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Environment & Energy

Local Activists Launch Pittsburgh350.org to Fight Climate Change

Pittsburgh.jpg
Jaime Dillen-Seibel
/
Flickr

Groups of local activists concerned about climate change took to New York City’s streets last September for the Climate Action March, and now they’re launching Pittsburgh350.org, an affiliate of the national 350.org.

Warwick Powell, a member of the steering committee, said the group will work to raise awareness about the increase of carbon in the atmosphere.

“The idea is that we need the parts per million down to 350 (ppm) whereas at the present time, I think we just recently broken through 400 (ppm),” Powell said. “So if we keep going at this rate, then we certainly are not going to be doing ourselves a service.”

Dr. Charles Miller, a researcher specializing in the remote sensing of CO2 and other greenhouse gases, told NASA that’s 100 ppm higher than any other time within the past one million years.

Pittsburgh350.org aims to help residents hold elected officials accountable for policies affecting the climate, according to Powell.

“So that we can lean on the politicians and get them to change their thinking if they think differently, or to represent us because it becomes a significant block of people that are really concerned about what the climate crisis is going to do or can do in the future,” Powell said.

Powell said he believes Pittsburgh can become a significant force in what he calls the “climate change experience.”

“People personally can get solar panels, of course we are all into recycling and those sorts of things, and we can do it better,” Powell said. “We can save on the way we use electricity, change our electricity supplies to green supplies, and now in Pittsburgh there’s a number of those.”

Right now, the organization is trying to become “friends and allies” with like-minded groups in order to increase its impact.  Powell said they currently have about a half a dozen partnerships, including the Sierra Club.

“I think that at this stage, we’re trying to see if we can hook into all of these other groups that we’re involved with in any of the activities that they’re doing like divestment or clean energy or Solarize Pittsburgh, which is putting up solar panels,” Powell said. “Then we’re spreading the word.”

Powell said they are in the process of planning a flash mob within the next month or two.