Climate Awareness For Montana
350Montana.org is a a web presence supporting 350Missoula.org . This resource provides information about climate and climate action in and for Montana. We welcome announcements for climate action events in Montana, and we will publish them on our calendar.
350 Missoula works to reduce atmospheric CO2 concentrations to 350 ppm by implementing strategic actions and advocating policies to end fossil fuel burning with the greatest urgency. We envision a rapid conversion to a 100% renewable global energy system using wind, water, and solar. We work with the global grassroots climate movement to achieve these goals and safeguard Earth’s life-support systems.
We accept the scientific consensus that most known fossil fuel reserves must remain in the ground for safe levels of atmospheric carbon to be achieved.
We conclude that electoral politics as currently practiced in the United States will not result in timely, effective solutions to the challenges of global climate change.
We believe that grass roots demands for effective policies will be required to shift the balance of political power and enable the US to respond effectively to climate change challenges.
We view these challenges as issues of social justice where short-term economic gain and retention of political power threaten the long-term well-being of all Earth’s inhabitants.
We model our campaigns on precedents that have extended civil rights to the oppressed and believe that a growing wave of grass-roots protest is required to shift the political power in favor of our common interests.
We promote, support and engage in nonviolent demonstrations that may include civil disobedience when and where such tactics will be productive. Our actions are designed to:
– Oppose and resist the extraction, shipment and burning of fossil fuels,
– Increase the political costs of decisions that promote burning fossil fuels and
– Promote policies that support returning to safe levels of atmospheric carbon.
We work cooperatively with other organizations committed to finding effective solutions to climate change challenges. We believe that a diversity of complimentary approaches will be required to institute effective policies.
350Missoula is powerfully positioned to play key roles in meeting climate change challenges. Montana lies at Ground Zero for new fossil fuel extraction and export and Missoula contributes uniquely to statewide politics. Our grass-roots, activist volunteers use this position to address the moral imperatives of global climate change.
Scientific, Technological, Economic, & Moral Underpinnings of the 350 Missoula Mission
350 Missoula has one of the most aggressive emissions reduction proposals of any climate action group that we know of. Why? Global warming is the greatest threat humanity has ever faced. Consider:
- According to the Global Humanitarian Forum global warming is already killing 300,000 people a year, including many children.
- Climate scientists have linked weather extremes to global warming. Unstable and extreme weather is wreaking havoc on communities and farms worldwide.
- Carbon dioxide from fossil fuel burning, when mixed with seawater, forms carbonic acid. Acid levels in the oceans are 30% higher than they were at the start of the Industrial Revolution in 1750, harming and threatening a wide range of sea life. If present trends continue, 100% of coral reefs may be dead by 2100.
- Sea level rise is accelerating worldwide, damaging and threatening coastal communities around the globe.
- The Arctic ice cap is melting 100 years of scientific predictions and the Arctic Ocean may experience ice-free summers this decade.
- The rapidly warming Arctic is causing permafrost to melt. Permafrost contains twice as much sequestered carbon as the entire atmosphere. This carbon is in the form of methane, which has much greater short-term heat-trapping potential than carbon dioxide.
All of these impacts are occurring with a current global warming of just .85 degrees Celsius (or 1.5 degrees fahrenheit) since the start of the Industrial Revolution in 1750. Clearly, the most important thing for humanity to do is stop further global warming. And since global warming is largely caused by the burning of fossil fuels, we have stop burning fossil fuels, globally, as fast as possible. Stopping 100% of global fossil fuel burning today would be the best action we could take. But that dramatic action is impossible in socioeconomic terms. So the question is, how quickly can we stop burning fossil fuels?
In 2009 a Scientific-American cover story demonstrated that humanity could produce 100% of global energy for all uses by 2030, using wind, water, and sunlight. The article is based on the work of Mark Jacobson of Stanford University and Mark Delucchi of the University California. Their peer-reviewed papers that explored this vision were published in the journal Energy Policy. Their work demonstrates the technological and economic feasibility of such an energy vision. That is why our mission calls for a similar energy transformation with the same deadline of 2030.
The other reason for our highly aggressive emission reduction schedule is that this would limit global warming to no more than 1 degree Celsius above the pre-industrial global average temperature. We have already raised the temperature .85 degrees C and eliminating 100% of fossil fuel emissions by 2030 would accomplish this goal with a margin of safety. Dr. James Hansen, arguably the world’s most influential climate scientist, and some of his colleagues published a paper in December 2013 that underlays much of the scientific rationale for our mission, further allowable temperature increase, and the emissions reduction schedule.
Of course, we will have to generate an extraordinary amount of political pressure to bring about the policies that we advocate. In 1990 the world’s top climate scientists said that stabilizing atmospheric CO2 concentrations required immediate, 60-80% reductions in global CO2 emissions. Instead, global carbon dioxide emissions are now 61% higher than 1990. We should not be surprised that dramatic, global action is the only avenue left to address the grave threat of global warming.
That leaves groups like 350 Missoula to generate the political will to address the climate crisis.
We hope to help Montana climate action groups by publishing information about their activities. If we can help you with those efforts, please email us at 350Montana@gmail.com
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