Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Friday, October 16, 2009
Statement of intent for the 350 Reasons Quilt
Humanity has never faced a challenge as enormous as climate change. For the first time ever in our history and pre-history, our choices are affecting the entire planet. And unlike other collapses, we are all in this one together. We have, right now, in our lifetimes, a quickly shrinking window of time to evolve into an entirely different relationship with each other and the planet.
The movement that is growing to meet this challenge now is astounding in its breadth and possibility. To begin with, on Oct 24th, over 2000 actions will take place in nearly every country in the world-- the largest day of action for the environment in history, and possibly the largest global demonstration of solidarity around one thing-- the number 350-- ever.
350 is the safe upper limit for carbon dioxide in our atmosphere (in parts per million). For most of human civilization-- from neanderthals right up until 200 years ago-- Earth’s atmosphere has stayed at roughly 275 parts per million, carefully balanced by the giant ecosystems of our planet. In just 200 years, we have pushed that number up to its current level of 390 parts per million carbon dioxide which continues to rise by 2 every year. Earth is like a giant body--like us, she stays relatively healthy even under stress until that day when too little sleep, too little nutrients, poor water, viruses, whatever, combine to push us the whole organism over the edge.
That happened dramatically two years ago in the summer of 2007 when 25 percent of the ice that has been locked up in the arctic for millions of years melted in just under 3 months. Scientists who have been forecasting and warning us about climate change were shocked. We had past the buffer of Earth’s resiliency. James Hansen and his team at NASA published their report a few months later, stating: "If humanity wishes to preserve a planet similar to that on which civilization developed and to which life on Earth is adapted, paleoclimate evidence and ongoing climate change suggest that CO2 will need to be reduced from its current 385 ppm to at most 350 ppm." That is such strong language for a peer reviewed paper.
The good news is, we know exactly what we have to do. We have to get back down below 350 parts per million CO2 and we have to do it fast. Because of the buffer of Earth’s complexity and resilience to stressors, global warming has a 30 year time lag. In other words, the changes we are experiencing now are the result of carbon levels in the atmosphere 30 years ago, in 1979. The results of the carbon we’ve now loaded into the air will be felt by us and our children 30 years from now. So no matter what, global warming will get worse before it gets better. But if it’s going to get better at all, we have to act immediately.
I have great hope for this challenge because it unites us all within one common need and the potential for unprecedented cooperation and creativity between nations and communities is huge. Climate change is a greater threat than any nation could hope to be-- it is greater than our conflicts, greater than the enormous gap between wealthy and poor, greater than our prejudices against each other. We already have the technology, the science is done. We only lack the political and individual will to do whatever it takes.
The day of action on Oct 24th is meant to lift this understanding-- what 350 means, its challenge and its promise, into the collective imagination of humanity so that our creativity and resolve is strengthened and mobilized.
I designed the 350 Reasons Quilt, an open community art project, to inspire and inform people about 350. I chose a quilt because in ecology, the word “patchwork” refers to the fragmentation of whole ecosystems by roads, developments, logging, mining, etc.... Although we do not use that term for human communities, we could look at the divisions and loss of connection between religious, economic, political, cultural, racial, gender and other groups in our lives as patchworking, too. Quilts create something beautiful and useful out of fragments. It is my hope that sewing all of the pieces of the 350 Reasons quilt together creates a kind of whole that is also a prayer for connection and for collaboration as we face climate change.
The 350 Reasons Quilt is meant to have 350 squares, each of something someone loves about life on Earth. Preschoolers, farmers, grandmothers, microsoft engineers, poets, teachers, monks and teens are all participating. We have squares of bicycles, sewing machines, whooping cranes, Bach’s cello suite in D, rain, beloved grandchildren, great green macaws, breezes, oceans, and ice, to name just a few. The care that has gone into each square is beautiful in itself, and all together, all of the beloved pieces are truly moving. At the center of the quilt are three giant panels that spell out 3-5-0, the challenge we are rising to meet with our love.
The quilt will be displayed Oct 24th in Spanish and English at Dolores Park from 9- 2:30 and then at Justin Herman Plaza from 3-5. Please come walk through it and be inspired! After the 24th, I will continue gathering and sewing in squares, and begin taking the quilt around to schools and communities to talk about the atmosphere, global warming, and 350.
If you haven’t yet, please contribute a square of something you love about life! Squares should be 2X2 feet, with an extra inch all around for sewing, and they can be any form of art on fabric. When you’re done, please mail them to: America Worden, PO BOX 781, Sonoma, CA, 95476.
For the Earth,
Monday, October 5, 2009
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Monday, September 28, 2009
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Monday, September 21, 2009
Sunday, September 13, 2009
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
We're on facebook: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=142511070752&ref=mf
And I've sent out an email for mass circulation, so circulate away! The best way to participate, we're discovering, is to have a party or gathering and make squares together! For more info on making a square, see the post "How To Make a Square". GO NUTS! The whole point is to get as many people involved as possible-- so show your square to everyone! Tell them what you're making it for and why. And if you email us a picture, we'll put it on the blog!
