Attendants of the Do The Math session in New York pledge to march to Exxon's corporate office. (Credit: 350.org)
350.org’s #DoTheMath was described by 350 National Coordinator Joshua Kahn Russell as a “back-to-back-to-back-to-back” tour of major cities and college campuses across the country to evangelize people around the fight to save the Earth from an impending depletion.
On November 16 the tour took over New York City's Hammerstein Ballroom for an evening of talks, conversations, music, video, exhortations and promises to start taking a more militant stand in the efforts to halt climate change.
The keynote speakers ranged in age, experience and perspective: Bill McKibben [whose Rolling Stone article “Global Warming's Terrifying New Math” had 10 times as many likes as the article published in the same issue about Justin Bieber], Nation columnist Naomi Klein author of Shock Doctrine, Josh Fox, one of the director of the award-winning documentary, Gasland, and DJ Spooky as well as Van Jones via steaming video, who talked about how erratic weather patterns caused by climate change disproportionately affects black and brown people in the global south.
As Tom Zeller pointed out recently for Huffington Post, the camaign is a way to underscore and understand the terrifying math that needs to be grappled with: “565 and 2,795. The former is the upper limit, in gigatons, of carbon dioxide that many scientists believe humanity can still dump into the atmosphere while managing to avoid the 2 degree uptick in global temperatures that would be disastrous to humandkind. The latter refers to the amount of carbon dioxide that fossil fuel companies currently possess and are seemingly ready to exploit for profit.
The dynamic speakers gave way to an unusual event that went well beyond the lecture series that many in the audience were expecting to a night filled with music, laughter and talk of movement-building.
Paul D. Miller, aka “DJ Spooky” continued on the theme of numerical patterns by performing parts of his project “Artic Notes” where he took algorithms found in weather patterns over the past few decades and used them to design beats. Miller also gave a brief presentation outlining his inspirations which included photos of a recent trip to the North Pole he took to a synopsis of a Johnannes Kepler's essay “Six Sides of a Snowflake”.