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Changing The Climate Of Protest With Aerial Art

by NPR Staff
Dec 3, 2010

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For environmental activist Bill McKibben, change needs to happen on a grassroots level. He co-founded 350.org, a global movement to make politicians recognize an issue that, in his words, is one of the most important facing the planet — and yet rarely a top news story. To bring attention to a large-scale issue, the organization encouraged large-scale creative demonstrations, visible from space, many of which can be found on their Flickr site.

The number 350 represents the upper limit of a safe amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. We have presently surpassed that number and, according to the organization's site: "If we can't get below that, scientists say, the damage we're already seeing from global warming will continue and accelerate."

This year is almost certain to rank among the three hottest years in recorded history. At least that's the word from the World Meteorological Organization, which just released its latest data at the United Nations climate summit in Cancun. No major breakthroughs are expected at the conference, although there are signs that the U.S. and China could agree on provisions for monitoring greenhouse gas emissions.

But for McKibben, breakthrough comes in the form of a 3,000-person elephant.

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