The Tempestry Project – Visualizing Climate Data in Tapestries

The Tempestry Project – Visualizing climate data that is accurate, personal, tangible, beautiful.

[Editor’s Note: I especially like this project because, at it’s base, it is a folk art response to our world: it is hand made, requires one set of hands with knitting needles and yarn, accessible to all, requires only basic human skills and tools, and is “zero-tech” (“zero-tech”, as in, requires no electricity, no grid,  no global-military-industrial-extractive-culture-economy to support and express it.)]

One of the ongoing problems inherent in discussions about climate change is the vast scale of the conversation. The Tempestry Project’s goal is to scale this down into something that is accurate, tangible, relatable, and beautiful.

The Tempestry Project blends fiber art with temperature data to create a bridge between global climate and our own personal experiences through knitted or crocheted temperature tapestries, or “Tempestries.” Each Tempestry represents the daily high temperature for a given year and location, January at the bottom and December at the top (think bar graphs!), all using the same yarn colors and temperature ranges (see below for details).

A single Tempestry can be a beautiful commemoration of an important life event — a birthday, a wedding, or even (as in the case of one participant) a family’s immigration date. A collection of Tempestries showing different years for a single location creates a powerful visual representation of changing temperatures over time.

As more and more people create Tempestries, both individually and in geographic collections, a mosaic of our climate history is beginning to emerge. The more people get involved — through knitting, crocheting, discussing, sharing — the richer, the more beautiful, and the more undeniable this mosaic becomes.

Temperature data comes from the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and is available to the public at Please note, the data is not always complete and sometimes has to be supplemented with data from, or from nearby weather stations.

We’ve assigned specific colors from KnitPicks’ Wool of the Andes Worsted to represent specific temperature ranges in 5-degree increments from less than -30°F to more than 121°F. Using the same universal yarns and colors creates a visual comparison between years and places, and KnitPicks is affordable and accessible. The full list of colors and corresponding temperature ranges is included in the project guidelines in each Tempestry Kit. This information is also available for free here in our Files.


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Deep adaptation: Getting Real about the Climate Apocalypse from Extinction Rebellion

A deep and thoughtful conversation. Listen and let it all wash over you. 1:14:57.

Overton window was new to me. Did you catch it?

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Passing of Margaret Berry, Thomas Berry’s sister

We announce with sadness, the passing of Margaret Berry, sister of and aid to Thomas Berry, on August 13, 2019. She was a saint and now joins the heavenly cloud of witnesses.

A  Memorial Mass will be celebrated by Rev. James Duong, Pastor at Saint Benedict’s Catholic Church in downtown Greensboro, 109 W. Smith Street, Greensboro, 27401 at 12:15 pm on Wednesday, August 28. Those who wish to attend the rosary with the congregation please be seated by 11:45am. Parking is available in the Hanes-Lineberry Funeral Home lot across the street. Interment of ashes will follow in Forest Lawn Cemetery, 3901 Forest Lawn Drive. After the internment, the family will receive visitors in the Event Center at WellSpring Retirement Community at 4100 Well Spring Dr, Greensboro, NC 27410.

Here follows her obituary from

Holding a St. John’s University Ph.D. in nineteenth-century English literature and a University of Pennsylvania postdoctoral degree in South Asian Studies, Berry taught college and university for 40 years. Her publications include: The Chinese Classic Novels: An Annotated Bibliography of Chiefly English-Language Studies (1988, 2011), named by American Library Association’s Choice among the year’s best reference works; Pegasus Over Asia: Ventures in East-West Literary Analysis (1980, 2011); and Mulk Raj Anand, the Man and the Novelist (1971). In addition to numerous published articles in professional journals, Berry has written two unpublished novels, The Tennis Club and Amaranthine Weed. The University of Pennsylvania, Duke University, the Japan Foundation, the Association for Asian Studies, and the National Endowment for the Humanities awarded Berry several grants including the Ford, Fulbright, Danforth, and NDEA awards during her lifetime

Besides traveling to Europe, Berry visited South America, Australia, China, Japan, and India. Offices included presidency of both the College English Association of Ohio and the John Carroll University Chapter of the American Association of University Professors, and long service as National Coordinator of Affiliates of the College English Association. After her 1993 retirement, Berry returned to her native Greensboro, where she served as liaison for Harvard University’s Archives for Environmental Science and Public Policy as it acquired the papers of her brother, geologian, cultural historian, and author Thomas [W] Berry. In addition, she became the matriarch of the family with her annual Berry Patch which included the names and addresses of the extended Berry family. For her 100th birthday, nearly 150 family members paid tribute to her caring for each and everyone.

