Get Together

Knitters banding together for climate ūüß∂The Tempestry Project

Episode Summary

An interview with Justin Connelly and Emily McNeil of Tempestry Project hosted by Mia Quagliarello. ‚ÄúTempestries‚ÄĚ are temperature data visualized in scarves, wall hangings and other items. The colors and patterns are not random but a shared code among ‚Äúcraftivists.‚ÄĚ The Tempestry Project offers a space to learn about climate change through knitting these tangible, relatable and beautiful pieces. We spoke with Justin and Emily about the intergenerational community of people that formed around their colorful, knitting framework for climate change.

Episode Notes

‚ÄúEvery piece that's knit is 20 to 30 hours of somebody thinking about climate. And then every person who sees that piece thinks about it and hopefully talks about it...It's activism, but sort of a cozy activism, a ‚Äúcraftivism,‚ÄĚ that's not too threatening to people and permeates conversations and dialogue about climate change.‚ÄĚ - Justin Connelly and Emily McNeil¬†

Knitters have been doing temperature knitting for a long time--checking their thermometer on their porch every day, writing down the information, and turning data into patterns for a particular year or time period. But today there is a growing movement of turning these crafts into political statements. Justin Connelly, Emily McNeil, and their co-founder Marissa Connelly have codified this practice into a shared framework and language that cohesively illustrates the history of climate change. 

They call their efforts the Tempesty Project. The project started in 2017 as a DIY guide for activists and knitters to extract and preserve environmental data in the form of scarves and wall hangings. Local knitters were eager to get involved in the project but not as excited about extracting the data. So, Justin, Emily, and Marissa created a kit with data and let the knitters do their knitting. 

Two-thousand people have purchased the kits and are spreading the story about climate change with colors. Groups in local churches, classrooms, college campuses and towns have weaved years of history, some as far back as the late 1800s which is on display at the Philadelphia Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education. 

By banding together, what would have been an isolated experience of climate transforms into a collective language for activism and environmental change. 

ūüĎčūüŹĽCheck out the work of the Tempesty Project at www.tempestryproject.com/

‚ú®Say hi to our correspondent, Mia Quagliarello

This podcast was created by the team at People & Company. 

We published GET TOGETHERūüďô, a handbook on community-building.¬†

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Hit subscribeūüéô and head over to our website to learn about the work we do with passionate, community-centered organizations.

Episode Transcription

Note: This transcript is automatically generated, and there may be some errors.

00:06

Speaker 1: Welcome to get together.

00:11

Speaker 2: Our show about ordinary people who have built extraordinary communities. I'm your host, Bailey Richardson. I'm a partner at people and company and co author of get together how to build a community with your people. And I'm Mia. get together a correspondent and the head of curation and community at Flipboard and the digital community manager for burning man project. Each episode of this podcast, we interview everyday people who have built communities about just how they did it. How did they get the first people to show up? How did they grow to hundreds, thousands, more members today we're talking to Justin Connolly and Emily McNeil of the Tempest tree project. Nia, tell me, why were you so excited to interview Justin and Emily? Well, at first I was just really attracted to the pretty textiles that were the results of their Tempest tree kits. But then I joined many others who quickly saw that these colors and patterns, they aren't random.

01:03

Speaker 2: This is temperature data visualize in wall, hanging scarves and other items. It turns out this community offers an affordable, fun and educational way to learn more about climate change and also to take action by being a craft of just temp history. Didn't invent temperature, nutty, but they are getting a lot of attention now for being a popular touch and the movement that turns CRAs into political statements. They recognize the vast scale of conversation around climate change, and they're turning it into something tangible, relatable, and beautiful. What's one thing you learned from our conversation today with Justin and Emily tapestry is a great example of how a community can be really powerful, even more powerful as a collective unit. By participating in this group, you'll actually start to see the forest through the trees. Each person does their own thing with a kit, but together the pieces form a history of how the temperature of a place changes over time.

