350.org asks participants to incorporate the number 350 into ironic places and upload their photos.© 350.org
October 24 is being called the International Day of Climate Action by the nonprofit 350.org. The group, founded by environmental author Bill McKibben and other "university friends" is so named because 350 parts per million (ppm) carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is what scientists have determined is the safe limit for humanity. We’re already past that number. In fact, according to 350.org’s online calculator, we’re at 385.92 ppm and rising. But the group’s goal is about raising awareness of this critical number and of illustrating through various creative strategies just how critical it is.
The October 24 Day of Action can take any form—but participants are encouraged to "incorporate the number 350 at an ironic place in their community," and then upload a photo to the 350.org website. Past participants have formed the numbers through groups of people (visible from aerial shots) and bicycle riders, and have been photographed on mountaintops, underwater and at cultural spots across the world holding banners with the 350 number.
The organization picked October 24 as the date because they wanted to make an impact prior to the UN Climate Change Conference being held December 7-18 in Copenhagen, Denmark, and knew world leaders would be solidifying their positions before the trip. They believe returning the globe to below the 350 ppm limit is still possible. And Oct. 24 is also United Nations Day, a coincidence the group finds fortuitous.