We reached a major milestone last month: Carbon-dioxide levels in the atmosphere hit 400 parts per million. “The 350 ppm level, which a number of scientists regard as the safe limit, is growing smaller and smaller in our rearview mirror” (L. Pettengill, The Witchita Eagle, June 4, 2013). Reaching this milestone, along with major storm activity is generating a new sense of urgency to take action. The following is one example that Chicagoans and Oak Parkers participated in.
Hundreds gathered outsidegathered outside the Chicago Hilton during Obama’s visit last week as a reminder that that the president’s decision on the Keystone XL Pipeline could determine the fate of our climate and our future.
As a student at Roosevelt University, and a member of the Chicago Youth Climate Coalition, it was inspiring to experience the growth of this movement. I was encouraged to meet with so many young people—from high school through grad school—who were trying to get more involved.
It was great to meet with students working on fossil fuel divestment campaigns across the country. Divestment has become a common thread among student leaders. By challenging our colleges and universities to end their profit from the destruction of our planet, we prepare ourselves to challenge the economic and political forces that will wreck our climate.
We’ll also be working this summer with several urban agriculture and community groups. As we continue to build resistance against fossil fuel extraction, we must also create resilient communities and foster a city independent from fossil fuels.
To learn more about climate issues and what we can do, please see the Climate Resources on Green Community Connections web site.