01:52

Speaker 2: And that's super powerful. Anyone who has even the slightest doubt about climate change, can't deny what's laid out in colors, in something they can touch right there in front of their face. Justin and Emily told me a story about a woman who came into Emily's shop, but forgotten that 50 years ago, she used to be able to ice skate in her town. But then when she saw the work of the temporary community displayed in the store, she experienced like a visceral realization about why kids today can no longer skate there because it doesn't get cold enough for the lakes to freeze. She could see it right there and the colors of the tapestries. So it's so great to be talking to the folks behind the Tempest tree project. Hi, how are you guys doing good. Thank you. So can you tell me a little bit about who you are and what motivated you to start the temporary project?

02:38

Speaker 2: So we started back in early 2017 and it sort of revolved around the inauguration of the presidential inauguration at the time. And we were really concerned about all these stories. We'd been reading about environmental data being threatened by the new administration concerns. That information would be removed from online data sources from NOAA, from other government websites. And we'd read about hackers who were actually downloading a lot of this information to save in case it got disappeared. And we were joking one night about other ways to save this data. I run a knit shop here in Anacortes, and we were talking about old tapestries and how they were made to tell stories and record data for centuries and centuries. So we kind of joked about that and then we thought we would really do it. And so it sort of started out of that. And then I got some knitters involved to help us start knitting samples. We had to come up with colors and with temperature ranges. And that was sort of the beginning. It took a couple months to do that.

03:43

Speaker 3: Yeah, there's, there's a lot of behind the scenes planning before the first piece was ever made.

03:47

Speaker 2: How did you come up with the colors and how does it work? What's the end to end way that you can be part of a Tempest project?

03:54

Speaker 3: Well, so initially when we were, when we came up with the idea and started laying out the colors, we were trying to select like, w we don't want costs to be a barrier to entry to people. Like we want everybody who wants to, to be able to participate. So we chose really inexpensive yarn from a supplier that we thought was pretty consistent in their colorways. That would keep the same color for years at a time that has since proven not the case, but at first we were pretty confident with them. And so we picked it up. Plus they had a lot of colors in this one particular yarn. So they had like a hundred colors or something in that.

04:26

Speaker 2: Yeah, there are tons of yarn companies out there, but we needed one that had enough colors to do a full sort of color temperature spectrum. So we use nitpicks yarn for now, and they fit the bill as far as being affordable, being consistent. They're a huge online company, so everyone can order yarn from them. And our original idea was that we would just sort of come up with a plan and then everyone would buy their own urine and get their own data. Sort of, we wanted to just do a big, do it yourself project so that everyone could do it on their own

04:59

Speaker 3: Guidelines for gathering data and step by step instructions for how to download it. And I created spreadsheets to help process it. You can just copy and paste the data into, and then it would collate all the colors and temperatures that you would.

05:12

Speaker 2: And that's actually still information that's online for free through our website, but we finally came up with a color spectrum and it was funny. We live up in Northwest Washington, as you know, and our temperatures are very mild here, possibly even more so than down in California, San Francisco. I'm not sure, but our original spectrum only went from zero degrees to a hundred degrees. And then we realized that that really limited other parts of the world. And so we ended up extending it from negative 30 degrees and colder to 120 degrees in warmer so that we could do Alaska and ARCA and death Valley death Valley, the middle East, we've done pieces for Baghdad. So we put all that information online and just sort of thought people do it on their own and would post pictures of it on their own Facebook and Instagram feeds and that sort of thing.

06:03

Speaker 2: And then when we got some of our knitters here in our town involved, they only wanted to knit and didn't want to do all the background work. They didn't want to get their own data or buy their own yarn and basically said, can you make a kit for us? And we decided we could probably do that. And so I started making these kits for people, as well as still having all of the, do it yourself information as well. And it kind of took off from there. Yeah. And how did, how does, I'm curious about how the gradations work, so you just mentioned like a huge range of temperatures. Is there a color match per temperature? Like how did you sort of scale that?

06:38

Speaker 3: Yeah, so we use the original temperature is used daily high temperatures, and it's a five degree range per color. So any given color we'll have a fire degree, like 55, 56 to 60 degree will be it's, you know, any temperatures in there we'll get that color

06:54

Speaker 2: And block is our coldest color. So anything colder than negative 30 degrees is black. And then it goes into darker purples and then into blues and then into greens and then yellows oranges, and then reds and ends with a really dark burgundy, which is 120 degrees in hotter. So it's sort of an intuitive, you know, people look at these pieces and sort of get right away that the cooler colors are the cooler temperatures and the darker, the red, the hotter that day. I'd love to hear about like the first time that you created one of these scars. Like, were you surprised at how, how pretty it was? Like, what were you to be? Yeah, I remember that first one and we just kind of stared at it and were amazed at how, just how beautiful and how immediately recognizable it is. As soon as you understand that it's climate.

