Stripping down to 350 … SuperModels Calling Attention to a Number

( – promoted by buhdydharma )

We are not all the same.

We don’t all think the same,

We don’t look the same,

We don’t react the same way to the same things, …

When it comes to climate change and sparking activism there is a simple reality: there is no one single message that works for everyone.

Some are going to react from altruism. Others a fact-based science discussion. Some fear over whether their kids will be able to ski the slopes that they ski. (Motivation for one of the Republicans at the table with me during Climate Project training.)  Some will first get motivated out of concern over maple syrup. (Actually, the first motivating factor for a somewhat prominent voice in the US discussion.) And, so on …

After the fold, take a look at a message that might spark some attention to 350 from people who might never have heard of it otherwise.

About that ending …

The video, as you will see, ends with this line:

So this is what 352 parts per million looks like. If you want to see 350 parts per million, our natural state, then you have to get your politicians to act now.

Okay, a small caveat is in order.

Who ever said that 350 parts per million is our “natural state”?  After all, the past million years or so has CO2 levels see-sawed between about 180 and 285 parts per million. The 350 is a ‘best estimate’, best calculation as to the safe level of CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere for a prosperous human civilization.

Roughly, at this time, humanity is adding enough Co2 into the carbon cycle (mainly, but not solely, from burning fossil fuels) to add about 2 ppm per year.  We need to drive down our emissions that drive increased CO2 levels and then continue the process so that we are actually reducing CO2 levels.  This is not a simple step (or a single step), but it is necessary — and possible.

As to “natural”, those who have their tongues dragging on the floor might ask: who is to quibble with these women as to what is their ‘natural state’?

And, of them, we might ask: Do you want to get to 350 as badly as these women?

Interviewing the driving force …

This video was the conception of model Cameron Russell who blogs at Funny & Interesting with whom I just finished an email interview.  From that exchange:

Q: Was this easy to put together?

Well, in reality it took about 2 weeks and 300 phone calls to pull together. I was inspired by the 350 idea and effort of each community creating its own 350 photo and video opp. So this was a video my community could contribute.

Q: Any thoughts about next steps?  (Take the same theme and get male models to do it?)

One thing we’d like to see is copycat videos. People around the world putting on 40 articles of clothing and doing their own count down to 352 or 351. It was incredibly fun and funny to do. We were waddling out onto the set. I think people could have a lot of fun with this.

Q The fact is that ‘super model’ translates into ‘super traveler’. Many would see that as one of the great ‘benefits’ of being a top model.  Yet, such travel creates a significant carbon footprint.  How should we balance that? What are your thoughts? [Please note, we all face the reality of challenges in our lives, whether created by work or otherwise …]

It is an incredible challenge and definitely something I think about. Right now, I’m not in charge of where shoots take place. Even with a carbon tax of some kind, advertising will still likely be shot in beautiful places around the world. The cost of traveling to the location is a very small part of the whole. The good news is that there aren’t that many models or teams doing this work. At home, in Manhattan, I walk and bike every where. I don’t have a driver’s license and don’t have a plan for getting one any time soon.

Let’s be honest, here, it is hard to see that “modeling”, the “fashion industry”, and the concept of buying that latest fashion to add into the bulging closet is core to a sustainable human civilization. And, not having a driver’s license doesn’t real negate (could we say “off set”) that impact. On the other hand, these models action to use their celebrity to promote discussion of certainly has more power of wide communication than (yet) another A Siegel blog post to be read by 3.5 people.

Some thoughts about the video …

When I saw this, I had a couple reactions that included: Why all white? Why no men? Isn’t this so ‘politically incorrect’? ….?  Then, I reminded myself: not everyone hears or sees things in the same way; not everyone is open to the same messages; and, well, this video’s buzz might gain a little bit of attention.

Why should we care that Darryl Hannah is a climate project trainee or that Brad Pitt is a leader in green housing in New Orleans. The reality is that we live in a society that embraces fame and celebrities.  

And, well … for a different picture

The truth is that we’re seeing many innovative videos related to clean energy. Here are some recent ones …

2 Dirty 4 College

Shut Up Windmill

Please feel free to add in your own to the comments …

PS: As to reach and impact, search bing for “350 take it off video” only gets 2.5+ million hits.  Hmmm … in just a few days, talk about reach. Now, about impact?


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  1. around 380…..390…….

  2. How long will it be before people start to talk about what actually has to happen before Earth’s atmospheric component of CO2 is reduced to 350 ppm?

    • Inky99 on October 29, 2009 at 7:22 pm

    You know, one thing that really bothers me about this whole Hair-on-fire thing about reducing emissions is that nobody wants to talk about the most obvious freaking thing:   We’ve cut down, and we are continuing to destroy, the rain forests of earth.

    I mean, we can cut emissions until we’re all holding our damn breaths, but if we cut down all the trees, we’re dead.

    Seriously, we’re dead.

    So why isn’t the Cut Emissions Now! crowd screaming about that?

    I really don’t understand it.

    It’s like we’re telling a lung cancer patient to stay away from 2nd hand smoke.

    I don’t mean to be an asshole about this, I really DO NOT understand it.

  3. if we get to 666 ppm, Satan takes over.  It will be hotter than Hell.

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