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Bloggers unite on climate change

By Matthew Knight
  • Bloggers of the world unite in a day of discussion about climate change
  • Well over 15 million posts are expected on third annual Blog Action Day
  • Governments, charities, businesses, individuals posting their opinions
  • Thousands of bloggers have registered their participation in 144 countries

LONDON, England (CNN) -- It is being billed as the largest-ever social change event on the Web and one which its organizers believe will unite the digital world in a wider conversation about climate change.

The third annual Blog Action Day is bringing together thousands of bloggers to discuss the same issue on the same day.

It doesn't matter who you are, or where you are from, or, for that matter, what you usually blog about. All Blog Action Day wants you to do, for one day, is to write about climate change.

The event is being made possible by -- a social action blog network.

Robin Beck, the day's organizing director, told CNN: "I would say that 99 percent of our bloggers have never written about climate change before. I think there is a lot of power in people who usually don't write about this having conversations about a major issue like climate change."

The scale of involvement in the day has been impressive. So far, over 8,000 blogs have registered in 144 countries and organizers predict that there will be around 15 million readers.

The UK government is joining in, as is the United Nations Foundation. Numerous charities and businesses have all signed up, as well as some of the Web's most recognizable brands, like popular social media Web site Mashable and Google. And the Global Voices Web site -- a community of over 200 bloggers -- is helping promote the event in Africa, Latin America and Eastern Europe.

It is this breadth of take-up which is perhaps most encouraging for organizers.

If you have a quick scan through the "Who's Participating" page on the Blog Action Day Web site, you'll find the EarthTrends blog -- run by the World Resources Institute -- sitting alongside a blog by someone calling herself the "Crunchy Domestic Goddess."

Scroll through a few more pages and you'll stumble across UNICEF's UK-based youth network Tagd, perched just a few places above a blog of "random thoughts" called "Mandolin Craze."

Robin Beck believes this coming together of otherwise incongruous bedfellows under the umbrella of climate change is a unique strength of the event. "It gives people who write about niche topics the chance to confront an issue of global importance with others around the world," Beck said.

But for bloggers in places like the Philippines, it is not so much niche topics, but local issues that people are keen to share with the rest of the world. The recent typhoons -- Ketsana and Parma -- and subsequent landslides have killed an estimated 600 people in Philippines and thousands across Southeast Asia.

With these tragic events still very fresh in theirs mind, many of the country's blogging community are keen to voice their concerns about climate change on Blog Action Day.

Anthony Cruz is a member of Bloggers' Kapihan -- a blogging network where young Filipinos share their thoughts on all topics.

Cruz told CNN: "We would like Filipinos to discuss their first-hand experiences of climate change, especially all the things that have happened over the past few weeks. We have never experienced anything like this."

Victor Villanueva is another member of the Bloggers' Kapihan network. On his blog -- -- the 21-year-old law student from the Philippines' capital Manila has published his thoughts on the recent typhoons praising the volunteers who have and still are helping the relief efforts.

Cruz has been blogging since 2002 and he's expecting several blog posts reporting on the recent destruction of the environment.

"We want our government to make changes. We were very disappointed with their response to the recent disaster with the typhoons. It's one of the reasons why so many people died," he said.

Cruz is hopeful that the blogs will help focus attention on the upcoming climate talks in Copenhagen.

"We want Philippines to be able to contribute to the discussions in Copenhagen," he said.

Cruz and his fellow bloggers have also issued a challenge to his country's political leaders, urging them to post blogs explaining how they propose to tackle climate change in Philippines.

Beck's ambitions for the day are more straightforward. "For me," he said, "the best possible result would be spreading the conversation to places where it is never held."