07:46

Speaker 2: It totally makes sense. You know, it starts in January at the bottom with the cooler colors and goes into the middle of the year for the warmer colors and then cools down again. And it's just kind of this immediate visceral recognition. And we've gotten that from a lot of people now, even before they know what it is, there are beautiful pieces. And then as soon as they know what it represents, they just immediately understand it's seasonal, it's temperature, it's changing all the time. So that first one was really sort of a beautiful experience. And then once you get a collection of them for one place going back, historically, it's just this really beautiful representation of changing temperatures for one place it's been a year. Yeah. I was gonna ask about that. Like how over time have the scarves gotten a lot redder in certain places, much more than others and not necessarily each newer year being probably no more red than older years, but once you got a collection, you really can start to see when you compare the more recent, you know, 10 or 15 of them to older, older years, you know,

08:51

Speaker 3: Isn't so much the high temperatures in this, in the middle of the summer warmer, but you will see like a longer spring. Like there's just less winter, like the yellows and greens of spring bleed into the winter months, a lot more on both ends. And so you just have a lot longer sort of summer period.

09:08

Speaker 2: Yeah. Sort of a summer spread throughout the calendar.

09:11

Speaker 3: Winter's sort of dwindle. And then like in Alaska, the high jumper, we did a 1925 in 2010 and 2016, all for Beryl, Alaska, Quebec, Alaska, and the summer temperatures are almost the same, like as far as the high temperature for each year, but the winter temperatures are drastically different. Like 1925 had 23 or 24 days of black under native 30 and 2010 had one day of black and 2016 had noticed a black kid was get that cold.

09:46

Speaker 2: Yeah. And then they had a couple of participants in Southern California do multiple years for their particular towns. And that those tend to be quite drastically warmer as well. And even in our area, they're a little bit warmer now there's just in others, the less winter longer summers, not necessarily hotter summers every year, but longer summers. Yeah. So how big is this community? How many people are taking part and how do they connect? Oh gosh, we were just calculating the other day. We've sold over 2000 kits now as of the last month or so starting in 2017 to now those are just people who've bought kits. So we don't really know the extent of people doing it. You know, the do it yourself way. We were just looking at, I mean, we have a Facebook group that's pretty active and we have about 1100 people in that group and on a Facebook page with about 2000 followers at this point.

10:44

Speaker 2: But really the action is in the group. You know, we post things on the Facebook page, more climate articles and some pictures of our kits and things, but the group is just wonderful. People share the projects they're doing and the history and stories behind them. And that we started relatively early on, I think, in the fall of 2017. And that's just grown a lot. And I know people know we haven't met that many people in the group, but I know people in different areas have met and gotten together to work on temporaries together. We'll send us pictures and let us know. And it's just been really amazing to see these people from all over the country, getting involved in the group and sharing their work. I saw a picture in the New York times of people needing together. Do people connect in real life before that is before all this crazy stuff right now, unfortunately, I keep talking about doing a zoom knitting group with it and just haven't done it yet somehow.

11:38

Speaker 2: Yeah. So we started having a temp history in it together once a month here in Anacortes with just some of our local knitters. And that was a lot of fun that lasted about a year or so, but then they all finished their temp histories and, you know, moved on to other things at that point. But I think local groups have gotten together. There's a group in Philadelphia that has done a beautiful collection there and that's on display permanently at the school center for environmental education. And they were having like monthly get togethers in the making of their collection, which goes back to the late 18 hundreds. It's a really amazing collection and there've been other sort of town. Whoops. And there's actually a dorm in Philadelphia at university of Pennsylvania. That's doing their own collection. So yeah,

12:24

Speaker 3: Church group in Newton, Kansas is working on, it's just sort of, yeah.

