Dear friends, 

Apologies again for bombarding you with updates, but we’re in the final stretch here at Copenhagen and I hope you can join us in doing two unusual things.

They’re unusual things for us to ask, but this is an unusual moment. In a certain sense the Copenhagen conference is going better than we dared hope. The small nations of the world have really been quite remarkable this week–their calls for strong climate action have completely changed the tone of these negotiations. They have stood up to immense pressure from the big powers, and they continue to rally behind the banner that all of you have raised for them. These nations are still trying to insert "350 language" into the treaty text, at least as a symbolic aspiration for the future. This would be a remarkable acknowledgment of physical reality, and give us a good base to keep moving on.

But not all is well in Copenhagen. We’re not going to get the agreement that we need (current negotiations put us on track to hit a devastating 770ppm by century’s end) and this movement will need to fight on in the years ahead. 

But right now, while the Copenhagen climate talks are still unfolding, we need one final push.

So, the two unusual requests:

1) Make a phone call — 

We don’t usually ask you to make calls, but today we’re going to. At this link you’ll find a list of every head of state and his or her phone number. You’ll note that the countries are listed in either green or red type. If your nation is in green, it means they’re fighting the good fight for 350. We need you to leave them a message that either expresses your pride and gratitude for their commitment to keeping 350 in the treaty text, or your earnest wish that they’ll listen to the science and consider standing with the bloc of more than 100 nations standing for bold scientific targets.

Please click here to make the call–you’ll find everything you need: the appropriate phone numbers, a short script of what to say, and a sense of how your country’s leadership is standing on this issue.


2) Think about fasting for 24 hours on Thursday–part of a genuinely worldwide effort.

A hunger strike is not one of our usual tools either, but somehow it feels appropriate at what’s a very solemn moment. Some of our allies around the world have been going without food for more than a month, and they’ve asked others to join this fast for 24 hours–starting any time on Thursday. We know it’s late notice, especially for those of you in the eastern parts of the world–but everything just came together to pull it off. Many here in Copenhagen are doing so–including thousands of youth, members of the team, Vandana Shiva, and many more–and we wanted you to have the opportunity too.

As global warming kicks in, more and more people will starve–earlier this week, at the conference’s main religious service, there were shriveled ears of corn from drought-stricken parts of Africa on the altar. Most of us can’t know the true terror of hunger, because we know we’ll eat again soon, but we can join in what organizers are calling a Hunger Strike for Survival.

If you’re interested in joining in, please sign-up here. And while you’re fasting, you might visit this page to post a short link with a reflection of what you thought about as you fasted, and what you’re committed to working for. It’s true that we can’t promise fasting will have any practical effect, but it feels right to us right now.

Please consider joining us:

It’s true: we won’t get the treaty we need in Copenhagen, but thanks to you we’ve made the real consequences of climate change a priority for the very first time inside this process.

Bill McKibben for

PS – Can you help spread the demand for a Science-Based Treaty on Facebook? Just visit this post on Facebook, scroll down, and click "Share" to let your friends know your thoughts on the current negotiations and how you’re taking action. Many thanks.