Why I'm knitting for climate action

Why I'm knitting for climate action

My heart broke as I started knitting the part of the scarf representing 2019 - it was the year my first grandchild was born and Australia's hottest on record.

The scarf was for Knit for Climate Action, a project led by Common Grace inviting Christians from across Australia to knit a scarf with 101 stripes.

Each stripe represents a year from 1919 to 2019, with different colours indicating the average global temperature for that year. While the colours were beautiful and the pattern simple, the message was science-based, powerful and sobering.

The impact of climate change and the need for urgent action is something I care very deeply about.

As I'm sure was the case for many others, the summer of 2019-20 was when the effects of climate change became a personal reality.

A family member from NSW's Northern Tablelands spent months working non-stop on bushfire control duties, as the town also ran out of drinking water and became dependent on council-provided bottled water.

My son had to leave our family holiday in Western Australia to return home to Kangaroo Island in South Australia to help battle the fires, which devastated half the island.

On New Year's Eve, 18 members of my family were evacuated from the NSW south coast because of the out of control fires.

Days later, my flight back east from WA was caught in a firestorm generated from fires in NSW. It was a terrifying experience.

Canberra was later struck by a severe hailstorm and was again shrouded in smoke as most of the nearby Namadji National Park burnt.

By the end of summer no-one in my family had lost their home, been seriously injured or lost their livelihood unlike innumerable others - but the trauma of living through all this, and experiencing first hand the impacts of our warming climate, was felt deeply by so many of our family.

Climate change is upon us. Knitting my scarf for Common Grace was an act of care and patience to help send a clear message of the great urgency with which we need to respond to our warming climate.

June 21 is #ShowYourStripes day, where knitters will meet with our parliamentarians in Canberra to gift the scarves and ask for urgent action be taken for climate change.

For me the message is loud and clear - the climate crisis transcends political differences, it is urgent and the science must be acted on.

We all must commit to reducing our carbon emissions.

Vikki McDonough is a Canberra resident and member of the World Community for Christian Meditation Australia, where she uses her creative talents to draw attention to calls for climate action.

This story Why I'm knitting for climate action first appeared on The Canberra Times.