What's So Exciting About 350?
Amritapuri Hosts Green Riders and Helps Raise Climate Change Awareness
Nov 28, 2009
Amritapuri Campus, Kollam
Linkesh Diwan, final year Mechanical Engineering student at the Amritapuri Campus has stayed busy this semester balancing his academics with a flurry of activities related to his upcoming trip to Copenhagen. Linkesh was selected as one of India’s youth delegates to the 15th Conference of Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.
In late October, Linkesh organized Amritapuri’s participation in a massive worldwide event incorporating the number 350. According to scientists, 350 ppm (parts of carbon per million) represents the safe limit of carbon-dioxide in the atmosphere. One can note the alarm in Linkesh’s voice as he emphasizes that currently the amount of atmospheric carbon dioxide is 387 ppm.
“The natural cycle has never exceeded 300 ppm in the last 8000 years,” he says. “350 ppm is the scientifically-determined maximum in order to avoid catastrophic climate change, and we’re already exceeding that. If we continue to raise the number and reach 450 ppm, well, then it will be like flipping a coin.” Linkesh is joining youth around the world to take action on behalf of the world they are inheriting.
GreenDream is a Kerala youth network participating in the national India Youth Climate Network (IYCN). Four of its members started out in Trivandrum on a 1400 km “Green Ride” bicycle tour. The Green Riders will ride up the coast of Kerala to Mangalore and then head east to Chennai. They will hold meetings with local leaders as well as participate in a number of clean drives and tree sapling plantings.
“We want to make students and the general public and our leaders more aware of the role of renewable energy and green technology,” stated Green Rider Vinuju Yousuf. He and the other bikers also hope to encourage safer cycling in cities. On October 24, the day of the world-wide 350 observations, the bikers made their first stop in Amritapuri and received an enthusiastic welcome.
The Green Riders participated in an interactive program, encouraging everyone to find and implement climate solutions in their own lives. The 350 event had begun in New Zealand with some Maori elders greeting the sunrise and had swept all the way around the globe. “It is really thrilling to be part of the largest global effort ever made to reduce humanity’s destructive ways.” said Linkesh.
The occasion was marked in a special way by the blossoming of a rare flower, the Nishagandhi or Night Blooming Cereus, which only appears every 6 months. Everyone involved, especially Linkesh and the Green Riders, viewed it as a sign that Mother Nature appreciated and supported their efforts on Her behalf.