Surviving Dr. Berry is her brother, Thomas Gabriel (Stephanie Eddy); sisters-in-law, Jerry Berry of Charlotte, Rosemary Berry of Greensboro, and nieces and nephews too numerous to name here.

Besides her parents, Elizabeth and William Nathan Berry, Sr., founders of Berico Fuels, she was preceded in death by brothers, Jack (Jessie), Frank, MD (Polly ), Jim (Mary Elizabeth), Joe (Jean), Benedict, Steve; sisters, Merse (Sr. Mary Elizabeth, Daughter of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul), Katherine (Richard Fuller), Ann Louise (Sr. Zoe` Marie of Maryknoll Missioners), Teresa Kelleher (Leo “Boots”) and sister-in-law, Ginny Berry.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Thomas Berry Foundation, c/o Professor Mary Evelyn Tucker and John Grim, Department of Forestry and Environmental Science, Yale University or to Green Mountain Monastery, Greensboro, VT c\o Sr. Gail Worcelo.

Hanes Lineberry North Elm Chapel is assisting the Berry family with arrangements. Online condolences may be shared at

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Nothing Lowly in the Universe: An Integral Approach to the Ecological Crisis – book

Crundale Press, United States, 2019.

The world is facing an existential crisis.

Looming climate breakdown and ecological collapse could lead to the “sixth extinction” event in Earth’s history, this time by our own hand, and the massive loss of human life and of many other life-forms with which we share the earth. How did we get here, and how can we transform our ways of thinking and living to avoid catastrophe? And what really sustains us?

In a wide-ranging and comprehensive analysis, based on decades of experience as an environmental research scientist, activist and Quaker, Jennie M. Ratcliffe explores the interconnected scientific, technological, economic, religious and psychological causes of our predicament and shows how the ecological crisis is, at its heart, a spiritual and moral crisis.

Drawing primarily on Quaker testimonies, on Gandhian, Buddhist, and other wisdom traditions, and the work of Thomas Berry, Arne Naess, E.F. Schumacher and others, she explores the underlying principles by which we–particularly those of us in the wealthiest countries–can radically transform our ways of life. The principles of integrity, reciprocity, nonviolence, simplicity, and equality, rooted in a realization of the unity and interdependence of, and love for, the whole earth community, are the foundation of an integral deep ecology, deep economy, and deep peace.

Far from being utopian, they can and are being translated into spiritually-grounded practices around the world, offering transformational paths to the long-term sustainability of a more just and peaceable world for the commonwealth of life and the emergence of a new Ecozoic era.

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I’m always interested in how language opens up a new reality, a new view on an old reality.

Not a sexy new word, not a new word, but it gets at it in a clear, simple way: compatibility.

If we simply make human culture compatible with ecology we’d be almost there.


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Evolutionary Cosmology and the Journey of the Universe: A Conversation with Brian Swimme

A Pachamama Alliance Conversation

 Pachamama Alliance • 30 May 2019

The global Pachamama Alliance community came together on May 29, 2019 with Brian Swimme—Professor of Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness and Director of the Center for the Story of the Universe at the California Institute of Integral Studies—to discuss the story of the universe.

Evolutionary cosmology refers to a way of seeing and relating to the universe as an ongoing story, and is part of Brian’s work that draws together scientific discoveries in astronomy, geology, and biology with humanistic insights concerning the nature of the universe.

He spoke of our Milky Way galaxy as a creative system that can regenerate itself through the creation of new stars, and offered that seeing how “the universe is the most spectacularly creative realm we know of” allows the dynamics of creativity to come alive in our own lives.

As he said, “the perspective we take determines how we understand the world,” and evolutionary cosmology points to a process “giving birth to a new form of human being, which includes a new form of human consciousness.”

