Cool Globes: Increase Awareness and inspire Action Against Global Warming

In 2001, I read a Time magazine article on climate change, which stated that in the next 100 years the Earth's temperature could rise by 3? to 11? Celsius. It then dawned on me that this was within my children's lifetime. How would these changes impact the world they live in? Will they be left to deal with the consequences of our behaviours? As a mother, I became increasingly concerned about the problems my children could inherit if we don't act now.After reading the article, I decided to learn all I could about the issue by joining environmental groups and attending scientific conferences. As I learned more, I started telling people what I knew about climate change. Many said: "I am concerned about global warming, but what can I do about it? The problem is so large, and I am just one person." That's when I realized that there has to be a better way to teach people about this environmental issue.

Global warming is a real and serious threat, but there are so many potential solutions. If we dedicate ourselves to embracing and implementing these solutions, we can actually have a huge impact. After attending a conference sponsored by the Clinton Global Initiative, I pledged to do something to educate the public about global warming and its solutions-and thus "Cool Globes: Hot Ideas for a Cooler Planet" was born.

Cool Globes uses public art as a medium to get people to think about global warming and do something about it. From June to September 2007, more than 120 oversized globes, each decorated by a different artist to depict a potential solution to global warming, are being displayed along Chicago's lakefront. These colourful and creative globes, each 5 feet in diameter, remind people of the many solutions to climate change they can easily adopt in their day-to-day lives, such as washing clothes in cold water, turning down the thermostat, using compact fluorescent bulbs, taking public transportation and walking or riding a bike. The project involves artists from across the United States and as far away as Spain and Israel.

I may be biased, but one of my favourite globes was created by my 12-year-old daughter, Emily. She started by soliciting, via e-mail, drawings and descriptions of global warming solutions from children all around the world. We took inspirational pictures and words, and created a global collage that can serve to unite and inspire more children.

Ultimately, the goal of Cool Globes is to demonstrate that solutions are right in front of us. Global warming is very real, but we cannot continue to be paralyzed by the doom-and-gloom predictions. It is now time to act. We all have the power to act; and by working together we can make a difference. What are you doing to be part of the solution?
Everyone has the power to make simple changes in his or her life to help stop global warming.

Go to www.coolglobes.org and pledge to make five changes in your daily life.