What Can One Person Do, When 6.8 Billion Are Frying The Planet?

photo of 3 dogs being walked by Franke James
frying planet drawing by Franke James
walk and think drawing by Franke James

CO2 rising drawing by Franke James
toast drawing by Franke James
Deepak Chopra drawing by Franke James
Flip worry drawing by Franke James
Woolly Mammoth antique engraving istock
Charles Darwin illustration by Franke James
photo illustration by Franke James

african desert photo by istock, African sculpture photo by Franke James

dinosaur drawing by Franke James with photo by Greenpeace of Tar Sands

cloud type illustration by Franke Jamesphoto of flying north by Franke James
aerial photo of Newark by Franke James, 2010

Franke James drawing

Franke James drawing
Franke James drawing
mammoth superimposed on Franke James road photo
Franke James photo

Franke James photo

Franke James photo

Franke James photo

plan  Franke James photo
drawing of Google logo search page by Franke James

City worries too drawing by Franke James features quote from Toronto's 'Ahead of the Storm brochure

photos of Finch Avenue in August 2005 by Jane-Finch.com

Franke James photo

Franke James photo

Franke James photo

Franke James photo

Franke James photo

Franke James photo

Franke James photo

Franke James photo

millions got to work on their plan

How can YOU take action? What’s YOUR plan?

1. DOES YOUR CITY HAVE A PLAN? Use Google to find out if your region has a Mitigation and Adaptation Plan for climate change, like Toronto and New York have. (And if they don’t, then press your local politicians to develop one!)

2. MAKE YOUR OWN PLAN. Develop your own personal Mitigation and Adaptation Plan. There are many actions each of us can take to protect ourselves and our property from floods, heat waves, power shortages, water shortages… etc. See the Resources below for ideas such as this one from the Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction: Handbook for Reducing Basement Flooding.

3. TAP INTO ENVIRONMENTAL NETWORKS: Get the ball rolling by participating in environmental action, or financially supporting, these environmental organizations and others:






on 101010

– Take action in your community to build the future you want (not the one you fear).
– Connect with like-minded people. (Twitter can help to connect you.)

Franke James photo


Franke James merges science, art and storytelling to inspire people to take action and “do the hardest thing first” for the planet. Franke uses her skills as an artist, photographer and writer to create visual essays on environmental and social issues. She is the author of two award-winning books, Bothered By My Green Conscience and Dear Office-Politics, the game everyone plays.

What Can One Person Do, When 6.8 Billion Are Frying The Planet? © 2010 Franke James

Photographs, illustrations and writing by Franke James, MFA, except as noted below:

“Cruel Irony” illustration features: Tar sands photo by © Greenpeace
Finch Avenue on August 2005: Photos courtesy Jane-Finch.com
Cover: “Ahead of the Storm” City of Toronto climate change brochure
Woolly Mammoth on Road photo-illustration by Franke James, using antique mammoth engraving © istockphotos.
Heat Island graphic by Clean Air Partnership


Franke’s Original Slideshow for 10/10/10 Event:
Download the slide presentation (Adobe Acrobat pdf):

Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet by Bill McKibben

The Weather of the Future: Heat Waves, Extreme Storms, and Other Scenes from a Climate-Changed Planet by Heidi Cullen.

TUCCN: Toronto Urban Climate Change Network
Ahead of the Storm: City of Toronto highlights from climate change report
Environment Canada’s Climate Change Hazards by geographic region

Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction:
Handbook for Reducing Basement Flooding (2009)
ICLR Home Builder’s Guide (2009)

New York City Plan for Climate Change

Scientists plug in CO2 Toaster

Science Art Nature logo header at Stanford

Exhibit showcases CO2 Toaster as a creative example of Art & Science working together

Don’t wait until we’re toast! Cut your CO2 Now!
Use the CO2 Toaster Widget To Track CO2

Toronto, Canada — June 2010:

Science Art-Nature, based in Palo-Alto, California, plugged in the CO2 Toaster for an online art exhibit held in conjunction with the annual meeting of the Pacific Region of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

Science Art Nature exhibit at Stanford

The animated CO2 Toaster widget is one of 38 artworks selected for exhibit as examples of Science Art. The widget was designed to be an engaging and memorable tool to track CO2. It is a creative collaboration by artist/author Franke James, designer/programmer Bill James, and Michael McGee, creator of CO2Now.org.