12:29

Speaker 2: A couple of have been working together to do their own collections and yeah. So definitely in person as well as online and are they always scarves or are people kind of doing blankets and other things? So mostly they're actually wall hangings. So they've been exhibited in a couple of different museums and there was actually a tapestry workshop at Philadelphia museum of art last winter, which we were absolutely thrilled about, even though we weren't there. And that was part of the Philadelphia collection. So mostly wall hangings. I think some people do make them as scarves and we do offer now we have two different kinds of tapestry kits and the ones we've been talking about are the original Tempest GS. And those are mostly wall hangings, but then we have our new normal temp histories and we do offer a scarf size in that too. So people can wear their climate data out into the world. And we know people have been doing that as well.

13:23

Speaker 3: We've also had people make blankets, like one lady made a blanket for her family's immigration date. We got data from JFK airport where they came to the country and we had one woman wove baskets or Tempest trees, which is really neat.

13:39

Speaker 2: That was very cool. She did a little collection of 12 minutes or baskets each one with a month's worth of data. Why do you think people are attracted to this project? You know, it's such a personal experience of climate and, you know, knitters have been doing temperature knitting for a long time. It's sort of a common now they'll do a temperature blanket for a particular year. Often the current year they'll tuck their thermometer on their porch every day and write down the information and then catch up as they have time to do it. And so we sort of took that idea of an individual project and turned it into a larger collaborative project. And I think there's a real sense of community in taking these individual experiences and making them bigger

14:24

Speaker 3: And sharable, like it's one thing about the temperature blankets or not temperature knitting in the past is that everybody sort of comes up with their own temperature, ranges and color schemes and there's no uniform framework. So that one person looking at another person's can immediately compare the two. And that's sort of what we set out to do was create a shared framework that would be globally applicable, that everybody can kind of their own pieces too. And just make everything a little more cohesive.

14:56

Speaker 2: Have you heard about any kind of realization is that people have had that temperature knitters have had about how we should be treating the planet or acting differently based on this knitting? Yes, but more in an emotional sense, if that makes sense, we've had stories and we've experienced this ourselves of knitting through these pieces and almost crying as you're knitting them, as you realize what's happening. And what's been happening, you know, in our own lifetimes and in our own histories, our own backyards. I don't know how much action from that. Although they have been used, especially our new normal Tempest trees. I don't know if you saw those on the website at all, but our new normal temp histories, each one represents over a century of data in one piece, going back to the late 18 hundreds and then through the present. And those especially are being used as educational tools in classrooms. We've had science teachers use them in their classrooms. We've had them statistics, teachers, environmental studies, professors use them. In fact, there's one woman back in New York who is putting together a class for the fall based around a temporary project for their area. So I would say that they've become very educational as well as an emotional connection to our climate.

16:17

Speaker 3: And we've also sent them to political representatives.

16:21

Speaker 2: That's right there on display in a couple of government offices as we speak, which has been really neat, which ones do you know? We sent one to representative Bayer in DC and we have one in our state representatives, our state senator's office here in Olympia in Washington. I don't remember the name of the participant who sent one to her Senator from Maine. I think anyway, they they'd been sent in to a couple of different politicians for sure, and have shown up at climate marches and rallies and that sort of thing

16:55

Speaker 3: Them at all of the rallies and marches that we participate in as banners on big tall posts, sort of like medieval war banners,

17:04

Speaker 2: We're going to be at several different earth day events, but Alaska, those did not happen. What rules do you have for your community? We do ask that everyone use our color and temperature system. You know, some people want to come in and pick their own colors and pick their own yarns. And we do request that you use the same colors that we're doing. Cause the whole point of it is to make, you know, to make this collaborative mosaic where you can compare each piece to all the other pieces. And really that's kind of the only rule. That'd be nice.

17:38

Speaker 3: Yeah. We had one a troll come in, try to join the group. And we exited that pretty quickly.

17:47

Speaker 2: And you know, funding is always a question for our listeners. So how do you fund your community? Are you able to just do it through the selling of the kits or do you have other means mostly it's been through the kids. We have done a few fundraisers. We were invited to participate in a climate art exhibit in New York city a couple of years ago. So we did a GoFundMe campaign for that, which was amazing. The three of us were able to go attend this exhibit and bring our Tempus trees with us and meet other climate artists. So that was really great. And then we were doing a go-fund me earlier this year to help support the national parks Tempest free collection. And we're working on getting a, a photography book published for that. So we're doing a fundraiser to raise money for that book publication. That's sort of on hold at the moment as people have bigger fish to fry these days, but we're hoping to get back to that later this summer as well, but mostly it's kit sales. And again, all of the information is free, so people can start their own projects even without having to spend much money to get going. So that's about it for money, I think.

