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article image10/10/10 Global Work Party the largest environment demo ever

By Lee Labuschagne     Oct 11, 2010 in Environment
Over 7 000 events in 188 countries were co-ordinatec by the Internet-based campaign group 350.org on October 10. More than 350 of these events were in Africa.
"The only countries that aren't taking part, we think, are Equatorial Guinea, San Marino and North Korea. It's clearly the most widespread day of global environmental action this planet's ever seen," said 350.org founder Bill McKibben from Washington DC.
According to 350.org media statements, In the days surrounding the work party, U.S. President Barack Obama, Maldivian President Mohamed Nasheed, and Illinois Governor Pat Quinn all committed to install solar on their official residences. Mexico City and Parisian Mayors committed to cut their city's emissions 10% over the next year. Dozens of politicians, from US Senators to the President of the Timor-Leste Parliament joined rallies.
The Global Work Party, of 350.org, also inspired actions across South Africa, including cyclists riding to promote carbon-free transport in Durban, Capetonians planting indigenous plants, and companies donating a solar water heater to a home for the disabled in Alexandra township near Johannesburg.
In Darling near Cape Town, 12 000 revellers celebrated at the low-carbon 'Rocking the Daisies' festival, and in Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape Province, rehabilitated penguins, the victims of oil pollution, were released on the beach during a climate awareness party.
Other events in Africa include a massive tree-planting drive to reforest an area near Goma, Congo, that has been stripped bare of trees by thousands of refugees fleeing that region's ongoing conflicts. Kenyans are holding climate soccer matches and in Namibia a remote desert environmental education centre will install solar panels to go 100% fossil fuel-free.
"Today shows that people everywhere, of all races, religions and backgrounds, want their leaders to deal with climate change seriously. If we can get to work on climate, they can too." said Winnie Asiti, a Kenyan 350.org campaigner.
"We're seeing the rapid growth of a grassroots movement across the globe to deal with the urgent problem of climate change," said Samantha Bailey, a 350.org campaigner in Cape Town. "The problem is massive, and it often seems that global leaders are moving far too slowly on it, but days like today give me hope."
American environmental author Bill McKibben founded 350.org with a group of six recent university graduates in 2008. The campaign takes its name from the goal of reducing the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere from its current level of 390 parts per million to below 350 parts per millon, the safe upper limit according to leading scientists.
Today, 350.org includes hundreds of thousands of members. The 10/10/10 activities were coordinated over email, Skype, and social networks with nearly all the 7000 events organized by volunteers.
The Global Work Party came together online through websites, social networks and a largely volunteer team across the planet "We've got people hunched over laptops around the world today, Skyping, Tweeting , emailing photos and streaming video - and trying to make sure the 350.org website doesn't crash!" said campaign co-founder Jamie Henn.
More details about 350.org activities can be found here
More about 350 org, Global work party, Global warming, Environmental activism
 
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