If you see people with snorkels, life vests and scuba gear in Boston’s Christopher Columbus Park tomorrow afternoon, it’s not because of the expected heavy downpours. It’s to highlight that critical parts of Boston could be submerged as sea levels rise because of global warming.
The event, which will form a human and sandbag sea wall, is just one of scores of events planned around New England as part of the 350.org International Day of Climate Action led by author and Lexington native Bill McKibben.
Worthy Causes, Inc., a Boston-based non-profit, sponsored the ice sculpture in Government Center this week to raise awareness for climate change and the upcoming Boston Night to Combat Climate Change (BNCC) to benefit Oxfam America and NRDC.(Donald E. Martelli, MS&L)
Billed as the largest political environmental action effort in the world’s history, some 4,500 events are scheduled to take place in over 175 nations in hopes of pressuring world leaders to create meaningful policies to stabilize carbon dioxide in the atmosphere at 350 parts per million - the amount some leading scientists say the earth’s atmosphere needs to be at for climate to remain stable. Today, levels hover around 390 parts per million.
Some 190 countries will be meeting in Copenhagen in December to hammer out a new treaty to reduce the world’s emissions of heat trapping gases.
Tomorrow’s events will be anything but sedate – and are designed to get the world’s attention. In Hungary, hundreds of bathers plan to jump into Budapest’s public baths and do a synchronized swimming performance in what organizers say is perhaps the first ever bathe-in for climate change. In Seattle, 350 people will dance to Michael Jackson’s Thriller because if global warming doesn’t slow, organizers say, people might as well be undead.
Locally, “Revolutionary Riders” will ride bikes from Hancock Church in Lexington to Concord for an Energy Revolution Rally at Minuteman National Park at 12:15 p.m. In New Bedford the weekend Bioneers conference is designed to help people take personal and civic action for a more equitable and sustainable world.
The Mission Hill Energy Fair will host the Stop Asthma – Stop Global Warming Ride from Roxbury to Christopher Columbus Park to take part in the underwater event.
Meanwhile, hundreds of churches, from Brookline’s United Parish Church to Acton’s Congregational Church will ring their bells 350 times tomorrow. Some faith communities in Waltham have hung eight foot banners from their buildings declaring “Climate Change is a Moral Issue” and intenf to march from their congregations to the community center for a noon rally.
In Cambridge, the Home Energy Efficiency Team is holding weatherization barn-raisings at three sites, including The Cambridge Women’s Center. They are also conducting a door-to-door light bulb exchange near the Margaret Fuller House in central Cambridge.
“We are hoping to show the world that people in Boston understand the urgency of the climate crisis and the need for an equitable and effective international climate treaty,’’ said Loie Hayes, coordinator of the Boston Climate Action Network.
There is more: The federal Energy Star program, which helps homeowners and businesses become more energy efficient, is holding an exhibit house at the Seaport World Trade Center’s Halloween Town all weekend.
And if you see lots of college kids sleeping near the Statehouse Sunday night, don’t be alarmed. Students throughout the state are kicking off a “Sleep Out for Clean Energy” effort through The Leadership Campaign, a statewide coalition of students and other supporters determined to end global warming.
The students are refusing to sleep indoors until the Copenhagen December conference to protest their lack of choice about how their dorms are powered. While students will sleep on their campuses six nights a week, every Sunday night they will sleep outside near the statehouse so they can lobby the legislature on Monday for clean energy legislation.
“Instead of staying in our homes under the comfort of dirty energy, we’re putting ourselves on the line for the policy we believe in,’’ said Sally Sharrow of the Leadership Campaign.
This is by no means a complete list. Write in your event through comments and they’ll be posted.
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Helping Boston live a greener, more environmentally friendly life.