18:58

Speaker 3: Yeah, we've got, I have a knitting notion that I invented a few years ago. It also is now in larger distribution and goes to support our temporary work as well. Helps pay the rent too.

19:12

Speaker 2: Is your community growing and getting some good publicity? I know we have, we have that amazing New York times article in February and it's grown quite a bit. That was a big event for us, for sure. So it slowed down a lot at the moment. I think people are pinching their pennies and worried about the economy. And so right now it's, it's a bit slow, but I think it'll pick up again as well. And where do you want to take that growth? Like what are some of your ambitions for the future to have an earth day next year, where we can actually be present and do things that would be amazing right now we're working on the beginning of developing our own line of yarn for the project so that we're not dependent on this other company to have the colors we need when we need them. So we're just in the beginning phases of that. I'm talking with a dying company in Philadelphia and that's sort of the immediate, next thing on our plate right now.

20:09

Speaker 3: Yeah. We w we want to get to a point where we have sort of a loanable library of Tempest trees, where somebody can say, Hey, I'm doing this event for my school, or, Hey, I'm doing this event for earth day. Think you have some pieces that you can send us, or do you have pieces local to my area, like knitters that I can contact that kind of thing

20:27

Speaker 2: That actually was starting to happen in March. We were about, we're already to send out a couple of Tempest trees to a high school climate organization in Chicago, and they were going to borrow some for their event that day. And then it got canceled and was put on hold, but we'd love. I worked for 15 years in the library. So the idea having a Tempest free library is very appealing. What has running the Tempest tree project taught you about community? You were just thinking about that the other day, we kind of fell into it. You know, we had had this in person, knitting group here in Anacortes, and that was sort of as far as I thought, the community would develop back in the early days. And then it really took off again through Facebook and Instagram. And it's become such an amazingly warm group pun intended.

21:21

Speaker 2: Yes, pun intended, but we haven't met that many people through the group yet, but we had, you know, one woman from California met us through the Facebook group and as a climate activist and educator herself. And she actually came up from California to attend our very first exhibit here in Anacortes and ended up moving up here. And so she's become part of our in person, community based on media and online through this shared interest. And we've had a couple other things like that when we were in New York, we met a woman in the group who came down to the city from upstate to meet us and visit the climate exhibit that we were part of there. So, yeah, it's just been amazing to have this crossover between online and real life and this back and forth, and just this welcoming, warmth from people.

22:11

Speaker 3: Yeah. It's been a very fun community watching it grow and sort of getting the input and kind of what, what it means to all these different people around the world. I think our, our group attracts our projects, certainly attracts a lot of teachers and educators in general and science minded people, but also knitters and, and sort of a crossroads of a lot of different disciplines, which is really neat to see all these people coming together

22:36

Speaker 2: To what do you attribute the warmth of the community? I think fiber people in general are a pretty cozy bunch. I've discovered working through the yard and shop. And so I think that's part of it, but I think also it's sort of intergenerational, you know, we have grandmothers buying kits to use to teach their grandchildren how to knit. And we have, you know, college students buying kids to make their own collections. And it's just this very intergenerational, a welcoming group of people and we're both pretty shy. So I think we've been, as you may have noticed. So I think we're both, at least I am pretty amazed at how it's grown, despite us being in spite of ourselves. Yeah. I'd love to talk about the generational aspect. I have a 13 year old son who is a knitter. He's been super inspired by Greta Timberg.

