Why We're Merging to Form a Climate Change Supergroup Why We're Merging to Form a Climate Change Supergroup
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Why We're Merging to Form a Climate Change Supergroup

by Bill McKibben

April 9, 2011

That’s why this week we joined together two of the big mass movements around climate change: 1sky, and 350.org. 1sky has been coordinating efforts on the ground across the United States; 350.org has been at work in 188 countries around the world. We’ll now all operate under the 350 banner, in an effort to bring a unified message on every front.

That message starts with simple science: Our foremost researchers, NASA scientists like James Hansen, have shown that 350 parts per million of carbon dioxide is the most we can safely have in the atmosphere, a level we’ve already exceeded. No matter how the House votes, physics and chemistry still call the tune.

But the message goes beyond science to politics. We have learned over time that you can’t win simply by explaining the crisis to political leaders; they may intellectually understand that they’re facing the end of the world, but what they really fear is the end of their political careers. We need to build a movement that can reward and punish politicians. Since we’ll never have the money to match the fossil fuel front groups, we’re going to need a different currency: bodies, creativity, passion.

It’s possible to rally that passion. Both 1sky and 350.org have shown the ability to find and energize a new generation of environmental supporters, one that crosses all demographic and linguistic boundaries.

Together, as the new 350.org, we’ll be speaking with one voice. Shouting, really—trying to drown out the persuasive talk from dirty money.

Betsy Taylor has been the chair of 1sky, and Bill McKibben is the chair of 350.org.

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Why We're Merging to Form a Climate Change Supergroup