First in a new series! Climate change is so huge that it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and think that no one person can change anything. Yet individuals can and do make a difference. Each person we’ll meet in this series is ushering change forward in some way appropriate to them. So borrow inspiration from their stories, then do what is yours to do—what you enjoy!—to help end climate change.
A Twitter find
I glimpsed a photo of a blanket crocheted in blues and pinks and reds and thought, “Oh, goody, something artistic to look at!” It was a refreshing change. In these days of political turmoil, scanning Twitter can feel like being swallowed by crocodiles.
But then I saw the hashtag #climatechange.
What was going on here?
A blanket for climate change education
The crochet artist turned out to be Katie Stumpf, who created a blanket to illustrate climate change. Katie needed this blanket because she is also a biology professor, and she was looking for easy-to-grasp ways of teaching nonmajors about how the planet is warming. A screenshot of her Facebook post ended up on Twitter, where I ran across it a few days ago.
As Katie explains in her post, each row of the blanket shows the temperature for one year. From the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), she gathered information on the mean temperature for the years 1880 through 2016. Her spreadsheet is available here and acts as the crochet pattern as well. White represents the historical average temperature, with blue rows representing cooler years and pinks and reds warmer ones.
The progression is startlingly clear. The temperature moves consistently from cooler to hotter. As Katie explains, she had to come up with a new color (purple) for 2016 because it passed a new temperature threshold.
Doing what you enjoy
I’ve never met Katie, but I think this is one of the coolest things I’ve seen. She created a comfy blanket by combining two activities she enjoys—crocheting and geeking out on numbers. Now she can use the piece in another arena she enjoys—teaching.
It’s a good reminder that every person is needed to raise climate awareness. If you’re an artist, you’re needed. If you crochet, you’re needed. Teachers are needed, crafters are needed, geeks are needed. You too can address global warming. Right from where you are.
What are you doing to address climate change? Add your story in the comments below!