Global Commons member Elly Lessin asked a great question about how to relate to the story of the universe in the face of possibly catastrophic effects from global warming (42:00 in the recording), and Brian’s answer highlighted why he is such a valued ally of Pachamama Alliance.

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Gaia Foundation eNewsletter – A New Story: Restoring Our Relationship with Earth

Gaia Foundation’s latest eNewsletter can be seen at this link:

The Stories from this eNewsletter:

  • New and Ancient: Stories for the Earth – De-mystifying Earth Jurisprudence In this interactive story, we tell the story of Earth Jurisprudence in video, images and words. We explore how ‘EJ’ can play a vital role in rooting the new story we need deep in the Earth’s laws, following the example of Indigenous Peoples from Colombia to Finland.
  • Africa’s movement for Earth Jurisprudence – Meet inspiring African community leaders working as ‘barefoot lawyers’. They are accompanying Indigenous and traditional communities across the continent who are reviving their Earth-centred knowledge, practices and goverance systems to protect their ancestral lands.  
  • Rooting Rebellion in Nature – Liz Hosken, reflects on the life and legacy of philosopher and ‘geologian’ Thomas Berry, and why his central idea- Earth Jurisprudence- can be a guiding light for emerging movements rebelling for the Earth at a time of crisis.
  • Thomas Berry: A biography – Our friends Mary Evelyn Tucker and John Grim of the Yale Forum on Religion and Ecology have produced a wonderful new biography charting the life and thought of visionary eco-philosopher and Gaia elder Thomas Berry. We recommend it to everyone!
  • Expanding our circles of compassion – In 1950 Albert Einstein wrote a powerful letter that, we think, connects with and conveys both the deep message at the heart of many Indigenous Stories of Origin and the root understandings of the new stories we need now.

Gaia Foundation’s latest eNewsletter can be seen at this link:

The Gaia Foundation is passionate about regenerating bio-cultural diversity and restoring a respectful relationship with the Earth. Find out more at

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Trust and the Natural World

by Allysyn Kiplinger and The Fig Tree in the back yard

There was a time when humans could trust the natural world to take care of them.

They could trust the seasons to be hot, warm, cool, cold. To signal when to move to warmer or cooler grounds, wetter or drier.

They could trust that drinking water from a living body of sweet water (river, lake, stream, brook, creek, pool, the palm of a leaf) would quench thirst and keep them healthy.

They could trust that salmon would return so they could eat.

The “outer” natural world activated a robust “inner” world of the human.

But that is not universally so anymore.

I see why my human ancestors may have become autistic, deaf, to the natural world in the 19th and 20th centuries. Water poisoned by corporations. Food poisoned by out-of-touch leaders. Seasons altered by the human desire for convenience. Trust was broken by the cultural establishments entrusted to keep them safe and vital.

Was that trust broken when my great grandfather drank bad water on a business trip and died of Typhus at the age of 46 in 1909?

Multiply that by millions. By billions.

A slow turn, a slow dependent co-arising of distrust – courtesy of the military-industrial-commercial-chemical-life-killing culture of the Western world – wedged itself between the inherent, natural, evolutionary trust that humans have for Earth and Earth itself.

If you and your people get sick and die from having ordinary interactions with the natural world, how do you create a culture of trust with nature?

In these times our historical mission is to alter our culture so that we may universally trust again and re-encounter, rediscover our genetic trust of Earth.

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Wild Imagination

Wild Imagination

by Geneen Marie Haugen

May 16, 2019

published in Parabola

John Atkinson Grimshaw , Midsummer Night, or Iris, 1876

“Go forth onto the land”—and reanimate the world

Descended from the indigenous hunter-gathers of the European arctic, I am an uprooted – or unrooted, or partially rooted – human being, currently re-homed in the American Southwest. Part of my family’s story was deliberately misplaced. Like the colonized indigenous people of North America and other continents, my Sami ancestors ingested profound shame for their “uncivilized” ways. Decades ago, when I started to wonder if there was something unspoken in my family story, I asked my mother if our Finnish ancestry might actually be Sami. She vehemently denied that we could be related to “those people.”  Her brother hedged and told me it was possible, since it was thought that the family had “come from the north.”  Neither of them could have imagined that DNA analysis and genealogical databases would break open the family secret. Before she died, my last surviving aunt told me quite matter-of-factly, “We are Laplanders. We’ve always known that.”  She knew, but her children and the children of her siblings did not know. Almost all of those children, some already grandparents themselves, enact seasonal, generational rituals of hunting, fishing, and/or gathering – rituals that extend, through our grandmother’s line, back to (at least) the last ice age.

