Streetfilms: San Francisco 350 Climate Action

350 parts per million. That’s the level of atmospheric carbon dioxide beyond which many scientists warn the
earth’s climate may begin to spiral out of control. At higher
concentrations, they say, heat-reflecting ice sheets will disappear and
permafrost will melt, releasing vast amounts of additional greenhouse
gases and driving sea levels higher in a vicious cycle. The earth’s
atmosphere is currently at around 380 parts per million, and climbing.

For a young international movement, 350 is a rallying cry, an organizing principle. On October 24th, climate activists in over 180 countries with the group
staged more than 5,200 demonstrations, pressuring world leaders to take
meaningful action on global warming at upcoming United Nations climate
talks in Copenhagen. In San Francisco, a ride of 350 cyclists in
snorkels and flippers gathered at a downtown rally and traced a route
through Bay-side neighborhoods threatened by rising sea levels.

Critics of the movement say the goal of stabilizing the atmosphere
is too ambitious, and that even a cap of 450 parts per million would be
difficult to achieve with curbs on carbon emissions. But the heated
debate on the political possibilities of climate action is up against
cold, hard, science.

The head of UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Rajendra Pachauri,
recently endorsed the goal of cutting emissions to 350 parts per
million or less. Pachauri, who in 2007 split the Nobel Peace Prize with
former Vice President Al Gore, was not able to advocate for any
specific goals as chair of the IPCC, “but as  a human being I am
fully supportive of that goal. What is happening, and what is likely to
happen, convinces me that the world must be really ambitious and very
determined at moving toward a 350 target."


RIDE350 Fundraiser for SFBC

"RIDE350 is having a shopping party at Sports Basement where everyone receives 15% off all store items, and Sports Basement will donate 5% of your purchase to the SFBC. Free food and drink provided. RIDE350 is a group riding bicycles 350 miles from Arcata to San Francisco this October in an effort to raise awareness […]

This Week: Is Bay Area Transit Ready for Climate Change?

A SPUR forum on Wednesday will consider how the Bay Area can strengthen its transportation system in the face of storms and rising sea levels brought on by climate change in the coming decades. New York City was forced to confront the reality of climate change last fall when Hurricane Sandy, given added force by warmer ocean […]

Study: Clean-Car Subsidies Alone Can’t Meet White House’s Climate Goals

Government subsidies for hybrid and electric cars, while "politically seductive," will fail to achieve the Obama administration’s national pollution-reduction goals if they are not coupled with a significant increase in fuel prices, according to a new study by Harvard University researchers. (Photo: Pop and Politics) The team at Harvard’s Belfer Center for Science and International […]

SFMTA’s Climate Action Strategy Will Require Broad Political Support

San Francisco could be headed on a course toward transportation sustainability, granted it’s the politically popular thing to do. The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) recently released its 2011 Draft Climate Action Strategy [PDF], laying out a progressive blueprint for how the city should tackle reducing its greenhouse gas emissions from one of their […]