NEW YORK, NY — Within 3,000 square feet, a challenge facing the whole world over found its home.
"Museums are places where people go voluntarily to learn. They're a highly trusted source of information,” said Miranda Massie, founder of the Climate Museum. "The Climate Museum is the first climate-dedicated museum in the United States."
The idea for the museum came to be just a few short years ago and it is now a reality in New York City's SoHo neighborhood.
"The idea of a climate museum popped into my mind like a nickel in a piggy bank,” Massie said. “I didn't think about generating it. It just was deposited there by something else."
It's a place designed to help people feel like climate change can be tackled by taking one action at a time.
"We've seen that in the super powerful responses that people had after just a 10-minute visit to this space," Massie said.
Walking in, the first thing that confronts visitors is a wall, full of historic-looking postcards, until you take a closer look.
"So, each postcard becomes a pixel in a larger image," Massie said.
The larger image depicts climate change impacts in states like Ohio, Nebraska, Virginia, California, and other states.
"It's very important for us to be very inclusive about different regions of the country," Massie said.
Visitors can use those free postcards to write to elected leaders, and the museum addresses and mails it for them.
While the museum brings in adults, it is a younger demographic that is making its mark there.
"I felt really frustrated,” said high school senior Hindani Patel, “and I still do, because it feels like we need to protect our Earth, yet we aren't doing enough."
Teenagers volunteer at the museum and learn from programs such as a recent NASA lecture.
"I learned like kind of how to explain it, like so that it doesn't lead to an argument, but to like an intellectual discussion, where people learn things," said Jacob Olveira, a student who is part of the museum’s student program.
For them, the Climate Museum is a place they take to heart.
“It's a lot of pressure on our on our generation to be the one that solves it all,” said high school student Daniela Sueiro, “but at the end of the day, we're still kids and there are people out there with real responsibility."
That is something the museum's founders hope might lead people to take action—from taking small steps to larger ones, as depicted in "action stickers" that are offered to everyone.
Those include stickers that say, “I’m going to organize,” “I’m voting climate” and “I’m posting on social media.”
"If we're part of a group that's working on different aspects of it, that feels doable,” Massie said.
They are pieces of a larger puzzle to the climate conundrum.