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350 — the most important number in the world

Aug350There are three numbers you need to really understand global warming, 275, 390, and 350.

For all of human history until about 200 years ago, our atmosphere contained 275 parts per million of carbon dioxide. Parts per million is simply a way of measuring the concentration of different gases, and means the ratio of the number of carbon dioxide molecules per million other molecules in the atmosphere. 275 ppm CO2 is a useful amount without some CO2 and other greenhouse gases that trap heat in our atmosphere, our planet would be too cold for humans to inhabit.

Today, according to 350.org the atmosphere contains nearly 390 ppm CO2. In order for the Earth’s people and systems to survive, we need to reduce the level to 350. That’s what this Saturday’s 350.org Day of Action is all about.

Inspired by McKibben’s convocation address in September, a group of students set out to organize Augsburg’s Day of Action to raise awareness for and promote the cause of clean energy, sustainability, and political action to affect real change.

Day student body president, Sam Smith, is part of the organizing group. He is hoping to create a sustainbility fund at Augsburg that will aid the College in energy-saving projects to help further reduce CO2 emissions. “This day will be meaningful not just for Augsburg but for the enitre community,” he says.

Throughout the day, student organizations will host a variety of activities to demonstrate a commitment to sustainability and support for legislation that will bring the nation’s carbon emissions to an appropriate level. The group will be joined by Minneapolis city councilman, Cam Gordon, on the bike ride to the Capitol. Gordon will also speak at the afternoon rally

9:30-10:45 Rally in Murphy Park

10:45 “The Most Important Number in the World” Bike Ride from Minneapolis to the State Capitol

Halftime of the Augsburg-Gustavus football game: 350.org picture

3:30 March to the River — gather in Murphy Park and march (or ride) to the river just below the Washington Avenue bridge

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