23:27

Speaker 2: And I'm wondering if you've seen sort of an influx of interest from generation Z thanks to Gretta and their awareness that maybe other generations didn't have as intensely about the environment. I think absolutely. There has been been in the larger climate world. I don't know so much about in the knitting world, although I think that likely is true as well. You know, the grandmother that I was referring to who bought kits for her granddaughter and her to knit together during quarantine, actually it's her granddaughter, who is the climate activist and brought her grandmother into it. And then her grandmother brought the knitting to it. So that was just a really beautiful sharing of interests for them. We live in a town that's largely retirement age, so we don't have too many younger people coming into our yarn shop for example. But I know that a lot of our customers are younger in their twenties and thirties and a few high school kids. I think not as many as I'd like as of yet, but

24:31

Speaker 4: When we were out at the strike for climate marches, supporting our high school, local high school students and like last fall, which was pretty fun. And they took an interest in what they were seeing there. And then we had the student from the Chicago area, high school reach out to us, and that would have been interesting to see where that went, had earth day not been canceled

24:52

Speaker 2: Well, and that was interesting cause I think it was his environmental science teacher who referred him to us to see if they could borrow some Tempest trees for their climate exhibit. And he just seemed delighted about it. I don't think he himself was a knitter yet. And there's a Boston college student. Who's working on an article about the project and he's probably 22 or so, and he's a knitter. So he was really interested in doing one himself eventually. Yeah. Have you heard from any climate skeptics who started a project and maybe change their perspective on the future? We did an, I don't remember who it was, but we have this story and it was just such an amazing moment at our very first exhibit here in Anacortes. A couple of years ago, a woman came in who was in her seventies and she is, I don't know if she's an outright climate change denier, but certainly wasn't giving that much focus and doesn't think, didn't think it was that big a deal.

25:52

Speaker 2: And so she spent like half an hour walking up and down our row of Tempest trees. And we had them going back to the eight to the 1940s for our particular area. And she had grown up here and has lived here her entire life. And she walked down the wall. So the older ones about when she was a kid and notice that they got a lot colder back then, and she just kind of stood there and stared at them for awhile and finally told us that she used to go ice skating around here. And she had forgotten that you could do that 50 years ago. And so it was just this really visceral moment for her of realizing that the kids now don't go ice skating because the lakes don't freeze. And that was just a very specific moment for her.

26:36

Speaker 2: Yeah. You can't deny it when you see the colors right there in front of your face. Right. And so connected to your own story. I, that was it for her was you sort of forget things from a newer kid, but the color of it just brought it back for her. What was the biggest challenge that you faced in running the Tempest tree project? Probably the government shut down. If we get all of our data from NOAA and the NOAA databases were taken offline during the federal government shutdown last year. And so we were out of luck for what was it, six or seven weeks during what's usually our busiest time of year. A lot of people start thinking about temperature projects in December and January, you know, around the new year, every year. And so we would have been very busy, but we just couldn't get any data. And we did look at data from some other places, but one of the things we want for the project is using a consistent source for everything just for consistency sake. So we ended up just putting everything on hold until Noah was back online. That was so frustrating because it was just completely out of our hands. We couldn't do anything about it. So,

27:49

Speaker 4: And the, the other only other comparable time is now where our, our yarn supply has been basically shut off. So we're sort of trying to make as many kids as we have the earned foreigner inventory, but we're quickly dwindling out of our supply.

28:04

Speaker 2: Right. Could you ever pivot to kind of similar projects from using data from like a different subject matter? And have you thought about expanding in that way quite a bit? I'll let you, it,

28:16

Speaker 4: I, I have a lot of plans for the future, but nothing nothing's solidified yet. I haven't got ms. Started on knitting 2000 years of climate data.

28:27

Speaker 2: That's going to be a long project.

28:29

Speaker 4: It's certainly a longterm thing, but yeah, she's, I think dreading it a bit.

28:36

Speaker 2: Yeah. It's like a hundred years in or so I'm about a hundred years. And so obviously they don't have exact temperatures going back 2000 years, but using different scientific techniques, the climate scientists that came up with the original warming stripes, data visualization that are new normals are based on released a similar timeline, but going back 2000 years, instead of just 150 years, and they use really interesting ways to do it. They use a tree core of tree samples of these ancient trees and they use like ice core readings and coral growth rates to estimate temperatures going back a millennia. And so I'm working on a new normal that encompasses all of that time, which will be interesting. And then we thought about doing some, for like ocean temperature rises

29:31

Speaker 4: And polar ice melt and carbon like a part per million in the atmosphere, sort of just the base driver of all of it. So, so far we're just focused

