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It's Time for Us to Connect the Dots

Climate

Bill McKibben

Earlier today, Barack Obama wrapped up his first trip to Oklahoma as President. He arrived just after a week of floods, capping off a winter that never came, which followed the hottest and driest summer Oklahoma had seen in thousands of years, perhaps ever. 

But he wasn’t in Oklahoma to talk about these climate disasters. He was there to laud his administration’s fast-tracking of the southern leg of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. It’s obvious from his speech today that President Obama isn’t connecting the dots between fossil fuel extraction, climate change and the extreme weather that has reshaped so much of the American landscape this past year. 

It’s a painful reminder that sometimes we must be leaders ourselves, before we can expect our elected officials to do the same. In this case, it’s clearly up to us to connect the dots. 

Today 350.org is launching a global day of action to call attention to these and other climate disasters, here on the same day as the President’s annoucement. Across the planet now we see ever more flooding, ever more drought, ever more storms. People are dying, communities are being wrecked—the impacts we’re already witnessing from climate change are unlike anything we have seen before.

If we're going to do these communities justice, we need to connect the dots between these disasters and show how all of them are linked to fossil fuels. We're setting aside May 5 for a global day of action to do just that: Connect the Dots between extreme weather and climate change. 

Anyone and everyone can participate in this day. Many of us do not live in Oklahoma, the Philippines or Ethiopia—places deeply affected by climate impacts. For those of us not in directly-impacted communities, there are countless ways to stand in solidarity with those on the front-lines of the climate crisis: some people will be giving presentations in their communities about how to connect the dots. Others will do projects to demonstrate what sorts of climate impacts we can expect if the crisis is left unchecked. And here in the U.S., it’s particularly important that we make the connections clear to our elected officials—beginning with President Obama. 

However you choose to participate, your voice is needed in this fight—and you can sign up to host a local event here: www.climatedots.org/start

(For more general info about the day, check out our new website here: www.climatedots.org)

350.org has done giant global days of action before (over the last three years we've helped coordinate more than 15,000 events in 188 countries) and they're always beautiful moments when our movement stands together. This year we'll use that same captivating tactic to draw attention to the struggles of our friends around the world—the communities already feeling the harsh impacts of climate change.

These will also be beautiful events, we’re sure. But they will also have an edge. It’s right that we get a little angry at those forces causing this problem. The fossil fuel industry is at fault, and we have to make that clear. Our crew at 350.org will work hard to connect all these dots—literally—and weave them together to create a potent call to action, and we will channel that call directly to the people who need to hear it most.

May 5 is coming soon; we need to work rapidly. Because climate change is bearing down on us, and we simply can’t wait. The world needs to understand what’s happening, and you’re the people who can tell them.

Please join us—we need you to send the most important alarm humanity has ever heard.

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