Who We Are
We are the Madison, Wisconsin, local action group of the international organization 350.org. Started by Madison area climate activists in January 2012, 350 Madison plans and participates in local, national, and international actions to raise awareness of the pressing need to address climate change. We are helping build a global movement that is creating the political will necessary to pass international climate legislation that will effectively return our planet to a stable climate. We help unite the message of many groups that are working for a livable climate into one specific goal: we need to get below 350 parts per million (ppm).
The 350 Madison Climate Action Team is dedicated to achieving a reduction in atmospheric CO2 below 350 parts per million (ppm). We are working in concert with a powerful global movement that seeks to make a just transition to a world fueled by 100% renewable energy.
Five years after its inception, 350.org’s Madison chapter continues to rack up environmental successes. Here at home, we’ve pushed the City of Madison to create a fossil fuel divestment plan, worked with the Dane County Zoning and Land Regulation Committee to attach tough restrictions to the permit that Enbridge needed in order to expand the capacity of Line 61, and helped local landowners take Enbridge to court when the company tried to evade those restrictions.
But 350 Madison is more than a local group — together with other chapters around the state, we stand up for all of Wisconsin. We’ve collaborated with organizations like 80 Feet Is Enough! and the Wisconsin Safe Energy (WiSE) Alliance to help landowners along the line unite to protect their property rights when Enbridge comes looking for a new easement. We’ve planned or supported events in Rio, Custer, and Gilman. And if a march is happening in Janesville, Whitewater, or Lodi, you can bet we’ll be there.
We’ve partnered with 350 chapters across the country. We’ve sent busloads of activists to protests in Lincoln, Nebraska; Washington, DC; and New York City. We stood with Standing Rock by organizing carpools to the resistance camp and collecting 10,000 pounds of food for the water protectors. And we leveraged our Facebook reach of over 1,000 people a week to pressure President Obama to act on the Oregon-based children’s climate lawsuit, which asserts that the federal government has violated young people’s constitutional rights through its inaction on climate change.
Finally, we connect to a worldwide movement by participating in global days of action like the Break Free event in May 2016 and the Light the Way action in September 2015.
By working at all of these levels, 350 Madison has played a critical part in reducing Enbridge’s tar sands transport through Wisconsin by some 340 million barrels (14 billion gallons), costing the company approximately $850 million over the course of three years. But we are not done yet. Join us as we continue the fight to stop the expansion of fossil fuel infrastructure and ensure a safe, livable planet for future generations.
350 parts per million is what many scientists, climate experts, and progressive national governments are now saying is the safe upper limit for carbon dioxide (CO2) in our atmosphere.
Accelerating arctic warming and other early climate impacts have led scientists to conclude that we are already above the safe zone at our current 400 ppm, and that unless we are able to rapidly return to below 350 ppm this century, we risk reaching tipping points and irreversible impacts such as the melting of the Greenland ice sheet and major methane releases from increased permafrost melt.
(image courtesy of 350.org)
The Guardian‘s Carbon Countdown Clock gives estimate of how long it will take to exceed the world’s carbon budget.