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Unity Through Creativity Blog

The Symbolism of the Singing Tree of Climate Solutions

Updated: Dec 2, 2023

by Laurie Marshall

The students from Ukiah High School in northern California co-created this powerful image. They used Project Drawdown as a resource for the top 10 solutions to reduce the CO2 in our atmosphere. Planting trees is among the top 10. Four trees are honored in the mural: the oak, the redwood, the madrone and willow. Without trees, there is no human life.

In the mural, Mother Earth holds the planet as she weeps. Her hair is on fire. An hour glass symbolizes the reality of the finite time we have to stop the warming trend before a tipping point is reached. At the top of hour glass is the pollution and burning and the destruction of the earth. At the bottom is the world where Nature is thriving, with bees and flowers, windmills and whales, coral growing and cows grazing.

The butterfly is a monarch, whose population has decreased 86% in the last two years on the California coast. Windmills and solar arrays form its markings.

The birds in each upper corner hold a city with wind turbines, solar arrays and roof top gardens.

The madrone tree is a female figure with a gas mask on. The students wore masks during the 2017 wildfires. They lost classmates and homes. They have an intimate understanding of the Climate Emergency. The figure is pregnant with the earth. She says “No” to the rise in the temperature, the rise in emissions, and the rise in extinctions. She has a garland of flowers on her head to symbolize the power of the life force of Nature. In educating girls, more stewardship of the earth will take place and fewer children will be born.

The Oak tree is a male figure. He holds a red panda in his hand to symbolize people as guardians of the animals and plants. Family planning is in the realm of men as well as women. Supporting boys is essential to create Warriors for the Earth who view all life as sacred.

The human hand offers a bean plant to Mother Earth. The bean plant is wrapped around and caressing the human. The message written on the hand is “Plant-Rich Diet” and “No Food Waste” – important actions to strive for to bring down carbon emissions.

The collective wisdom and imagination offering by “The Singing Tree of Climate Solutions” is a sign post of the genius of youth. They are “the brightest lights in the darkest world.” ( Alejandro González Iñárritu)


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