thomas m wilson

350 in Perth

October 24th, 2009

Well the whole world has been making the numbers 350 in various ways today.  Here’s what we did in Perth, Australia…

This morning we first formed a critical mass of bikes riding through the centre of our city, causing cars to stop and make way for our smiling bicycle gang.


That’s Tim Hemsley, the brains behind the Perth critical mass today.


The centre of the business district had never seen so many free-wheeling environmentalists.


I’d never been in a critical mass before.  There was a sense of solidarity between the riders.  We were taking back the street from the dirty and polluting cars.  But it was also really fun.  A fresh and refreshing experience to be riding through the centre of Perth without any fear of getting hit by a speeding automobile.

SatisArnoldThe ride stopped at Western Australia’s parliament house where well known climate change activist Satis Arnold opened proceedings.  He reminded us all that today is about getting the current level of carbon dioxide pollution down from 385 parts per million to below 350 parts per million in the atmosphere.  350 is the most important number in the world as it is the number that everybody on earth needs to be aiming for right now.  The rise above 350 ppm at the current rate of about 2 ppm/year is leaving behind the conditions that allowed the development of human agriculture and civilisation from about eight thousand years ago.  If we don’t want to see billions dead, human and nonhuman, through floods, droughts and fires, then we must get things down below 350 ppm.  We can do this through a war-time effort to increase renewable energy generation, stop land clearing and start a massive global reforestation campaign.

Oh, and I forgot to mention the humble bike.  Nice riding with you my friends.