Wendy Abrams didn’t realize she was destined to be an environmental activist. “But in 2001, that changed when I casually stumbled upon a Time magazine article about global warming, depicting potentially catastrophic consequences within the century,” she says. “As a mother of four, this hit a nerve–the next century is my children’s lifetime. I was suddenly motivated to act.”
She began by doing research, and became increasingly bewildered by the discrepancy between the scientific community’s alarm and general public’s silence.
“How to bridge that puzzling divide?” she wondered. In an effort to draw attention to the issue, Abrams and some friends decided on “public art with a purpose.” They decided putting sculptures in public places showing ways to combat global warming would encourage people to think about the issue head-on.
And so “Cool Globes: Hot Ideas for a Cooler Planet,” a public art exhibition designed to raise awareness of solutions to climate change, was born.
Aptly enough, “Cool Globes: Hot Ideas for a Cooler Planet” has worked its way around the world, inviting local people on the street to sign a pledge to work to fight global warming, and getting the conversation started.
The exhibition has been hosted by 16 cities, seven countries and four continents, translated into nine languages and reaching over 10 million people.Impressive numbers.
While it’s clearly an issue that impacts us all, global warming will become more of a practical problem for today’s children and youth. It makes perfect sense, then, for Cool Globes to found another organization under its umbrella, this one aimed at youth.
Know Tomorrow is a student-led campaign that aims to “unify, synchronize and amplify millennials speaking out on climate change.”
It launched with a National Day of Action on October 2, 2015, organizing gatherings on college campuses throughout the country. Musicians My Morning Jacket, Train and Common and TV journalist Soledad O’Brien have lent their names and support to the Know Tomorrow campaign, urging fans to sign up.
Want to catch the Cool Globes exhibit? It’s currently on view along the stretch of riverwalk by the Vistula River below the Old Town of Warsaw, Poland (above). A total of 16 globes are on display, and they make an eye-catching and informative sight for the hundreds of children and adults who walk and bike on this popular scenic path every day.
The green, leafy globe above is entitled “Plant a Tree” and was created by local artist Marek Sulek to turn the spotlight on the city of Warsaw’s efforts to combat global warming.
Don’t wait too long to check out the Cool Globes: The Warsaw exhibit will run until September 2016, then the globes will be spinning off around the world again.