The “International Day of Climate Action” is a call to the world’s political leaders to reduce carbon in the atmosphere to 350 parts per million (ppm), an acceptable “safe” level scientists say will keep us from suffering the worst ravages of global climate change. Over two thousand 350 events are planned for the day throughout the world.
Sponsoring organizations for the Orange County event include the Orange County Interfaith Coalition for the Environment (OCICE), Earth Resource Foundation, Sierra Club, the Outdoor Education Center, and the United Nations Association-
The event at the Outdoor Education Center will be highlighted by an aerial photo of attendees gathered together to form the number “350” on a field. Other activities will include a nature hike, 5K walk, tree-planting, a hands-on workshop for kids, and talks by top Orange County environmental and religious leaders. Music, food, and eco-friendly exhibits will also be available. Registration for the hikes and 5K begins at 7 a.m. Registration for all other activities begins at 9 a.m.
“In our opinion, stopping global climate change is the single most significant moral challenge that humankind has ever faced,” said Margaret Henke, OCICE co-chair. “By supporting this global movement, all of us can get the world back to climate safety for our children and future generations.”
“Currently, the United Nations is working on a global climate treaty, slated for completion in December of 2009 at a conference in Copenhagen, Denmark,” Henke said. “The current plans for the treaty are much too weak to get us back to safety. This treaty needs to put a high enough price on carbon that we reduce our use enough to start to reverse climate change.”
The day will be keynoted by Chris Prelitz, sustainability activist and author of Green Made Easy. A special liturgy for the day will be given by leaders from various faith communities, and brief talks will be given by elected officials who have committed their cities to reducing C02 emissions, as well as by representatives from other groups in Orange County who are leading this effort.
Festival attendees can choose to participate in any of the following activities:
• Enter the 5K walk hosted by the United Nations Association - USA, OC Chapter
• Join in a hike beginning at Irvine Regional Park hosted by the Sierra Club
• Join other bicyclists from around the county who are pedaling to the event
• Find out what some of the leaders in Orange County are doing to lower CO2 emissions in their cities and organizations, and what we all can do to help
• Kids can participate in a tree planting and educational program hosted by the Outdoor Education Center, during the same time as the adult program
• Participate in the aerial photo of the number 350 that will be uploaded to the 350.org website and displayed in Times Square
• Participate in a yoga class
• Meet many eco-friendly exhibitors and enjoy a variety of musical groups.
The schedule for the day is as follows:
7 a.m.: Registration for 5K walk and hike
7:30 a.m.: Begin hike
7:30 a.m.: Start of 5K
9 - 10 a.m.: Registration for event participants not involved in 5K or hike
9:30 a.m.: Bicyclists arrive
9:30 a.m.: Hikers return
9:30 a.m.: 5K walkers return
10– 11:30 a.m.: Welcome and keynote
10 –11:30 a.m.: Tree planting and educational program with children
11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.: ‘350’ photo shoot
12:30– 2 p.m.: Lunch
1:30 – 2 p.m.: Yoga (Note: Please bring a mat or towel to take part in this session.)
2 – 2:30: Closing remarks
In addition to the festival, houses of worship throughout Orange County and the U.S. are being asked to ring their bells 350 times at noon in honor of the day and to alert the community of the threat facing us all.
The International Day of Climate Action Festival is open to everyone. Costs are $10 which includes lunch and event T-shirt; $10 for the 5K walk only; or $20 for the event and 5K walk. Onsite registration for the event is $15.
For more information or to register for the event, please visit www.ocice.org or contact Sherri Loveland at (714) 552-0333, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or Margaret Henke at (714) 731-6775.
The Orange County Interfaith Coalition for the Environment educates, raises awareness, and empowers people to actively protect and preserve Creation through responsible stewardship.