For evidence that grassroots activism works, look no further than writer and climate activist Bill McKibben, who has spent the past year tirelessly knocking on doors with his climate crew over at 350.org. But as McKibben writes this week, door-knocking only goes so far: To make real progress on climate change, Obama will have to step up, and that means telling his negotiators that their current goal--450 parts per million of CO2 in the atmosphere--isn't going to cut it.
Case in point: Obama's recent meeting with Chinese president Hu Jintao. Obama said that he and Hu had agreed "that each of us would take significant mitigation actions and stand behind these commitments." Of course, with any international negotiation the devil is in how you define vague terms like "significant mitigation actions."
Here's hoping Obama's serious about "significant," considering a new study that predicts the present course of CO2 emissions will lead to a staggering rise of 6 degrees Celsius (10.8 degrees F) in coming decades.
And if temperature increase isn't enough to get our leaders moving on climate, maybe it's time we take more drastic actions. Like hitting the dance floor.