Engadine church members knit scarves for MPs ahead of UN climate change conference as ScoMo decides whether to attend

Climate concern: Judy Brownscombe (left), Judy Hanna, Loraine Holley, Karen Russell, Margaret Day (St John Bosco Parish) and Susan Foyle, with (front) Nate and Lachlan at the Engadine Uniting Church. Picture: Chris lane
Climate concern: Judy Brownscombe (left), Judy Hanna, Loraine Holley, Karen Russell, Margaret Day (St John Bosco Parish) and Susan Foyle, with (front) Nate and Lachlan at the Engadine Uniting Church. Picture: Chris lane

While Prime Minister Scott Morrison decides whether to join world leaders at the UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, a group of Engadine church members are knitting scarves to draw attention to the need for federal government action on the issue.

More than 10 members of the Engadine Uniting Church and St John Bosco Catholic Church have joined with with 300 knitters across Australia in the project initiated by Common Grace, an Australian Christian movement for justice.

Each has knitted a temperature colour-coded scarf based on 101 years of scientific data from NASA.

The average yearly global temperature was converted into one of 16 colours, from blues (coldest) through whites and yellows to reds (hottest) and a stipe was knitted with the appropriate colour for each year.

 Dr Loraine Holley with MP Zalli Steggle in Canberra earlier this year.

Dr Loraine Holley with MP Zalli Steggle in Canberra earlier this year.

Scarves have already been given to many federal MPs in face to face or zoom meetings, with the remaining politicians to receive their scarf by post within the next week.

The MPs are being asked to wear the scarves in Parliament next Thursday, October 21, the last sitting day before the conference, known as COP26, starts 10 days later.

Attendees will include US President Joe Biden, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Pope Francis and more than 100 other world leaders.

Loraine Holley of Engadine Uniting Church said the scarves were "a tangible expression of the deep concern people of faith have over the need for our government to do more to counter the devastating consequences of this continual rise in global temperature".

"Here in the shire, we are experiencing the consequence in the continual threat of more devastating bushfires each summer resulting in increasing risk of loss of life and homes, Dr Holley said.

The knitters sought meetings with shire representatives, Prime Minister and Cook MP Scott Morrison and Hughes MP Craig Kelly, so they could be given a scarf and be told of their constituents' concerns.

Dr Holley said Mr Morrison passed their request to Environment Minister Angus Taylor and his policy advisor, while Mr Kelly had not responded to many requests.

"A simple gift of a climate scarf, knitted by people of faith, powerfully demonstrates to decision makers in parliament, the ground swell of ordinary people urging our leaders to take meaningful and authentic measures that will counter future temperature increases," Dr Holley said.

"On October 21, we hope to see the hauntingly beautiful locally knitted scarves being worn in our federal parliament as an expression by our politicians that they take seriously the concerns of their constituents for legitimate and authentic action on climate change."

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