Planning to ride this weekend? Consider making your mileage really count by participating in Moving Planet, a day of grassroots action aimed at raising awareness about global warming by taking a day off from fossil fuels. With critical mass-style rallies in 178 countries around the world and hundreds of thousands of people expected to participate, the event is a way of bringing together like-minded citizens who want to make a statement to politicians and leaders that one important step to dealing with the climate crisis is moving beyond fossil fuel dependence. “The planet has been stuck for too long—governments doing nothing about the biggest problem we've ever faced," says author Bill McKibben, whose 350.org movement is behind the event. "This is the day when people will get the earth moving, rolling towards the solutions we need.”
There will be 2,000 rallies across the world, including 700 in the United States. To participate, find an event near you. In Indonesia 30 people are riding their bikes for 350 hours over the two weeks leading up to the day of action. In Milwaukee, folks are riding all the way to the state capitol in Madison to call for better biking infrastructure. Photos and videos of the events will be projected at a rally outside UN Headquarters in New York City, where world leaders will be gathered for the UN General Assembly.
Moving Planet is just one in a series of global events that 350.org has spearheaded. Last year, the group helped organized the 10/10/10 Global Work Party, which saw activists gathering to plant trees, install solar panels, and undertake a variety of other climate change actions. In 2009, they hosted the International Day of Climate Change, with 5,200 simultaneous events around the world that included walks, marches, rallies, and large-scale depictions of the number 350. The figure refers to parts per million of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, a number that some scientists say we must return to (from the current 392ppm) in order to sustain life on the planet. McKibben has been vocal in spelling out the science behind the number.