What was that circling the peak of Mt. Diablo Saturday?

Was it a case of an attack of the artist Christo?
No, it was a “necklace” of about 350 local high school students and others, holding up colored pieces of fabric in a chain to create a visual demonstration of concern about global warming.

The participants circled the peak of Mt. Diablo along the Mary Bowerman Trail. The event Saturday was just one of hundreds of such demonstrations taking place around the world, according to the folks at Save Mt. Diablo, who co-sponsored our local demonstration.

Cool photos, huh? They are by Scott Hein.

Three hundred fifty is the key number, and is the name given to this international day of action. According to Seth Adams of Save Mt. Diablo, the focus is on the number 350–as in parts per million, the level scientists have identified as the safe upper limit for CO2 in our atmosphere. But 350 is more than a number–it’s a symbol of where we need to head as a planet. 
To tackle climate change we need to move quickly, and we need to act in unison–and 2009 will be an absolutely crucial year. This December, world leaders will meet in Copenhagen, Denmark to draft a new global treaty on cutting emissions.

Thanks, Seth and Scott, for sharing these wonderful photos.

14 thoughts on “What was that circling the peak of Mt. Diablo Saturday?

  1. why didn't they do any pr ahead of time, I would've loved to have looked out to see what i could see that day from below. I live right at the base. I guess these groups have pr as an afterthought? Oh well.


  2. Global Warming and Climate Change are both real–and overwhelming scientific concensus is that humans are the cause.

    You can read more about the science (and see some of the recent changes) at: http://www.350.org/about/science but suffice it to say that for most of human history we were at 275 parts per million carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. We're currently at 390 ppm, and growing about 2 ppm per year. We're trying to get back to a sustainable level.

    Although there is of course lots of variation around the globe, average temperatures are rising, sea level is rising (SF's Fort Point has the longest continuous record of sea level elevations), and we're close to losing Arctic icepack and many glaciers around the world–most of them are shrinking with huge effects on water supply, etc. Permafrost is melting.

    We don't know what the big tipping points are – when large global features and processes which have absorbed carbon, methane and other greenhouse gases and helped buffer climate, reverse and start contributing gases and raise average temperatures even more.

    350 of us circled the Mary Bowerman Trail in a “necklace.” We did sign ups through our organizations and bussed participants to the summit to limit greenhouse gases.

    We didn't do PR ahead of time because that was a requirement of our State Park permit – again to avoid attracting a lot of people to the summit by car, which would have defeated the purpose, symbolically and otherwise.

    We're all working over time on this and other issues but we did do some PR to get into the media, and more now (like this blog), but the real media coverage is through http://www.350.org which is forwarding pictures and stories from over 5200 events in over 181 countries to the United Nations and other decision making bodies.

    Check out http://www.350.org . The pictures are amazing. It's looking like this was the biggest global grassroots event ever.


  3. I agree with Anon 3:14. The term “climate change” is so much more useful since it covers evey possible eventuality with the weather.

    Note to Anon 3:51 — you would advance you argument more effectively if you spelled correctly and used proper English. I believe you meant to say “their sources checked.”?


  4. I was up on the mountain at the same time as this event. Although I am a supporter of ideas of the SMD organization as far as land acquisition for the park, I wish that this event had been more publicized so that we would have avoided it. The mountain would have been more enjoyable at a time when the crowd was not there. Or if we had realized the time of the event, we would have chosen somewhere else to go. It sort of ruined our planned excursion…between the crowd and the buzzing helicopter…we left to look for a more solitary place to enjoy on our weekend.


  5. Global warming has become an industry and there appears to be hundreds, if not thousands, of scientists who are willing to trade their objectivity and integrity to cash in on the global warming research funding bandwagon. Sad.


  6. Anon 1240, I agree, I wish I would have known about this ahead of time! I would have looked for it as well. I too live on base…hmmm, who are you LOL.


  7. I wonder how much yellow bellied lizard habitat these people destroyed by climbing down the pristine mountainside to make themselves feel better and accomplish nothing?


  8. Anon 9:22pm. Look at the photo again. Those people are lined up on a trail. Do all of us have to stop hiking on trails?


  9. Memo to Seth Adams – Check out “www.iceagenow.com”. Global warming is a farce, and “Climate Change is a natural cycle. There are at least 31,000 scientists who DON't buy into this nonsense. The glaciers and the ice caps are growing, not shrinking!


  10. Wikipedia, with all of its faults, has a good, well-footnoted, summary of climate change controversy.

    Global warming controversy

    In summary, and to paraphrase a most important finding: ‘The finding that climate has warmed in recent decades and that this warming is likely attributable to human influence has been endorsed by every national science academy that has issued a statement on climate change, including science academies of all of the major industrialized countries. At present, no scientific body of national or international standing has issued a dissenting statement.’

    ‘In 2001, sixteen of the world's national science academies made a joint-statement on climate change: “The work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) represents the consensus of the international scientific community on climate change science. We recognize IPCC as the world’s most reliable source of information on climate change and its causes, and we endorse its method of achieving this consensus. Despite increasing consensus on the science underpinning predictions of global climate change, doubts have been expressed recently about the need to mitigate the risks posed by global climate change. We do not consider such doubts justified.”’

    This blog discussion highlights that there are many opinions out there. Robust discussion will help sort them out.

    Whatever you think about the issue or the http://www.350.org events that took place around the world last Saturday, they were a positive, engaged statement by those individuals of what they believe.

    It's easy to make statements about hypocrisy, but none of us live in a state of grace. We're imperfect and relative to all issues of change, in transition.

    On Saturday we limited emissions by using busses. We used donated fabric that hadn't sold. I'm sorry if visitors were inconvenienced that morning but by the same token Save Mount Diablo helped lead the positive campaign to keep Mt. Diablo State Park open despite the State budget crisis. We did a variety of other things to offset our impacts, including no prior publicity of the event so that people wouldn't be tempted to drive up on their own.

    At Save Mount Diablo we're also decreasing energy use and use of office materials, printing less, planting trees and restoring woodland, expanding wetlands, and expanding and connecting parks so that wildlife populations will be more resilient if the changes we fear take place: higher temperatures, more fires, etc.

    We've helped sponsor a ground-breaking new website, http://www.transitandtrails.org that helps the Bay Area public reach parks, trails and campgrounds using mass transit.

    It's easy to think big issues are insurmountable. But big change starts with small steps, from replacing a light bulb, to choosing a more efficient car, to planting a tree, to promoting alternative sources of energy.

    The changes needed to address climate change, or pollution, or depletion of fossil fuels, will benefit us regardless of whether you share the same beliefs as those of us who spent a Saturday morning making a statement.


  11. Hooray to these youngsters for their support of our beautiful plant. Boorah to the selfish ignorant phux who still negate the devastating changes to our planet such glacial melting. May you soon melt much like Frosty.


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