Global Day of Climate Change Sends a Powerful Message

October 24th was the global day of climate action organized by Hundreds of thousands of people attended thousands of events. All around the world, people stood up to deliver a message to government leaders: “Our climate is no longer safe!” The photos came from everywhere. Starting on the evening of the 23rd, with a photo of New Zealanders at sunrise, the staff was literally flooded with 16,000 images — each of which contained the magic number: 350.

The number 350 refers to the amount of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere that scientists say is safe. It’s measured in parts per million, or PPM. Today, at 390 PPM, that number is already past safe limits. This is why we urgently need strong action from our leaders when they meet in Copenhagen on December 6th to negotiate the successor to the Kyoto treaty.

In Boston, hundreds gathered at Columbus Park, on the waterfront, to participate in the Boston Under Water Festival. Why “Under Water?” Because Boston will experience Katrina-like flooding during severe storms as a result of climate change. We displayed maps from the Union of Concerned Scientists that show the Back Bay, East Boston, and a large swath of Downtown Boston under water after severe storms in the higher emissions scenarios.

But the Climate Festival was not all doom and gloom. Activities included relay races, kids games, climate theater, music, flood photos, people dressed as billionaires launching a fake “counter protest,” and a lifesaving station where we filled Senator Kerry’s answering machine with calls asking him to take strong action against climate change.

The centerpiece of the event was building a “flood barrier” before Boston Harbor using sandbags and empty tomato sauce cans. After the flood barrier was built, the crowd assembled for a photo to be sent to Many people were wearing life vests and holding paddles as they stood in front of a huge banner that read: “Boston’s SOS 350 Climate Treaty Now.”

With a few clicks of the Greenpeace photographer’s shutter, we took our place in history with the thousands of others who are trying to protect our planet. As they say on one of my favorite podcasts, Beyond Zero Radio: “We aren’t trying to cause trouble. We’re trying to prevent trouble.. for us and for generations to come.”

Boston Under Water Climate Festival

I am one of the organizers of this event, which will be the biggest of all the Boston-area events planned for the October 24th Global Day of Climate Action. Your support and help in getting the word out, and coming to the event, would be much appreciated. Together, we can make our leaders understand that immediate action is needed to greenhouse gas emissions to safe levels.
Boston Under Water Climate Festival
October 24, 2009, 3:00pm – 5:00pm
Christopher Columbus Park, Long Wharf, Boston

Join us at the Boston Under Water Climate Festival and help make the the International Day of Climate Action a historic day. On October 24th people all over the globe will come together to demand that world leaders meeting in December in Copenhagen create a plan to to decrease concentrations of atmospheric CO2 to below 350PPM.
We will gather on the waterfront at Christopher Columbus Park (Aquarium T stop) to draw attention to the Katrina-like floods that Boston may face as a result of climate change.

Fun Activities:

  • Building a sandbag flood barrier
  • A massive group photo in front of the sandbag wall with a banner calling on world leaders to get us back to 350 and to pass a fair, ambitious and binding climate treaty this year
  • Flooding Station: learn about what sea level rise and higher storm surges will mean for Boston
  • Fred Small sings “Three Five 0″
  • Canoe relay racing!!
  • Participatory Climate Theater!!
  • Plus blue face-painting, bike-flag making, and much, much more!

Dress in blue. Wear underwater gear, leave as a group from your community, and bring as many people as you can!

Do not miss this opportunity; joining fellow human beings to be there, be counted, and to stand up for the future of the planet.

Part of a global day of events sponsored by


“Little Things”

Hey, life’s not all about the big stuff. When your head hits the pillow at night, sometimes you just want to remember one little thing you did that day to make a difference. Here are a few of my easy favorites for the environment. If you have a chance, please write in to tell me some of yours.
1. Choose low-impact transportation. Here’s me and my e-bike. No, that is not my Mercedes in the background.




2. Choose low impact food. My Boston Organics Dogma Box contains fresh, locally-grown produce delivered to my door every other Tuesday. Great convenience for a car-less vegan!
3. Recycle. My favorite item to recycle is food waste. My worms love it!




4. Educate. I have created Post-Its with the text of the Massachusetts law prohibiting unnecessary operation of a stopped vehicle (the five-minute idling law.)
I carry it with me when I’m jogging and use it to start conversations with people idling in parked cars. Yes, it works. People really do shut off their motors! (And sometimes they roll up their window and tell me to buzz off, but, hey.)
5.Activate. My mailbox contains letters from environmental organizations like the NRDC, EDF, Greenpeace, the Wilderness Society, and It’s easy enough to address them to my elected officials and fire them away.
6.Protect. Plastic six-pack holders can be lethal for animals. Whenever I see them on the ground, I pick them up and tear them apart.


What are some of your favorite “little things?” Post them here or send me a link to your blog.