The UN's top climate scientist, Rajendra Pachauri, said exactly what we've been saying all along: 350 is the number. "As chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), I cannot take a position because we do not make recommendations," Pachauri told AFP when asked if he supported poorer nations calling for atmospheric CO2 levels to be held below 350 parts per million (ppm).
"But as a human being I am fully supportive of that goal. What is happening, and what is likely to happen, convinces me that the world must be really ambitious and very determined at moving toward a 350 target," he said by telephone from New Delhi.Pachauri joins Jim Hansen, Al Gore, and 94 of the world's poorest and most vulnerable nations in laying down the gauntlet for the Copenhagen negotiations. Physics and chemistry demand 350, which means that "political realism" won't get us very far. It's got to be a difficult message for, say, the Obama administration, which has relied on the outdated IPCC target of 450 ppm as the justification for its negotiating stance; even some environmental groups have hesitated to join the fight.
But for the millions of people around the world who are pointing toward Oct. 25 and the 350.org day of action, it's just the push we need to make sure our organizing really goes straight over the top!
More: 350.org, Understanding 350
The preceding was a guest post from 350.org co-founder and director Bill McKibben. McKibben is an American environmentalist and writer who frequently writes about global warming, alternative energy, and the risks associated with human genetic engineering. Beginning in the summer of 2006, he led the organization of the largest demonstrations against global warming in American history.
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