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The Global Work Party organized by environmental activist Bill McKibben and his 350.org campaign may be the answer to life, the universe and everything.

In October 2009, the 350.org campaign orchestrated more than 5,000 rallies urging political leaders to make meaningful progress on climate change. The success of last year’s day of action spawned this year’s Global Work Party that takes place on a day with numerological significance.

In binary code (a computer system using the binary digits ‘0’ and ‘1’ to relay instructions), 10/10/10 translates to the number 42, which in the book The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is offered up by the supercomputer Deep Thought as the “answer to life, the universe and everything.” The numbers have additional significance concerning the 10:10 climate change campaign.

And, speaking of numbers, why 350.org? The moniker refers to 350 parts per million of CO2 in the atmosphere, the number scientists have determined is the planet’s limit if significant climate change is to be averted.

Work party events are scheduled at locations globally, including throughout the United States. Those interested in taking part can check the 350.org site for work party locations in their area or register to host their own event. The 350.org campaign takes a sensible view of the event’s impact while stressing its overall importance. Their website explains:

The goal of the day is not to solve the climate crisis one project at a time, but to send a pointed political message: if we can get to work, you [government leaders] can get to work too--on the legislation and the treaties that will make all our work easier in the long run.

Word up.

As sure as April brings showers and May brings flowers, June brings ozone pollution warnings. These alerts come to us by way of air quality reports in our local weather forecasts, and they let us know when ground-level ozone pollution, the primary component of smog, reaches a dangerous level in the air we breathe.

It's as close as our own backyards, as far away as the Arctic. It's affecting birds, boys, butterflies and bugs. Creeks are feeling it, and the oceans, too. It's here, it's now, and mostly it's caused by humans.

It's global warming and we have to take immediate, powerful counter measures to prevent massive planet-wide consequences, warns the federal government in a chilling report just released today.

Growing up in California's San Joaquin Valley, we spent our summer days at the community swimming pool and on the soccer field. Playing outside was one of the joys of growing up in a region where the days are warm, the grass is green and the sky is clear.

These days, elementary schools in the valley fly color-coded flags to alert parents of "bad air days" when their children should be kept indoors. Childhood fun in the valley is not what it used to be.

Global warming, by definition, impacts the entire planet. But warming will likely have differing impacts on different areas. What does that mean for the climate of the American West?

A report prepared by the Rocky Mountain Climate Organization and the Natural Resources Defense Council last month boiled the answer down to three words: hotter and drier.

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