Saturday, October 24, 2009

Oct 24th, 2009

What an amazing day!
It was amazing to watch the sunrise this morning (while we were frantically packing stacks of folded quilt panels, flags, and posters) and know that it had been greeted in New Zealand many hours before by banners and prayers for this day.... 4500 action, in 179 countries... the images are incredible: They come not a day too soon. Congress starts debating the US's stance for Copenhagen and the Climate this Tuesday. Make sure they know you support 350!!!

Dolores Park this morning was sunny and beautiful, and many people stopped by to see the 11 giant panels stretched out on the hill. While we were there, another panel was sewn by hand, so we had 12 for the big rally at Justin Herman Plaza. I'm too tired to describe the whole day, but look for the story tomorrow. Here's our picture behind a polar bear and a little girl, in the Chronicle:

I haven't counted, but we have somewhere around 180 squares now, and many more on the way! We'll keep collecting them until we get to 350 (so make one if you haven't). I'll be taking the quilt to schools and community groups to talk about the atmosphere, global warming, and the stories of the quilt. f you'd like the quilt to visit your community, please be in touch!

Love and gratitude for everything that everyone has done for the quilt, and for this day!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


Its craziness around here!

Hello friends!

The whole living room here on the farm is covered with squares and panels! In the last few days we have received so many squares that my attempts at counting have been undermined by the priority of getting them all laid out and sewn together. The 350 Reasons quilt is looking beautiful! I think we have somewhere near 200 squares arriving or arrived now, with many people bringing their contributions to Dolores Park on Saturday to sewn them in there. 

This week, we've received a bunch of squares form children, most of them drawn with markers, and they are the best reason of all the reasons-- their pictures of Earth, surrounded by their handprints and hearts seem to be a theme and it open me up wider and wider to see them.

Hopefully many of you reading will be able to make it to the action this weekend. We'll be at Dolores Park from 9- 2:30 and then we're moving the quilt to Justin Herman Plaza where it will be part of the giant gathering of 350 actions there from 3-5.

After the 24th, we'll keep sewing in squares until we get 350, so please think of something you love about life and make a square if you haven't already. I will be traveling with the quilt to different schools and communities around the Bay to share about the stories in the quilt and our atmosphere, so if you know of anywhere that might be good place for that, let me know!

Three days left until the big day and it's going to be enormous-- there will be over 4000 actions in 170 countries, so make sure to go to one nearby to you. You can find all of them with an interactive map at:

Best to all of you in these last few days!

Friday, October 16, 2009

quilt update!

Hello friends!

The squares are really starting to come in now-- we get about 5 a day and they're coming from all over the world now, many people I don't know. I just got back from the first day of the Bioneers conference, where part of the quilt is on display at the youth area and the youth are making prayer flags to be incorporated into the quilt! Please come by and see it if you're at Bioneers!

All three of the large center panels that spell out 3-5-0 are complete. I'll post pictures soon!

Here is the statement of intent I wrote for the quilt earlier this week. I meant to post it yesterday for the blog action day on climate change, so here it is, one day late:

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.

Please contact America for further information: Or see our blog:

For the Earth,

America Worden

Monday, October 5, 2009

19 days to go!

Hi Everyone!

We have 19 days to go, which means two more weekends that you all can make your squares and still get them mailed in to America Worden PO BOX 781 Sonoma, CA, 95476. Get making them!!!

Here is a picture of last minute setting up for the lecture Bill McKibben gave at Sonoma Country Day school in Santa Rosa last Friday. It was so exciting and inspiring to hear about all of the amazing actions happening around the world Oct 24th. I'm feeling so grateful to be making the quilt and be part of the whole thing! Even more inspiring were the stories of why we're doing this-- glaciers at the headwaters of the world's great rivers melting, the spread of diseases born by mosquitos into places that have warmed up, and of course, the bark beetle damage here in our boreal forests. We have so much to work for!!!

You can see in the picture the big 3, the first of three center panels for the quilt, and one of the panels of everyone's squares. I'm on pins and needles (it's like my birthday for a month!) waiting for the squares to really start pouring in. Friday we got two more-- one from my aunt of the forest and water and her sewing machine, and one from Harmony at Harmony Arts who designed a piece of organic cotton fabric for the quilt (how cool is that?!) Harmony has also donated some beautiful fabric to us as have Grace in Sonoma and Violet in Santa Rosa-- we're using it all for youth at various schools and conferences coming up these last weeks to make squares. Thanks you ladies!

I also wanted to showcase the gorgeous square made by Sandy in Bolinas. This is the story of her square: " As the planet is in a state of transition caused and called by humans Global Warming, most of Earth's inhabitants are held in our hands by the choices we make on how we live here. One group of indigenous people the Kuna live on islands only a few inches above the sea level, in a country that has gone under water before. They are the caretakers of a priceless land called Kuna Yala in Panama. I try to walk lightly for their survival and all those who have always cared for the Earth and her infinite beauty." 

Please send your stories in, too! We're going to make little cards to pin on your squares in Spanish and English for the park!

Can't wait to see your square!!!