Unplug & Reconnect
Communities across Scotland are joining together together to Unplug and Reconnect this Sunday (10 October) as part of the Global 350 Movement. 350 is the number that leading scientists say is the safe upper limit for carbon dioxide—measured in “Parts Per Million” in our atmosphere. 350 PPM—it’s the number humanity needs to get back to as soon as possible to avoid runaway climate change.
It’s the 7:84 of the 21stC.
The 350 Movement says: “On 10/10/10, we will celebrate climate solutions and send our politicians a clear message: “We’re getting to work—what about you?” So, working with the numerology we decided to try and motivate 10 people in 10 communities to spend 10 hours unplugging and reconnecting.
There’s a paradox here – we know that social media can convey the message of climate justice and the urgency of action, but sometimes we need to reclaim the balance of the frenzied networking and just stop. So we are starting with just one day to begin to slow down again.
Rachel Nunn from Going Carbon Neutral Stirling (GCNS) said:
“Taking time out from rushing around is quite a hard thing to do. Lately the GCNS project has taken time to go slower, get our hands grubby with nature, do some of the things we support others to do, ourselves. We’ve given ourselves space from our phones and computers. Each of us feels calmer, and the team has become more connected. This Sunday will be an opportunity to do the very same thing with our families and friends.”
This isn’t an anti-technology story, it is about making connections when we are often dislocated, from place, from people and from our own common sense.
The plans is for people to come up with their own actions – or even preferably inactions. But there are two stages: UNPLUG from carbon consuming: from screens like this (mobiles, laptops, TVs, DVDs), from cars, from all those activities that appear to connect us with distant others but often cut us off from people in the same house and neighbourhood; and the RECONNECT with members of our household and community, whether through shared meals, sharing a poem, planting and tending edible plants on public land, walking and talking, making sand sculptures on the beach or big chalk drawings on the pavement of how we hope our communities will be in 2020.
The full details are here and there are details of the ten communities involved from Portobello to Linlithow from Dunbar to Govanhill. If there isn’t a community near you, start one. You can add your events or responses to the 350 website, inspiringly run by Bill McKibben and colleagues in America.
Participating communities here include: Portobello, Burntisland, Eigg, Linlithgow, Stirling, Battlefield (Glasgow), Govan Hill (Glasgow), Dunbar, Findhorn
Holyrood 350 consists of people from across Scotland who are actively working to reduce their communities carbon footprint. We are responding to the mesage of top climate scientists that CO2 in the atmosphere must be reduced from the current 387ppm to below 350, to avoid a rise of 2 degrees and catastrophic climate change. We ask the Scottish Government to take the lead in the race out of carbon, by enabling all communities to make the transition resilience. By doing so Scotland can demonstrate to the world how rising to the challenge of climate change can enrich rather than impoverish us.
So, this Sunday Unplug and Reconnect.
Mike Small is a founder of The Fife Diet, a community network for better, more local and more sustainable food.