You may have come of age in a world where global carbon dioxide concentrations were less than 400 parts out of every million, but you don’t live in that world now, and you never will, ever again. What are you going to do about that? How high will you and I let this number climb?

Callan Bentley

Assistant Professor of Geology, Northern Virginia Community College

As we witness the final days that anyone alive will likely ever again see atmospheric CO2 concentrations below 400 ppm, let’s join together in a vigil for climate action this coming Monday, November 23, from 6-7pm in MIT’s Lobby 10.

350 ppm of CO2 is regarded by many scientists as the safe upper limit to avoid dangerous climate change. Saying farewell to sub-400 ppm honors an arbitrary milestone, but the passing of this round number gives us time to reflect on the urgency and magnitude of the challenge to meet our planet’s carbon budget – especially with global warming since pre-industrial times set to pass the milestone of 1 °C by the end of this year. It also gives us time to join with students, faculty, and alumni in voicing concern over MIT’s lack of leadership in its plan to mitigate climate change, to celebrate the start of Month 2 of a round-the-clock sit-in outside President Reif’s office calling for a bolder plan, and to demand strong commitments in the coming United Nations climate negotiations in Paris. President Obama’s recent rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline proved the power of grassroots movements to compel action consistent with what climate science demands, and MIT has a special responsibility to contribute as a beacon of science.

Please join us for an evening of music and poetry, accompanied by a community art-build and light refreshments. Let’s come together to reflect on the passing of these climate change milestones, but most importantly, let’s come together to inspire one another on how we can tackle this crisis, together. Help us demand bold climate leadership from our government and our administration.

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