The CO2 Toaster always shows the latest monthly data by pulling NOAA data for atmospheric CO2 from the Mauna Loa Observatory in the United States. The code can easily be added to most websites or blogs.

Why is tracking CO2 important?
Bill McKibben, founder of 350.org and author of Eaarth, has noted: “350 is a very tough number. We’re already well past it. The atmosphere holds 390 ppm today, which is why the Arctic is melting and the ocean steadily acidifying. To get back to a safe level we need a very rapid halt to the use of coal, gas and oil so that forests and oceans can absorb some of that carbon.”

The story behind the CO2 toaster

Franke James says, “We developed the CO2 toaster as our personal climate action for 350.org’s Day of Climate Action. We thought it was the best way to deliver this simple message on a daily basis: Don’t wait until we’re toast! Cut your CO2 Now! Since that event in October 2009, thousands of toasters have been downloaded for free. The opportunity to spread the message further through the Science Art-Nature exhibit was perfect. The toaster shows that artistic metaphors and concrete data can mix to produce lively offspring. Right brain people and left brain people can work together and produce some amazing results.”

Michael McGee comments, “CO2 prefers to keep quiet and out of sight. The CO2 Toaster widget yanks away the invisibility cloak and reveals the CO2 trend for the culprit that it is. This widget grabs attention and shares important information about our planet. Not only does it say what CO2 is right now, it shows what CO2 has been, and what it should be.”

The Science Art-Nature Exhibit

The 38 images included in the 25-topic exhibit will remain online as part of Science Art-Nature’s mission to raise the prominence of Science Art and the benefits of combining the accuracy of science with the evocative power of art. The exhibit helps to communicate the benefits of Science Art by informing viewers about nature and encouraging the sustainable use of resources.

What is Science Art?

“Works of Science Art skillfully represent truths about the world and its creatures, often suggesting important connections among subjects and their surroundings and teaching us indirectly about nature itself.” Science Art-Nature

Science Art Categories: The 35 categories included Atmospheric and Oceanographic Sciences, Organismal Biology, Ecology, Anthropological Approaches to Environmental Change, Materials Science and Nanotechnology, Computer and Information Sciences Link, Education, Agriculture and Horticulture, Ecotoxicology and Environmental Protection.

Participating Artists: Bev Abbott, Chris Augusta, Carel P. Brest van Kempen, Martha Brouwer, Pery Burge, Kelly Dodge, Christophe Drochon, Lori Dunn, Ulco Glimmerveen, Franke James, Bill James, and Michael McGee, David N. Kitler, Martin Lasack, Liz Lee, Terry Miller, Robert Mullen, Rick Pas, Patricia Pepin, Teri Power, Jennifer Rodriguez, Edward Rooks, Judith Gebhard Smith, Jim Turanchik, Darryl Wheye, Ria Winters, Floy Zittin.

About Science Art-Nature

Science Art-Nature is a nonprofit organization founded by Stanford University scientists, Don Kennedy and Paul Ehrlich, artists Tony Angell and Darryl Wheye, and nonprofit consultant Pamela Meadowcroft. It has launched an online Science Art exhibit with the generous support of Artists for Conservation (AFC) Center for Conservation Biology, Stanford University (CCB) National Audubon Society Stanford Institute for Creativity and the Arts (SiCa) and an anonymous donor. The exhibit features artwork relevant to the research presented at the AAAS Pacific Division meeting, “The Art of Science,” Ashland, Oregon, 13-17 June, 2010.

Exhibit link