I do not know if my Sami ancestors were easily Christianized, or if they vigorously resisted the obliteration of their animistic, Earth-based spiritual tradition. I do not know how many generations have passed since my ancestors engaged in ceremonial drumming to commune with spirits or to enter an altered state of consciousness – or go through the portal to an otherworld for purposes of healing or vision. I do not know how far back they were enacting ceremonies at sites of sacred rocks or mystical lakes. My great-grandmother was a Sami midwife and healer before she and her husband and many children crossed the Atlantic, migrating to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. My sister inherited a blood-letting horn that belonged to our great-grandmother. The blood of our mother’s lineage suffuses our bodies. I believe we also carry something like psycho-spiritual DNA, a kind of cellular ancestral memory. I have no “proof” of this, only a low-pitched, bodily intuition arising from my own affinity with the wilder Ones, with the living, many-voiced Earth, and with the mysteries of the world-behind-the-world.

Aleksander Lauréus’s painting of the Sámi by the fire, 1911

Somewhere in mists of ancestral times, all of us are connected with people who once lived close to Earth, entwined with their places, entwined with the Others – people who participated and communed directly with plants and animals, dependent on Sun and rain, at the effect of storms and geological events.  Many, if not most or all, of our distant ancestors once inhabited an animate world, infused with intelligences and souls. Clouds and stone spoke. Seas opened. Birds and snakes delivered messages. For some, eating bear opened the way to bear-mind. Perhaps honey was known as sacred elixir. Plants revealed themselves as characters with talents for healing or for inducing ecstasy. Dreams offered direction.

For modern people, an animate worldview might seem a superstitious, primitive perspective, or an artifact from an “over-active imagination” – a dismissive designation that was frequently directed toward me as a young person. Meanwhile, the common (and perhaps unconscious) dead-universe worldview allows for, and maybe even insists upon, a cannibalistic relationship with unfeeling forests, mountaintops, rivers, creatures, cultures.

Anguish over the diminishment of our world, the destruction of Earth’s life support systems, and the extinction of species is deep in our shared human psyche, though largely unexpressed. So many of us can only dimly imagine our way through the psychic and physical debris to a regenerated, thriving, Earth community. Yet the mysterious human imagination itself may be our best resource for experiential recovery of a vibrant, participatory, and wildly sacred Earth.

(Oh, do please continue reading here….)

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20th Anniversary Celebration of Green Mountain Monastery & 10th Anniversary of Passing of Thomas Berry

Green Mountain Monastery Sign: Differentiation, Interiority, Communion

Green Mountain Monastery and Thomas Berry Sanctuary in Greensboro, Vermont
Weekend events May 31-June 1, 2019

in honor of the

20th Anniversary Celebration of the Founding of Green Mountain Monastery & the 10th Anniversary of passing of Thomas Berry

For more information contact Gail Worcelo – srgail at together dot net

On June 1, 1999 Bernadette Bostwick, Gail Worcelo and Rita O, set out from St Gabriel’s Monastery in Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania, (where our first Sisters of Earth Gathering was held), to co-found a new religious community with Thomas Berry dedicated to the protection and flourishing of the Earth Community.

Ten years to the day, on June 1, 2009, Thomas passed away.

These two anniversaries with be celebrated with concerts, forest healing walks, a historical overview, vegetarian food, Earth liturgy and the unveiling of 4 Cosmic Stained glass windows by the renowned glass artist Amber Hiscott from Wales. Cellist Eugene Friesen from the Paul Winter Consort will also be performing. There will be a Zoom Call with people from around the world and here in the USA to celebrate Thomas Berry.

For more information contact Gail Worcelo – srgail at together dot net

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