portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article announcements oregon & cascadia

corporate dominance | energy & nuclear

Walkers, Coastal Contacts Needed for Climate Crisis Walk

A small group of dedicated people is organizing a 35 day walk from Coos Bay to Portland, via Astoria. Roughly 35 people will walk a total of 350 miles at an average pace of ten miles a day. Walkers and organizers will meet with local residents along the route to talk about the threat of rising sea level due to global warming.
When and Who?

This will be one of over 1,000 events around the world planned for October 24. These events are being organized by 350.org, an organization founded a year ago by Bill McKibben, author of End of Nature and Fight Global Warming Now. Here in Oregon, the walk is being headed by Phil Carver , a former state energy economist and former Oregon PeaceWorks Board member.

Entire itinerary of the 350 Climate Crisis Walk (PDF).

Message

The walk's message is simple and powerful. The ocean bathtub and the atmospheric bathtub are too full of carbon dioxide. It is too late to avoid damage, but it is not too late to avoid catastrophic climate change.

Sea level has risen at the rate of one foot per century for past two decades due to global warming. If we continue to increase CO2 emissions, it will likely grow six feet per century for next thousand years. If we cut emissions in half by 2030 and by 90 percent by 2050, the rate will likely be two feet per century. These emission cuts will eventually return the level of CO2 in the air to 350 parts per million (ppm), the level that is known to be safe (hence the name 350.com). The level is 388 today and rising about two ppm per year.

Two feet of sea level rise a century will be a serious problem for most coastal communities. This will affect over 700 million people worldwide. A sea level rise of three feet will permanently displace at least 15 million people in Bangladesh, 17 million in Vietnam and 72 million in China. Several island nations will disappear.

Six feet per century would be disaster for nearly all coastal communities. Thus, the climate crisis is a moral crisis. What we do in the next few decades will affect the planet for at least a millennium.

The issue of climate change seems to have reached a scientific and political tipping point. Momentum is building worldwide. The U.S. House has passed a greenhouse gas cap-and-trade bill, but the Senate still needs to act. There is a key United Nations climate change conference in Denmark in December, so October is a good time to raise awareness about the climate crisis.

Here is how you can get involved.

1. We need contacts in the 38 cities and towns along the route.

2. We need help setting up town meetings to reach the 123,000 people in these cities and towns.

3. We need someone to set up a blog for the walk on the Internet and help operate it.

4. We need about 35 people who can take off from September 20 to October 24 to participate in the walk. We need people to coordinate meals and places for walkers to sleep. There are many campgrounds along the route, but it would be preferable to interact with communities as their guests.

5. We also need help contacting newspapers and television.

To view the itinerary of the walk, click here.

References

For information about the global impacts of rising sea levels

For the most current synthesis of climate science

The discussion of sea level rise is on page 10.

For a more complete discussion of the science of sea level rise

For an assessment of the issues facing coastal Oregon

For an assessment of the effects of methane releases from Arctic soils

Oregon Peace Works

homepage: homepage: http://www.oregonpeaceworks.org