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One Thing I’m Thankful for this Thanksgiving


-by Derek Gideon


Photo Credit- Zachary Ruchman, The Daily Princetonian

This has been my profile pic on Facebook for a month. I’ve also just made it my desktop background. It’s become my climate change talisman- all I need to do is see it, and the darkness and gloom that have been climate change news lately seem to brighten a little. To provide a much-belated recap, people came to over 4,000 events in over 180 countries for‘s International Day of Climate Action. The world’s first truly global day of grassroots action called for stabilization atmospheric carbon dioxide at 350 parts per million, increasingly recognized as the maximum safe limit.

 At Princeton’s event, the Princeton Climate Festival, over one hundred students came out in the pouring rain for this photo. SURGE was one of several Princeton environmental groups there. We collected ten letters opposing a proposed coal plant in Linden, New Jersey, and forty letters calling on senators to strengthen the climate bill. Nice work, everyone!

You can see more photos from around the world on the Day of Action here.

And check out this video:

Let’s remember, something with a name as big as global warming requires global action. This Thanksgiving, I’m thankful we’re not alone.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Priscilla Gideon permalink
    11/24/2009 6:09 am

    hooray and congrats-this blog is off to a great start, guys!

  2. Alice permalink
    11/26/2009 1:56 am

    I’m going to ask this again, not to be depressing, but because I can’t remember the answer I was given: What good does an event like 350 day do after all? I know that it’s incredibly inspiring and fills us all with warm fuzzy feelings, but quite frankly it seems to me that awareness is not the issue at least in our case. If anybody at Princeton is unaware of climate change and hasn’t already determined their opinion on the matter, then, well, I’d be surprised.

    I am happy, at least, that letters were acquired against the building of a coal plant. That seems useful. Apart from that, the event was lots of fun but I feel like it filled more stomachs than it did minds. Then again, I am a bit of a cynic.

  3. 11/26/2009 11:29 am

    @ Alice

    The main goals of the International Day of Climate Action, not just at Princeton, but worldwide were:

    -raise awareness, even at Princeton. Remember, even if someone is aware climate change exists, it’s not everyone’s priority, so they often need reminding. 350 ppm is relatively new science, so most people who know it are likely to be those who actively follow climate change news, which is often missing from mainstream media

    -send a message to our leaders. Reps from are going to be at Copenhagen, with the pictures from all over the world. Even if ours isn’t one of the pictures, we still contributed to the number of 4,000 actions worldwide. And even without that, politicians are increasingly using twitter, facebook, and other networking sites to keep tabs on public opinion, so it’s more or less impossible for them to not notice this.

    In addition to these two things, I think there’s something that just feels empowering about meeting people face-to-face and via the internet who care about the same issues you do. It reminds people, as I mentioned in the post, that we’re not alone in this.

    Hope that that answers your question. I have a habit of writing excessively long blog comments. Happy Thanksgiving!

  4. Anna permalink
    11/26/2009 3:19 pm

    Alice, why do your opinions keep being almost identical to mine?

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