Sunday, October 25, 2009

350: For Whom the Bell Tolls

"Never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee."

From Meditation 16, John Donne, 1624.

Today at 3:50 PM, three churches in Middletown rang their bells in a chorus that sounding around the globe in recognition of communities committing to reduced carbon emissions. South Church, First Church and Holy Trinity Churches each rang their bells 350 times at 3:50.

Why "350?"

350 is a number arrived at by environmental scientists representing the parts per million of CO2 in the atmosphere at which human life on earth is sustainable. Above that, and scientists say we are now at a level of 389 parts per million, and humans will have trouble sustaining existence on the globe. is an organization which is promoting methods to reduce carbon emissions and to urge nations, states, cities, communities and individuals to help bring CO2 down to a reasonable level.

Locally a proclamation was presented and read by Common Council Ron Klattenburg, and at bell sites volunteers asked those in attendance to commit to activities which will reduce carbon emissions. Several organizations on the Wesleyan campus have also committed to the reduced carbon emission standards.

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