FAQs

What is the goal of Connect the Dots? The Connect the Dots project (at ClimateDots.org) is designed to empower people to highlight the connections between extreme weather and climate change. By making those connections clear and compelling, we will help communicate a call for bold climate action to communities, the media, and policy makers at the local, national, and international level. What is Climate Impacts Day? Climate Impacts Day is a global day of action taking place on 5/5/12 that will spotlight people around the world who are connecting the dots between extreme weather and climate change. From political protests to educational events to local solutions-oriented projects, people everywhere will take action united by a common purpose: to issue a wake-up call that will help inspire the world to bold action on climate change. What exactly will people do that day? To some extent, we don’t yet know — we’re encouraging people to adapt the idea for Climate Impacts Day to what is most appropriate and strategic locally. For more in-depth ideas visit www.climatedots.org/ideas. Where do the dots come in? At events around the world, people will make big dots — on banners, signs, t-shirts, and more — that will contain symbols of climate impacts (like a wildfire or a hurricane). This sounds all a bit doom-and-gloom — after we connect the dots, what then? Fortunately, we can also connect the dots to solutions. Clean energy installations, local food initiatives, and political organising for climate action are all solutions we can point to for addressing climate change and its impacts. Raising awareness about these and other solutions to dealing with climate change are crucial to show our neighbors that there is something we can do about this problem, as great as it is. Why focus on impacts of climate change? If we want to sufficiently address the climate crisis, we must stop thinking of it as a distant problem happening in some undefined future. The fact is, climate impacts (increased drought, flooding, wildfires, severe storms) are affecting millions of people around the world right now. Unfortunately, most government and business leaders will only move to action if their next election, annual report, or current resources are threatened. We need to connect the dots issue a bold call to action on climate change. What can we do about these impacts? We must do two main things. First, we have to adapt to the impacts that are already locked into the climate system — the increased weather we are already seeing, and the impacts we know are in the pipeline. Equally important, though, is that we organise to make our governments and businesses take the bold action needed to prevent the truly catastrophic effects of climate change, the effects that are impossible to adapt to. This means we need to get off fossil fuels right away, and move to a sustainable, democratically controlled, and renewably-powered future as soon as possible. What kinds of impacts can we attribute to climate change? A generally warming planet leads to a range of specific impacts at the local level. In a word, we can expect the weather around the world to get more extreme. Since warm warm air holds more moisture than cold, we’ll see not only increased drought and wildfires, but also more intense storms across the world as all that moisture comes down at once. To see more climate impacts and the facts behind them, check out this guide: www.climatedots.org/science What are we working towards? To get below 350ppm, we know we need to get off fossil fuels right away and move to a sustainable, democratically controlled, and renewably-powered future as soon as possible. We encourage you to pick a clear and strategic demand that makes sense for your community or country to deliver to your local government on Climate Impacts Day. Why another global day of action? Amazing organising inside and out of the climate movement continues to remind us that people power is stronger than the power of the  fossil fuel industry. Victories in places like Australia and the United States have demonstrated how powerful social movements can inspire nations to rise tot he challenge of the climate crisis. Mobilising for days of action is important for our movement for a variety of reasons: it helps get many new people involved, creates a feeling of global solidarity and momentum, and with our efforts combined, all on the same day, we can simply create a bigger impact in the media and on politicians, than if we were all to act alone. Who is organising Climate Impacts Day? Connect the Dots and Climate Impacts Day originally came from 350.org, a campaign that is building a global movement to solve the climate crisis. Climate Impacts Day is a collaborative effort of many organisations, movements, and individuals. Organisations and local movements are encouraged to take this day and idea and make it as powerful as possible around the world. For a list of all endorsing organisations, and to sign up your organisation, click here: www.climatedots.org/partners Why focus on moving away from fossil fuels? The global fossil fuel infrastructure is a threat to our future everywhere — it’s polluting our oceans, our land, our communities, our air, and our children’s lungs. It’s corrupting our politics and distorting our national priorities around the world. And with over $600 billion in subsidies globally, it’s delaying a transition to a clean energy future. But looming largest is the fact that the continued burning of coal and oil is the driving force behind the climate crisis. Burning fossil fuel releases massive amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, which in turn warms our planet. Scientists say the safe level of carbon it the atmosphere is 350 parts per million (ppm) — we’re currently at around 392 ppm. Getting off of fossil fuels is the number one thing we need to do to get back below 350ppm.