350.org Ignites Global Climate Movement


Co-founder of 350.org Jeremy Osborn remembers April 14, 2007 as one of the most beautiful days of his life.

That was the day he and six friends, all newly graduated university students, worked with author and environmentalist Bill McKibben to launch a day of action calling on U.S. Congress to “step it up” and cut carbon 80 percent by 2050.

The day of action was founded on the belief that people are passionate about preventing climate change, yet are told to do things like change their light bulbs or recycle more. The responses lack the needed systemic approach to truly tackle a global challenge.

While the group believed people wanted to make change, they never imagined the kind of support, energy and action the plan would unleash.

Across the United States people showed their support to address climate change, rallying in front of coal plants, skiing the shrinking Dinwoody Glacier and scuba diving amongst fragile coral reefs. 1,400 actions in all fifty states were recorded. In many cases participants snapped photos of themselves, which were later aggregated and shared.

It was the birth of 350.org, and its core model fuses people’s desire to see climate change leadership with creative, visual actions.

Five years later, 350.org is a force to be reckoned with. The organization has 40 staff members and seven directors, all under the age of 30. It’s been hailed as the first climate movement to build leadership and connection among people across the globe, engaging hundreds of thousands of people in more than 180 countries.

After dedicating its focus (and name) to a campaign calling on governments to adopt a globally safe carbon target — 350 parts per million of carbon in the atmosphere  — 350.org has evolved into a powerful grassroots environmental campaigning organization. It most recently rallied support against the Keystone XL pipeline resulting in the Obama administration effectively killing the pipeline.

Osborn presented 350.org‘s work and impact as a case study at Social Change Institute (SCI) June 8.

Case studies are a core component of  the conference that aims to advance social change, providing a space for organizations to share intimate details of their operations and seek expert feedback and advice.

Osborn’s case study asked how the young organization can continue to build on its success while creating systems that enable organizational growth and scale.

This article written by AxiomNews.ca is part of a series featuring changemakers attending Hollyhock’s Social Change Institute.


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Photo Credit: Bill Weaver


Kelly Rogers5 years ago

ty wonderful news

Teresa Cowley
Teresa Cowley5 years ago

It sounds like a moving little organization--never heard of it, but I intend to check it out.
It's for sure we all need to do something!

Carole Cherne
Carole Cherne5 years ago

Thanks, I'm going to check it out.

Terry Vanderbush
Terry V5 years ago


Terry Vanderbush
Terry V5 years ago

Life is about choices.
Hoping 350.org may help our crippled earth.

Florence Eaise
Florence Eaise5 years ago

I wish 350.org luck and ill check out the website and of course keep doing my part at home! Thanks for the interesting article

Claire M.
Claire M5 years ago

350 ppm CO2 in the atmosphere is the maximum number determined where we can avoid climate change. We are currently at 392 ppm. That is really all you need to know to see how important this is.

Abbe A.
Azaima A5 years ago

good luck

Joseph Belisle
Joseph Belisle5 years ago

I see pretty much all of the other posters here agree with me.

I thank God for the good people at 350.org.. They are on my list of heroes. But unfortunately their actions are not going to mean very much against the juggernaut of industry and corruption. Not until we can remove money from politics will we be able to make any change significant enough to critically reduce the affects of global warming. We're already too late to stop the affect but no matter what 350 does, it will not change the suicidal onslaught of the wealthy against our world. But keep it up 350. I'll keep doing my part.

Grace Adams 406 Valley St
Grace Adams5 years ago

Our corporate leaders including those leading fossil fuel firms own the country because they have the privilege of buying all elections. The only way we can get lower greenhouse gas emissions is to pay to the fossil fuel firms full retail price for having kept in the ground fossil fuel reserves that would otherwise be burned into greenhouse gas emissions. We also have to bribe the fossil fuel firms to turn themselves into sustainable energy firms. If we merely buy their fossil fuel reserves without making sure they have some other product to sell when all the fossil fuel reserves are sold, all hell will break loose once all the reserves are bought. Meanwhile, carbon capture and trade would help. Between Global Thermostat to capture CO2 and Enhanced Geothermal Systems to both store the CO2 and make good use of it as hydraulic/heat-transfer fluid to produce base load electric power, carbon capture and trade is at least technically feasible.