By David Singh
Geneva - This Saturday, from drought-stricken Mongolia to Himalayan communities threatened by glacial melt, Climatedots.org will bring people together to hold rallies and remind everyone of the extreme weather events that are happening in their communities because of climate change.
A click on Climatedots.org takes any interested visitor to a huge orange dot which states: “Connect the dots. Protest, educate, document and volunteer along with thousands of people around the world to support the communities on the front lines of the climate crisis. Find an Event…or register a new local event.“
“We’ll share those images the world around, to put a human face on climate change - we’ll hold up a mirror to the planet and force people to come face to face with the ravages of climate change,” states Climatedots.org.
According to Bill Kibbens and the team of www.climatedots.org/350.org, “Across the planet now we see ever more floods, ever more drought, ever more storms. People are dying, communities are being wrecked — the impacts we’re already witnessing from climate change are unlike anything we have seen before. But because the globe is so big, it’s hard for most people to see that it’s all connected. That’s why, on May 5, we will Connect the Dots,” states Kibbens who believes it’s going to be “a great day”.
According to Climate.org the theme that will tie it all together is the dots. At each event, people will take a photo of their "climate dot" which they'll make out of fabric or cardboard or anything else. Each of these dots will represent how climate change is already hitting home in communities. Some of the dots will have a climate message on them, some of will have a symbol of local extreme weather, and some will just be a big, plain dot.
As soon as the local events are finished, Climatedot.org is asking everyone around the world “to upload their photos to us -- our 350 team will make a global photo mosaic that connects all those dots. To make sure our message reaches "outside of the choir", we'll deliver those photos to global media and decision-makers -- the people who most urgently need to connect the dots.”
“Most of all, we need you out in your community on the 5th, but the action isn't all offline - we also need a crew of online activists who can spread the word and Connect the Dots using social media, ” states Climatedots.org.
According to the new Special Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) on Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation (SREX), in the last 50 years, there is evidence on increases in greenhouse gases which have likely caused changes in some types of extremes. There will be more heavy rainstorms this century and increases in the intense rains that occur every 20 years. Droughts will intensify in the Mediterranean, central Europe, southern United States, Northeast Brazil and southern Africa.
And while acknowledging that some extreme weather and climate events may or may not lead to disasters, the report stresses the importance of having policies in place to avoid, prepare for, respond and recover from disasters if these events are to be effectively reduced and the resilience of people increased.
350.org was founded by U.S. author Bill McKibben, who wrote one of the first books on global warming for the general public, and a team of university friends. Together, they ran a campaign in 2007 called Step It Up that organized over 2,000 rallies at iconic places in all 50 of the United States. These creative actions - from skiers descending a melting glacier to divers hosting an underwater action - helped convince many political leaders, including then Senator Barack Obama, to adopt a common call to action: cutting carbon emissions by 80% by 2050. This global team has helped mobilize over 5,200 actions in 181 countries on October 24th, 2009 - CNN called it 'the most widespread day of political action in the planet's history.