Meet some great Artists for Climate, plus we want you to read “Braiding Sweetgrass.” Community organization Acacias For All, and Climatewatch.Org.
Artists for Climate, “Braiding Sweetgrass,” Acacias for All, Climatewatch.Org
ROBIN WALL KIMMERER AND “BRAIDING SWEETGRASS”
We have great conversations with our listeners. In one, Jim from Texas, a listener we met through the Climate Reality Bootcamp hipped us to Braiding Sweetgrass, a book by gifted author Robin Wall Kimmerer. The full title of this wonderful read is Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teaching of Plants. It’s about the interdependence of people and the natural world, primarily the plant world. Here’s just a taste:
A mother, scientist, decorated professor, and enrolled member of the Citizen Potawatomi (Puh Tawa Tomi) Nation. Wall Kimmerer is also a SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor of Environmental Biology, and the founder and director of the Center for Native Peoples and the Environment.
In an interview with Believer Magazine, Wall Kimmerer discussed how the pandemic is helping reset our relationship with nature: “In the springtime, we were closing down and staying in our homes at the same time as the birds’ lives were burgeoning around us. As the pandemic came upon us, we began asking: Where am I going to get food? How are we going to go to the grocery store? Will my family be OK? Where can I go to be safe?
I thought, Dang, birds face that same kind of vulnerability every single day. Where is my food going to come from, because you people cut down the last place I know to get those berries? I’m worried that if I go out, I could die. Will my family be OK? That’s what it’s like to be a bluebird. The medicine we need comes with that ecological compassion. If we can see that the vulnerability we feel is the very vulnerability that we inflict on the natural world by our actions, then it’s worth it. That’s a powerful lesson to learn.”
Says the legendary Jane Goodall of Braiding Sweetgrass, “Robin Wall Kimmerer has written an extraordinary book, showing how the factual, objective approach of science can be enriched by the ancient knowledge of the indigenous people.”
CLIMATE CULTURE: ARTISTS FOR CLIMATE
Artists for Climate is an open call for digital illustrations, graphic design, lettering art and typography by TED Countdown, in collaboration with Fine Acts. Countdown is TED’s global initiative to champion and accelerate solutions to the climate crisis, turning ideas into action. Fine Acts is a global nonprofit creative studio for social impact, that embraces play, hope, and openness.
The goal of the Artists for Climate initiative is to bring awe-inspiring designs that depict a hopeful future around climate change, or that have a clear message around the urgency for actionable change. The Climate Collection of open-license art is meant to serve as an invaluable resource and tool for activists, grassroots organizations, nonprofits, and citizens to use in their communications and campaigns about climate change awareness.
The purpose of the open call — which launched July 1, 2021— was to build a unique collection of open-license art about climate change. The project received more than 2,000 submissions by 1,432 artists from 95 countries. The outstanding work of a total of 50 Selected Artists and 46 Finalists has been chosen to join The Climate Collection under an open license.
The artworks in the collection have been published online under a Creative Commons license and are available for anyone to use and adapt non-commercially, to help shift the global narrative of the climate crisis towards a brighter future.
Check out the collection by visiting artistsforclimate.org/climatecollection, or by clicking on the link in the Deeper Dive section at the bottom of this story at theclimate.org/episodes.
This one is for all the wonks out there. It’s a great organization called, Climate Watch. Climate Watch offers open data, visualizations and analysis to help policymakers, researchers and other stakeholders gather insights on countries’ climate progress.
It brings together dozens of datasets for the first time to let users analyze and compare the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) under the Paris Agreement, access historical emissions data, discover how countries can leverage their climate goals to achieve their sustainable development objectives, and use models to map new pathways to a lower carbon, prosperous future.
Why does Climate Watch matter to us? Well, data. Let’s say you want to start a conversation in your community about organizing to combat climate change. You’re pumped up and passionate, but you know that’s not enough. Your community wants to see the data. Just like Arby’s has the meats, Climate Watch has the data.
And the great thing is, expect in specific cases, data and visualizations on the website carry a Creative Commons which permits unrestricted reuse of Climate Watch content when proper attribution is provided. There are instructions on the website for how to properly attribute. Attribution is the action of ascribing a work or remark to a particular author, artist, or person.
This means you are able to download, share and adapt the data, maps, graphics, charts, and other representations of the data for non-commercial or commercial uses. I’ll be honest. Not all of the graphs and data are appealing to me. But those that are super fun and quite imaginative. In other words, there’s probably a dataset out there that’s attractive to you.
Oh, and one more thing, if you do use Climate Watch datasets and visualization models, you must not imply that Climate Watch, World Resources Institute, NDC Partnership or any other partner organizations endorse your use of the data.
DEEPER DIVE: ClimateWatch
CLIMATE CHANGE COMMUNITY: ACACIAS FOR ALL
Since 2012, Acacias for All is a social enterprise that works in the field with women producers in arid and semi-arid areas of Tunisia. As a social enterprise A4A has chosen to fight against desertification, poverty and gender inequality by planting trees adapted to the climates of arid and semi-arid zones, and by structuring agro-ecological sectors that allow partner farmers to live with dignity from an agricultural activity that generates income and at the same time contributes to restoring the environment!
What is agro-ecology and why does it matter to us? Agroecology is a way of designing production systems that rely on the functionalities offered by ecosystems. It amplifies them while aiming to reduce pressure on the environment (e.g. reduce greenhouse gas emissions, limit the use of synthetic fertilizers and phytosanitary products as much as possible, etc.) yet also preserve natural resources (water , energy, mineral elements…). In other words, making maximum use of nature as a factor of production while maintaining its capacity for renewal.
In other, other words, living within our means and working within the bounds of local nature.
In Tunisia, A4A designed a plantation model composed of acacias for hedge protection and the production of gum, arabic, moringa trees in intercropping for restoration, soil fixation and rapid income generation, in addition to crops and local and traditional vegetables and fruits.
By planting forest gardens with its producers, and by setting up international quality standards, fair trade and organic certification, and digital management tools from planting to marketing, A4A contributes to the restoration of ecosystems.
Also, A4A creates sustainable jobs for partner producers. Triple win!