Make history – today |

Make history – today

Dear Editor:

This is an invitation to build a movement – to take one day and use it to stop the climate crisis.

A year ago, one of the world’s greatest climatologists – NASA’s James Hansen – and his team produced a landmark series of studies. They showed that if we let the amount of carbon in the atmosphere top 350 parts per million, we can’t have a planet “similar to the one on which civilization developed and to which life on earth is adapted.”

The bad news is we’re already past that number – we’re at 390 parts per million, which is why the Arctic is melting, why drought is spreading across the planet, and why people are already dying from diseases like dengue fever in places where it’s never happened before.

The good news: 350 gives us a target to aim for. When the world’s leaders meet in Copenhagen this December to reach agreement on a new climate treaty, we need them to go farther than they’ve planned to go: We need to make sure they’ll pay attention to the latest science and put forward a plan that gets us back to safety. We need to make sure the world knows about 350.

Today, Aspen will stand with more than 3,700 communities worldwide to make our voices heard by our nations’ leaders that we want a fair climate treaty. Each community is organizing an event that demonstrates how it is or will be affected by climate change. In the Maldives, the president will hold an underwater Cabinet meeting to express the dire straits of a nation quickly becoming engulfed by the rising seas. In Africa, farmers have planted their crops in the formation of 350 ppm. And in Afghanistan, people are covering the side of a mountain with the numbers 3-5-0.

As a ski community, nothing is more iconic than our mountains and snow. Today, paying homage to these natural wonders, 350 people (or hopefully more!) will be photographed from above using their bodies to spell the words SAVE SNOW on Aspen Mountain. Participants are encouraged to wear or bring winter gear. The end result – a photograph of hundreds of winter enthusiasts standing on a mostly snowless ski mountain – will be sent to local, regional, national and international elected officials with a simple message: Please act NOW!

The pictures from these events will be sent to leaders of the United Nations, non-governmental organizations, the international media and more. Plus, the 350 photographs will be shown on the jumbo trons in New York City’s Time Square! Imagine the effect when thousands (or millions) of people see these larger-than-life photographs of others taking a stand on climate change.

Please join us at 3 p.m. today at the Gondola Plaza. There will be an after party at Ajax Tavern with free drinks and prizes from local businesses like the Ute Mountaineer, Aspen Paragliding and Eco-Flight.

We hope to see you there!

Katherine Dart


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