Extinction Rebellion, climate change, and a beanie


Hello dear Readers, I have designed a knitting pattern.  You can, should you wish, download it from Ravelry here. You see it here in handspun coloured merino with eucalyptus-dyed wool contrast. But allow me to explain.


It is a big time in the life of the world, with even conservative estimates by scientists telling us that we have less than 12 years to take emergency level action that could keep global warming to below 1.5C.  Even 1.5C warming will have, and is already having, massive impacts on the earth and all who depend on the earth for life. Including you and me. It isn’t as though I’ve been sitting around. I’m doing the little things that depend on my being one straw in a very, very big haystack for impact (online petitions, postcards, letter writing, voting).

Last week I joined the thousands of Australian school children who went out on strike demanding climate action.  Their speeches showed more understanding of climate change than anything coming out of our federal government, which is still supporting coal mining and oil drilling on a massive scale.  The school students had more clarity than our state government, which has only partially, temporarily, banned fracking because it destroys farmland (and thus costs votes though these things certainly do matter in their own right)–not because of the impact of burning fossil fuels on global warming. I sing with a posse of climate singers who were out on the weekend telling the good people of our city about the issue and giving people the chance to write to the leader of the opposition about this issue.


And yet, on this day when world leaders are meeting in Katowice, Poland, to talk about what to do about this–there is just no coverage in my country of this critically important meeting.  My government is not on track to meet the inadequate targets set in Paris.  And the high pitched screaming sound between my ears when I lie awake in the middle of the night worrying about climate change is not quietening down.


My heart soared when I saw that a new group in the UK called Extinction Rebellion have served their demands on their government, and that they are framing the climate and ecological emergency like the existential threat that it is.  On their first Rebellion Day they blocked all the bridges across the Thames River and brought central London to a standstill. This is a strategy of escalating nonviolent civil disobedience designed to compel the governments that are failing their people and the future of our world to take emergency level action.


It may not succeed.  But it has to be attempted, because scientists have been patiently explaining and then explaining in tones of increasing panic, and then explaining with tears as they set out the loss we already face: and governments are not listening nor acting.  Fossil fuel companies are continuing to fund political parties here and elsewhere.  The current federal government is not even close to having a rational policy on climate.  And nowhere are there signs of action being taken that comes close to responding to the grave threat every life form on earth now faces.

So, dear friends, I have decided to commit to being an organiser for Extinction Rebellion. And I also decided to design a beanie, watching all those English folk out being arrested and protesting in the chill weather of their winter as we head into the searing heat of our summer.  I knit it in the week a tornado hit a town in our state for the first time in my memory.  If you have questions about Extinction Rebellion, I hope you will roam their www site, find them on social media, and go here scroll down and watch their briefing on climate change and what we can do about it.  This is an invitation to act with courage in times that demand no less. Let’s step up, for the love of life.



Filed under Activism, Craftivism, Knitting, Natural dyeing

14 responses to “Extinction Rebellion, climate change, and a beanie

  1. Brava! Thank you! I wanted to check out the hat but the link is broken.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I heard George Monbiot talking on the radio before Rebellion Day, agonising about participation – believing on the one hand it is morally essential, but concerned about civil disobedience as he has a young family. Then nothing – the Guardian clearly reported it but nothing else that I read did. The UK is understandably swamped in Brexit – but climate change won’t wait while we waste time on this idiotic discussion. I salute you for taking a further big step in protest! For the love of life – and for future generations!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Downloaded the pattern, thanks! First I’d heard about that group. Shared it with my UK buddy to see what she says.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I hope you like it! And I’ll be interested to see what your UK buddy thinks. This is a strategy that not everyone will like. In fact, it’s sure to be criticised. But part of the reason for it is to drive awareness of the issue, instead of us maintaining a social silence where it is just about seen as rude to talk about the most important issue facing all humanity. I find it a huge relief to see people talking about this issue with the urgency I believe is required.


  4. Go you! I thought it was just the incredibly stupid “government” here until I read of the protests and seemingly equal stupidity down your end of the world. And then you realize how many countries are quietly retreating from action…it is disheartening to say the least. But then I read a post like yours and see that there is hope/intelligence/action. Power to the people (to use a phrase from long ago).
    Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Rebecca

    Yes! Climate change mitagation needs to be our zeitgeist now. And in the absence of government leadership, we all have to lead.

    The hat looks brilliant. Do keep posting about this issue and about any ideas/campaigns to enact change. It’s definitely time.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. my Pa, the late Earth Scientist Peter Schwerdtfeger, spent most of his adult warning about climate change, following in the footsteps of Alexander von Humboldt, who observed it as well (some 200 years earlier).
    I have always been mystified that purchased carbon credits can mitigate, for example, against the digging and burning of coal, or the chipping of old-growth forests. Yes, I do fly about a bit, but those flights generally save a dozen others the trouble of flying out here. And rather than purchasing carbon credits, I plant trees…though it’s tricky, keeping one of the national emblems from eating them.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Tracy

    Thank you Mazz for this great pattern. I have made 3 hats learning the new skill of circular knitting which I love. The hats are greatly admired by our local XR group and I would like to share the pattern so we can prepare a visual protest in the autumn rebellion. I would like to download a photo but am unable to do so. Thank you for preparing this pattern.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Tracy, how exciting! The pattern is free to share on Ravelry so please do go ahead and share it. If you message me directly I’ll send you an image. More power to you, Rebel!


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