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Huge swaths of the eastern United States are just beginning to recover from the largest storm to ever hit our nation’s mainland. This summer the US had the worst drought in its history and the highest recorded temperatures in a half a century. Again, this year, Arctic ice shrunk to its smallest surface area since record keeping began in 1979.
Scientists widely agree that human activities are the primary cause of this global warming. As we burn fossil fuels to drive our cars and power our homes, we add more and more carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases to the atmosphere. Having increased by more than 30 percent since pre-industrial times, the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide is now higher than at any point in the last 420,000 years. The US alone produces approximately one-quarter of global greenhouse gas emissions. Unless global warming emissions are reduced, temperatures will increase significantly over the next century, leading to a host of serious medical and public health consequences.
In the face of these threats, Bill McKibben and 350.org have begun a nationwide tour to build a movement to change what McKibben refers to as the “terrifying math of the climate crisis.” As he outlined on July 2012 in his now famous Rolling Stone article:
“It’s simple math: we can burn 565 more gigatons of carbon and stay below 2°C of warming — anything more than that risks catastrophe for life on earth. The only problem? Fossil fuel corporations now have 2,795 gigatons in their reserves, five times the safe amount.”
Bill McKibben will be in Portland on November 8th, and his initial venue of almost 800 people at First Congregational Church was sold out shortly after the tour event was announced. However, the new 350.org PDX chapter has set up a simulcast event at Portland State University, Smith Center Ballroom, and we invite you to attend.
When: Thursday, November 8th, 7:30 PM (doors open at 6:30 PM)
Where: Portland State University Smith Center Ballroom (1825 SW Broadway in Portland)