Year 2, Month 9, Day 27: Wheels On Fire, Rollin’ Down The Road

The September 23 edition of the Milford, MA Daily News runs a sympathetic article on the upcoming “Moving Planet” events, leading with these nicely crafted paragraphs:

Many scientists and climate experts understand that 350 ppm (parts per million) of carbon carbon dioxide (CO2) is the amount considered to be the safe upper limit of the gas in the earth’s atmosphere. Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas that traps heat in the atmosphere allowing humans to live on earth, but at higher levels leads to global warming.

The bad news is that the earth’s atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide are currently at 392 ppm and are increasing by 2 ppm every year. If this trend continues, a tipping point could be reached and irreversible damage done to the planet. The good news is that the planet is still at a point where if changes are made now to significantly reduce the carbon dioxide and other greenhouse emissions, the planet could slowly cycle some of the extra carbon in the atmosphere and get back to 350 ppm. That is the goal of

Bill McKibben, founder of ( and author of several books on climate change, says we cannot remain on the wrong side of 350. He organized as a global movement to bring attention to this vexing worldwide problem. This year, linked up with Moving Planet to organize Saturday’s global day of action, a movement created to continue beyond this date of unity.

It seemed to be worth it to try for a philosophically robust analysis in the space of 150 words, sent Sept. 23:

The rationale for the “Moving Planet” action rests in the fact that the biggest culprit in the global warming emergency is not a single individual, or even a single organization. Rather, the steadily increasing concentration of greenhouse gases is brought about by the industrialized civilization within which we all live.

“Top-down” political and regulatory solutions are essential to a viable resolution of the climate crisis, but they are insufficient without a widespread change in our ways of living. While our complex, vibrant informational culture has made worldwide interconnectedness a possibility, it consumes environmental resources far faster than they can be renewed.

We must transform our economy away from consumption and towards replenishment — without losing the planetary sensibility that made modern environmentalism possible. To succeed, this transformation must be both global and local, immediate and long-term — which is why Bill McKibben’s vision is so relevant and inspiring. Let’s ride.

Warren Senders

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