Why the 350 in 350.org?


350.orgBy Ellen Andrews

350.org, an organization working to form a global movement to solve the climate crisis, is Foundation Beyond Belief’s Natural World beneficiary for this quarter. It uses online campaigning and grassroots organization to amass public action in a global network that is active in more than 188 countries.

You might be asking yourself what the significance of the number 350 is, and why this organization chose it as its name. If you are familiar with the rhetoric of climate change science, you will recognize 350 as the maximum level of carbon dioxide, in parts per million (ppm), in the atmosphere that is necessary to sustain a climate resembling the one in which humanity evolved on this planet, and we are currently at approximately 400 ppm.



Developed nations have the largest output of carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas that traps heat from the sun in Earth’s atmosphere. The economic growth of developing nations, coupled with the population boom that accompanies it, suggests that carbon dioxide levels will only continue to increase in the future unless every nation unites to begin taking the appropriate measures now.

The issue of anthropogenic climate change is not a new topic in science and politics, but discussion persists on how to best combat climate change, and 350.org believes that collective action through grassroots organizing is the best way to bring about a significant change. With hundreds of allies, 350.org is working to unite every nation from the bottom up by helping mobilize campaigns that battle use of fossil fuels, such as fighting against coal power plants in India and stopping the Keystone XL pipeline in the United States.

By supporting 350.org, you are helping preserve our planet’s climate by endorsing an international grassroots movement to prevent climate change. Visit their website and join their email list to receive information on ways to have your voice heard in the discussion on climate change.