Connecting the dots of change

Connect the Dots Global Climate Change Awareness Day goes Saturday.

Connect the Dots Global Climate Change Awareness Day Saturday shows that the impact  experienced locally, although different from those in other places, are all connected through their cause: global climate change.

Inspired by the international climate action network 350.org, two artists from the Calendaria Art Project, Cathy Stubington and Molly March and two climate activists from the Vernon Climate Action Group (VCAG) got together to plan a Connect the Dots event in Vernon. People around the world will gather May 5 to do projects that express their concern, caring and hope that people will find a better way to live upon the planet.

Locally, the most obvious visual impact is the reddening of forests due to the pine bark beetle outbreak which has spread because there are no longer cold snaps to keep the beetle populations down. The Vernon event organizers chose ponderosa pine as a symbol of the local impact of climate change. The tree is a beautiful icon of the local landscape but also fuels the local economy in a number of ways.

“We believe that community art can be a sort of oblique activism,” said Stubington. “People are drawn in to create something beautiful, while at the same time they have the opportunity to talk with others and express their hopes and concerns.”

She and March, the other artist involved, have organized a public art session to create a banner displaying a ponderosa pine using block prints and stencils.

The finished tree banner will be in the lead of a parade to Spirit Square near Vernon City Hall where there are four ponderosa pines standing. There will be a short celebration with songs, poetry reading and speeches and a group photo will be taken for the 350.org world photo collection. The photo will join photos from around the world, from drought-stricken Mongolia, to flood-stricken Thailand, to fire-ravaged Australia, to show how climate change affects everyone.

“Across the planet now we see more flooding, more drought, more storms. The impacts we’re already witnessing from climate change are unlike anything we have seen before,” said Mary Stockdale of VCAG.

Bill Darnell, of Greenpeace, added, “Because the globe is so big, it’s hard for most people to see that it is all connected. That’s why, on May 5th, we will join the rest of the world to connect the dots on climate change.”

The Connect the Dots Global climate Change Awareness Day event takes Place Saturday starting with making the banner from 1 to 4 p.m. in front of the Bean Scene. The parade to Spirit Square will be from 4:30 to 5 p.m. with the celebration starting at 5 p.m. For more information call 250-307-7230 or email mary.stockdale@gmail.com.