By Colin Silver, TGC intern, and Katie Alexander, senior at American University
Last month, climate change solutions group 350.org sponsored a worldwide series of events to raise awareness about climate change and motivate citizens and leaders to enact positive change in their communities. Events ranged from political rallies to community gardening, and encompassed a variety of strategies that cut pollution.
As a whole, these "10/10/10" events are a demonstration of effective, bottom-up, grassroots approaches that force both societal change and political will. The organizers and participants aren’t relying on the United Nations or other political bodies that can force governments to reduce their impact. Instead, they believe that raising awareness about the issue on an individual level will spread a sense of urgency and importance about solving this problem all over the world.
Among the global events were a rally at the White House here in Washington, and a solar installation on the residence of Maldivian President Nasheed, contracted by US solar installer Sungevity. Both of these events concentrated on the steps we as individuals can take to reduce our carbon footprint in a significant way.
Below is a video I made featuring a few of the 10/10/10 events that took place here in Washington, DC. Some of them saw public mobilization as only one part of a broader strategy, while others had more faith in the grassroots approach. However, all of the people who made the day a success were right about one thing: Building a coalition of support for creating meaningful change, and empowering individuals to contribute to our shared goals will both be essential tools in solving this crisis.