. The mayor of Mexico City signed a commitment to cut carbon emissions by 10 percent in a year. Students from 10,000 schools in Eastern Europe planted trees. In Istanbul, thousands marched for clean energy; parishioners in Atlanta weatherized their church.
The "Global Work Party," as organizer 350.org called it, was designed to show in how many places, and in how many ways, people the world over are stepping up to stop catastrophic climate change. Along with making real changes in their own communities, the participants in this year's global event (a similar Global Day of Action, historic at the time but eclipsed by this year's mobilizations, took place last fall) called on their leaders to take action, as well. They also strove to call attention to the number 350, which refers to the upper limit of atmospheric carbon dioxide that scientists say is safe for humanity.
As the day came to a close, author Bill McKibben, the founder of 350.org, wrote an email to supporters explaining what he took away from the global mobilizations: "We can be confident because the climate movement is bigger and more beautiful than ever before—and it’s not going away."
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