Sunday, August 23, 2009
1. Please put your name on it if you want, and name the square (for example "Tiger" or "My Grandson")
2. If you would like to attach the story of your square (why you made what you made, your hopes for the future, etc) please do that on a piece of paper attached with a stitch or paperclip so it can be removed. We'll include it in this blog with a picture of your square unless you ask us not to.
3. Bring it in person to the action on October 24th (in San Francisco, location, TBA) or mail it to: America Worden PO BOX 781, Sonoma, CA, 95476
To help everyone out, if you have the time and know other people who are participating (and hopefully lots of people you know are!) you could sew (not expertly, just firmly) a few squares to each other before you bring them on the 24th or mail them in. We're going to be making panels that are 8 feet X 8 feet wide (so 8 big squares, or 16 small squares, or some combination of them) to lay out the whole quilt so that people can walk between these panels and see all 350 beloved reasons. I'm going to post diagrams very soon to illustrate, or feel free to email)
Think of something you really love about life on Earth. It could be an animal, a place, a person (a child, grandchild, someone from six generations in the future), a symphony, a piece of art or architecture, a book, an iceberg, a language, a particular plant or tree... something that is unique to Earth that you want to continue into the future. Your square of the quilt will be a tribute to that beloved entity.
Create your square however you like (you could even write on an old sheet with a sharpie) on a piece of non-stretchy, easy to sew cloth (like an old sheet, a piece of painter's canvas, etc.). The dimensions of the decorated part can be two different sizes, either:
2 feet X 4 feet (that's 24 inches X 48 inches, 60.96 centimeters X 121.92 centimeters) PLEASE ADD AN *EXTRA* INCH ALL AROUND for sewing the pieces together.
2 feet X 2 feet (24 X 24 inches, 60.96 X 60.96 centimeters) WITH AN *EXTRA* INCH ALL AROUND.
Please leave a little extra room (a few centimeters or an inch) on all sides of the decoration for easy sewing together.
As noted above, the square should be made out of non-stretchy cloth. Please consider the process of piecing all of the squares together and refrain from using any fabric that is particularly fragile or fussy to sew. When it is finished, it should also be foldable.
Other than that, it's up to you what you do with the fabric! It doesn't have to be a recognizable or even beautiful image, just something that is important to you. It doesn't even have to be an image, it could be a poem or a prayer or a piece of writing for or about your subject. (It would be great for the quilt as a whole piece of art if your square is colorful, but again, its up to you.)
Here are some ideas:
* Paint on it with waterproof paint
* Draw or write on it with permanent markers
* Use dyes
* Spray paint or stencil on it
* Batik your square
* Make a big cut out stamp out of piece of cardboard and stamp it onto your square
* Quilt it the traditional way, by sewing pieces of fabric together to make a pattern
* Make a collage (you can attach anything you want to it as long as it's durable and not heavy, for example, no rocks, large pieces of metal, etc)
* Sew your subject onto your square in cool beads or buttons
* Have a photo printed on it
* Silkscreen your square
* Any and all creative possibilities you want to share in a comment to this post!
Tell all of your friends to make a square, too!
Please see the post What To Do With Your Finished Square for next steps...
Last year, the world's leading climate scientists determined that the maximum carbon dioxide levels Earth's atmosphere can hold without causing huge changes in the climate and ecosystems of our planet is 350 parts per million. These are the words of James Hansen of NASA:
"If humanity wishes to preserve a planet similar to that on which civilization developed and to which life on Earth is adapted, paleoclimate evidence and ongoing climate change suggest that CO2 will need to be reduced from its current 385 ppm to at most 350 ppm." (Target Atmospheric CO2: Where Should Humanity Aim?, 2008)
Right now, Earth's atmosphere contains 390 parts per million, and we are just beginning to really see the effects of this overload in unusual seasons, huge storms, the melting of the polar ice, etc....
This December in Copenhagen our world's leaders are meeting to reach an agreement on dealing with the global climate crisis together. International cooperation and large scale legislation is the most important thing we can work toward to get carbon back down below 350. The 350 Reasons Quilt is part of a global day of action to raise awareness about the number 350, the most important number on Earth, and to create support for this limit throughout the human community. On October 24th, 2009, there will be actions all over the world (in 100 countries and counting) to move 350 into the our collective awareness (check out http://www.350.org for tons of information). We're going to be sewing together and displaying the quilt that day in San Francisco at a location that we're still determining. Please come!
Each panel of the quilt is a tribute to something that the person who made it loves about life on Earth. All sewn together, the quilt will represent 350 reasons we dedicate ourselves to keeping Earth's atmosphere below 350.
Please participate! You can participate in this project by:
-coming to sew the quilt together
-spreading the word about 350, 350.org, or the quilt
-making a panel of something you love about life (It's EASY- check out the post How to Make a Square for more details.)
-creating and registering your own action for October 24th (check out http://www.350.org/invitation)
As the panels are completed and sewn together, we'll be posting them on this site with any explanation/description/caption or dedication the panel's maker includes.
Spread the word!