29:42

Speaker 2: On what we're doing still, but have all sorts of ideas down the road. As we have time, do you plan to mobilize around the elections, maybe send Trump a scarf are, I don't think he'd look at it, believe it don't think he'd care. And I don't want to waste my time on that, but yes, we do want to be, we want these in classrooms. We want these in more government offices,

30:04

Speaker 4: I've sent them to who's the candidate that we sent them to who's

30:09

Speaker 2: Oh, Derek Jones, who's running in New York. Who's a huge climate activist and just very progressive liberal candidate. And so we sent him one and he uses them sometimes in his rallies and his talks and meetings with people. But we'd love to see more of them at climate marches and just out in public and in the world. So if you had a magic wand and you had to, you could do anything that you could on behalf of the Tempest tree project community, what would it be?

30:38

Speaker 4: I mean, how powerful is this wand? Can I change?

30:43

Speaker 2: Yeah. Black battalions of knitters out there saving the world,

30:48

Speaker 4: Just doing what we're doing now, but at larger scales, like just raising awareness, you know, every piece that's knit is 20 to 30 hours of somebody thinking about climate

30:59

Speaker 2: And then every person who sees that piece thinks about it and hopefully talks about it. And I think that's one of the things that's so appealing about the Tempest street project is that it's activism, but sort of a cozy activism. You know, craftivism activism, that's not too threatening to people and yet permeates conversations and dialogue about climate change. And what do you want people to know about your organization? Yeah, it's amazing what you can do with just three people. And then a lot of helpers, you know, it's been three of us since the beginning and it's still just the three of us at the core, but we have now all of these we've met these wonderful people who have taken the idea and run with it to create their own ideas and their own collections,

31:46

Speaker 4: The national parks collection sort of stemmed from that.

31:49

Speaker 2: Yeah, no, we have friends come in to volunteer to help us put color cards together and put kits together. And it's amazing Moda community can do what if you feel hugely on crafty, but you want to get involved? What can you do? I mean, you can always support the work, whether it's participating in helping to fund the national parks collection. And we'd be happy to send you a link. If you're interested in that. I, what else we've had people become sponsors and who've bought kits for other people to make, or have supported a particular collection. You know, the Philadelphia collection had a fundraising drive for that, but overall it's a pretty hands on affordable way of being an activist. How do you feel when you see the work as a whole overwhelmed? Yeah, sometimes it makes me cry. I think there's quite a bit of that around climate change activism in general, for a lot of people, there's a lot of trauma in climate change and I think that will just continue over the coming years.

32:54

Speaker 2: And so this becomes almost a cathartic means of dealing with some of that trauma, the process of making and knitting these things day by day and year by year and say, it's almost therapeutic for a lot of people. I could see that. Do you feel optimistic or pessimistic about the future? It depends on the day and the hour, I would say at the moment, you know, one of the interesting things about all of these government government lockdowns and everyone's staying home is that the climate is doing better right now than it has in decades, but not enough. And that's with these extreme measures in place, you know, carbon emissions are down an enormous, I don't remember the actual percent, but you know, with no one driving anywhere in a carbon emissions have plummeted around the world in the last two months, but it's still not enough to keep us on track for not having huge climate consequences,

33:51

Speaker 3: More carbon reduction than we already have done with this lockdown. But year after year after year for the next 30 or 40 years, just to, just to hit the 1.5 degree target that was set in the Paris accord.

34:04

Speaker 2: So it's great that Los Angeles has less smog right now than it has had in decades, but there aren't any regulations to keep that amount in place. And it'll just get bad again, once everything opens up. So I'd say it's beautiful right now, but it's still pretty, pretty grim.

34:21

Speaker 3: I don't have a lot of hope or faith in this current administration to, I mean, certainly all the decisions they made so far have been making things worse. Yeah.

34:31

Speaker 2: So we keep knitting. If you want to connect with the Tempest tree project, you can reach them on Facebook at Tempest tree project and also on Instagram at the same handle, you can find out more about us, the people behind the podcast, people in company at our website, people and.company. Also, our book is on Amazon and Mia is in it. You can find it at, get together book.com. It's full of stories and learnings from conversations with community leaders. Like I said, with Mia or like this one with Justin and Emily. And last thing, if you don't mind, please review us or click subscribe in your podcast store. It helps more people find stories about folks like Justin and Emily. Thank you. Talk to you next time.