On December 3rd, 2008 dozens of activists with the Northern Climate Change Network gathered in Chiang Mai to learn about Climate Change. As a result of their seminar, a group of them wrote the following letter to President Elect Barack Obama, asking him to make sure the U.S. takes a leading role in global efforts to reduce carbon emissions that are the direct cause of global warming.
Specifically, they asked the President Elect to set a long-term limit of 350 parts per million of atmospheric carbon dioxide, considered essential to prevent catastrophic impacts to the global environment:
Northern Climate Change Network
c/o Urban and Environmental Studies, Social Research Institute, Chiang Mai university, Chiang Mai 50200, Thailand
December 4, 2008
Dear President-elect Barack Obama
As citizens of Chiang Mai, Thailand we are concerned that the latest research is showing that we must achieve a carbon dioxide concentration of about 350 ppm to be sure of preventing an irreversible melting of the great ice sheets. Because the concentration now in 2008 is about 385 ppm and rising faster every year it is clear that we must reduce our net emissions drastically. We propose that we should aim for 350 ppm by 2525. Without a serious and rapid response major environmental change can be expected to threaten civilizations around the world.
We are writing to you as we see the US as the only nation that can effectively lead the world on this matter. All of us are responsible for net emissions and some of us are trying hard to reduce them but we have felt a terrible lack of formal leadership for many years.
We understand that the US must put most effort into supporting green research and jobs in the US but we seek leadership on measures that will inspire and provide incentives for all nations. In particular we seek support for renewable energy technology for electricity, forest conservation, building design and those people who are most vulnerable to climate change and sea level rise, many of who are already suffering.
[ Long list of names and signatures here ]
Questions about the seminar or this letter can be addressed to Marty Bergoffen or Dr. Duongchan Apavatjrut Charoenmuang, via this Email Address.