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Dalai Lama signs on to "350" climate change target

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Good news from the folks at 350.org, a global climate change movement that has its roots in Middlebury: the Dalai Lama was the first to sign on to "The Time to Act Is Now — a Buddhist Declaration on Climate Change."

You can read the declaration here.

I wrote about 350 briefly last September, when the group staged a fairly large event in Burlington:

350 takes its name from a number climate change scientists say represents the safe upper limit of carbon dioxide, measured in parts per million, in the atmosphere. With atmospheric carbon already past this benchmark, the 350 movement seeks to spark a worldwide grassroots movement to address the problem.

The movement’s name translates into many languages effortlessly, according to 350 organizers, and also represents a tangible goal for action.

“This is really meant to be a truly global movement,” explained organizer Will Bates, who said 350 has already reached out to partners in places as far-flung as India and Hungary. (The organization’s Web site, 350.org, has been translated into nine languages.) “Ultimately our hope is to spread 350 so it really becomes the benchmark for international action on climate change.”

If the Dalai Lama's signature is any indication, it looks like 350 is well on its way to achieving that goal. (It's a message that's also being spread, vocally, by high-profile activists like Ripton resident Bill McKibben, and NASA scientist James Hansen, who addressed Middlebury College students on climate change at a recent conference.)

If you haven't checked up on 350.org lately, their work is definitely worth a gander. These days, they're gearing up for a big day of global action on climate change, slated for Oct. 24.

And to hear another local weigh in on the topic of 350, check out this week's blog post from Greg Dennis, a columnist here at the newspaper, on the same topic.

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