News Release News Release The City of Palo Alto
Communications Department
250 Hamilton Ave
Palo Alto, CA 94301


PRESS RELEASE 10/21/2009
Subject :

Palo Alto Bells Toll for Climate Action
Contact : Debra van Duynhoven, Assistant to the City Manager, City Manager's Office    650-324-2164
Walt Hays, CEAP Chair    650-424-9633
Palo Alto, CA – On Saturday October 24, Palo Alto's bells will toll as part of the largest global day of climate action ever. The event—one of more than 2,000 rallies in more than 140 nations—is coordinated by to urge world leaders to take fast and effective action on global warming. This is the first global campaign ever organized around a scientific data point: 350 parts per million CO2 is the safe upper limit for the atmosphere according to the latest scientific data.

Around the world—from capitol cities to the melting slopes of Mount Everest, even underwater on dying coral reefs—people will hold rallies on October 24, aimed at focusing attention on the number 350 because scientists have insisted in recent years that 350 parts per million is the most carbon dioxide we can safely have in the atmosphere. The current CO2 concentration is 390 parts per million.

"That’s why glaciers and sea ice are melting, drought is spreading, and flooding is on the increase," said Bill McKibben, founder of and author twenty years ago of the first major book on climate change. “And it’s why we need a huge worldwide movement to give us the momentum to make real political change.”

The City of Palo Alto and Palo Alto’s Community Environmental Action Partnership (CEAP) has coordinated community organizations with bells to ring out for climate action.

The Palo Alto Fire Department will bring one of their new fire trucks to the downtown farmers market (Gilman Street @ Hamilton, behind the Palo Alto Post Office) and invite children to help them ring its bell 35 times at 11 a.m.  

Additionally seven Palo Alto churches: St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Albert the Great, All Saints, Unity, Unitarian Universalist, Grace Lutheran and First Lutheran will all ring their bells 35 times at 11 a.m., in symbolic reference to the number 350. Many other faith organizations within Palo Alto are participating in spirit only since they do not have any bells to ring.

Saturday, October 24, 2009 at 11 a.m.

The Barron Park Green Team and Gunn High School Green Team are partnering to host a 350 event on October 24, from 1-2 p.m. at the Gunn High School Football Field. Participants will gather together to spell out a big number 350 with people on the field using the Gunn High colors (Red & Black) and Green to make the numbers stand out.  There will be informational flyers available on the global warming goal of 350 (ppm CO2) to raise awareness. This effort should cover a good portion of the field and organizers hope to get an aerial shot of the event!

For more information, contact Lisa Altieri, Coordinator for the Barron Park Green Team at (650) 274-5171 (or or Wook Lee, Coordinator for the Gunn High School Green Team at

For more information on the global 350 campaign, please visit

The City of Palo Alto and community groups came together in 2008 to create the Community Environmental Action Partnership (CEAP), dedicated to improving the collaboration on important environmental issues. In particular, CEAP was created to help the community reach the goals in the 2007 Palo alto Climate protect Plan. The Community Environmental Action Partnership, a collaborative citywide initiative, engages the various segments of the Palo Alto community to identify opportunities and create and implement sustainable environmental solutions.