Ten years ago, a handful of Marin neighbors started 350Marin.org as a local group aligned with 350.org, the international grass-roots movement of climate activists started by Bill McKibben and students from Middlebury College in Vermont. Jody Timms, a founding 350Marin member still energizing our steering committee’s work today, recalls: “Several of us in the original group heard Bill in SF at the “Do the Math” Bus Tour in 2012 and were inspired by that event to organize locally.” So it was that 350Marin came together as that first group of volunteers shown above on the left.
In the decade since, 350Marin has achieved some remarkable successes locally and globally, and is still going strong. The Fossil Fuel Divestment movement we helped 350.org build has become a major force in international finance: It convinced over 1500 investing institutions controlling over $40 trillion in assets to commit to divest those funds out of fossil fuel development and production. There’s little doubt that those ever-increasing trillions now formally committed to build a fossil-free world have helped light a fire under politicians and business leaders to accelerate plans for the transition to electric vehicles and renewable power.
Locally, we’ve worked with our Marin allies to make Marin County a leader in green energy adoption and climate-friendly policies in California, and, in turn, to make California a leader in climate action for the country and for the world. We supported Marin Clean Energy as the first “Community Choice” non-profit supporting clean energy in California. Today, over 200 cities and counties and over 27% of California population have community choice energy non-profits that can support roof-top solar and other renewables. We also helped spearhead the successful campaign to press every town and city in Marin County to mandate clean, green energy for public use, and promote on-going adoption by households. Right now, we’re working on helping every town in Marin establish strong, climate-friendly building and electrification ordinances, and have diverse programs and internships in political activism, regenerative agriculture, climate policy, and other areas.
And yet, as you know, though we’ve accomplished a lot, our job is far from done. When we “do the math” today, we see current atmospheric CO2 concentrations of 420 PPM and rising are already a dangerous 20% above the climate safe level of 350 PPM that gave the 350 movement its name. The task of transitioning away from fossil-fuel to re-stabilize the climate was always going to be daunting. It’s one of the biggest moral, financial, and logistical challenges our civilization has faced. We believe the climate movement’s successes so far have happened, as so often true, largely because neighbors and grass-roots activists like you have insisted change has to happen and won’t take no for an answer.
So, please continue to support our work with your volunteer efforts, your energy, and your donations. We appreciate all you do!