On August 1, the Guardian ran our article arguing that the world had entered a countdown to a new more perilous phase of global warming. One hundred months from that date the risk of triggering runaway climate change goes, in effect, from amber to red.
Now, 31 days later, we have 99 months to turn the tide. The time for excuses and evasions is over. We are entering, as Winston Churchill said in 1936, “a period of consequences”. To help focus minds and catalyse action, we also launched a website: www.onehundredmonths.org.
The response to both the article and site was immense. Two Nobel Prize winners, many churches and countless other groups rushed to endorse the initiative. Over 135,000 people from 130 countries signed up on the website to take actions, or were asked to do so by friends.
So what happens now? Each month we will be promoting an action that will pave the way for the swiftest transition possible. But we won’t come up with them all on our own.
So, we want your suggestions: simple ones, bold ones, crazy but good ones – things that we can push for at all these levels – add them in the comments below. We’ll keep a record of all your ideas. We’ll highlight the best ones and the very best ones will be campaigned for by the OneHundredMonths initiative.
How bold can we be in what we hope to achieve? Across the ocean, Al Gore has just challenged the whole of the United States to unplug its oil and coaldialysis machine. He wants the nation to become powered entirely by renewable energy within 10 years. Recent findings from the Tyndall Centresuggest that for the UK to play its part in an effective global deal, from 2012 we’ll need to cut our emissions by up to 9% year after year for decades to come. So think big.
But as a start, month 99 begins on our own doorsteps, putting our own homes in order. We can’t tell people to stop smoking, if cigarettes are hanging from our mouths. We’ll begin by taking our money away from the problem – the providers of dirty and dangerous fossil fuel energy, and putting it into the pockets of those providing the solution – clean and safe renewable energy.
Lastly, in the messages we have had from people, there has been one big, unexpected, positive consequence. You worry that a challenge on this scale leaves people paralysed with worry and helplessness. But, in place of that, has been the realisation that now everything we do has meaning and matters.
We need to make every month count. Over to you.
· Andrew Simms, Peter Myers and Dr Victoria Johnson are co-founders of OneHundredMonths.org