Just in time for the second presidential debate tonight, 350.org is launching a new campaign to send candidates Obama and McCain thousands of invitations to the UN Climate Meetings in Poland in December 2008. Yesterday evening, the 350 campaign organizers invited reporters and bloggers to join Bill McKibben on a conference call to discuss the goals of the new effort which centers on sending both Barack Obama and John McCain thousands of invitations to the UN Climate Meetings taking place this December in Poznań, Poland. Says co-coordinator of 350.org, Jamie Henn:
Over the past 8 years, the U.S. presence at these meetings has been destructive at best, and we think one way to get things going in the right direction, is for the next U.S. President to attend the meeting and commit the U.S. to meaningful action. And there's a chance he'll go: advisers for both Sen. McCain and Sen. Obama have said that the candidates would consider attending the meeting if elected.The engine for this bright new 350 effort is a web portal featuring a rotating globe that displays video invitations from people around the world.
The 350 campaign is intent on sparking international movement platformed upon the target of reducing atmospheric CO2 levels to 350 parts per million, or the level scientists deem necessary to maintain human life on the planet as we know it. Since its deployment last winter, the number 350 has begun to circle the globe (the 350 Postcard Project, 350 Craft Challenge), proving to be an effective galvanizer since it is accessible to all spanning differences in language and culture.
The 350 organization has already put together several global calls to action, with its newest aimed squarely at injecting climate change back in the election. While McKibben told us on the conference call that the 350 group maintains no illusions that climate change will emerge front and center in this final month of the election, all are certain that whomever is elected the next president of the United States will need to make spearheading a "Marshall Plan for carbon" a major priority.
McKibben sees the issue of climate change as the central issue of foreign policy, a novel notion for most Washington denizens, and therefore the future president must be encouraged early to begin to engage in the process early -- even before he has taken office by attending the United Nations Climate Change Conference Poznań Poland in December of 2008.