Advent, Advent, the earth is on fire …

Climate Watch on the Window Sill

"Lights out, light a candle" on December 12th

As part of a Climate Watch on the Window Sill, candles placed on European window sills can send a signal for the climate and solidarity – everyone acting individually, yet all together, too. Under the hashtag #klimawache2020, everyone can share their own contributions through social media, resulting in an online sea of lights, in line with the motto of "lights out, light a candle". 

The climate crisis has been pushed out of the spotlight of reports and discussions by COVID-19. All the more important, therefore, to raise awareness again. To this end, the Graz Natural History Museum, together with prominent partners and the wider population, is calling for a campaign throughout Austria, Climate Watch on the Window Sill, to take place from 6 pm on December 12th, the day on which the Paris Agreement on climate change was reached.


Advent, Advent, the earth is on fire … Climate Watch on the Window Sill

Anyone wishing to take part and send a signal should place a burning candle in their window for one hour or longer from 6 pm on December 12th and turn off the lights in the rooms inside. In order to make this communal climate watch on the window sill visible online, too, photos and videos can be shared on social media under the hashtag #klimawache2020


The Climate Watch on the Window Sill campaign has been initiated by the Graz  Natural History Museum (part of the Universalmuseum Joanneum) with leading personalities and institutions from climate research:



  • Helga Kromp-Kolb
  • Gottfried Kirchengast
  • Wegener Center for Climate and Global Change in Graz
  • Central Institute for Meteorology and Geodynamics (ZAMG)
  • Institute of Meteorology and Climatology Vienna (BOKU)
  • Fridays for Future Graz
  • inatura Dornbirn


More people and institutions are adding their support on a daily basis.

Markus Rieser, Head of Art, Culture and Nature Education at the Universalmuseum Joanneum

"In times of social distancing, solidarity has become all the more important for us. Let’s send out a signal for the climate and for solidarity – everyone for themselves, yet all together, too. In every window a burning candle as a visible symbol of a common concern and as a statement: we bear the burning torch in the fight against climate change."


Wolfgang Paill, Head of the Graz Natural History Museum

"The climate and resources crisis is a threat to mankind and humanity that is both real and is gathering pace. In order to slow it down significantly, it is by no means enough just to cut greenhouse gases. Instead of suppressing it, we have to face head-on the gigantic challenge in all its endless aspects; instead of accelerating, we have to shift into reverse gear; instead of geo-engineering, we have to promote the process of ecologisation – in short, reduction instead of substitution, especially where consumption, energy and mobility are concerned. Cooperation and solidarity are the key to success in this vital transformation in virtually every area. Then we can return to living from a state of survival; then we can regain a sense of joy and confidence!"

Read more statements! Expand Box

Gottfried Kirchengast, Wegener Center for Climate and Global Change, founding director and member of the Management Council of the Atmospheric Remote Sensing and Climate System Research Group (ARSCliSys)

"From our own research I can see how our emissions are leading to a truly threatening build-up of heat in the climate system, driving forward the climate crisis. Politics and the economy have never been required to avert the danger in structural terms – protect the climate now! As a personal eye-witness to climate change, my brightly flickering candle symbolises the fact that neither I nor climate change science will ever remain silent until politics shifts direction to align with the climate goals set in Paris (our hearts burn for the climate)."


Douglas Maraun, Wegener Center for Climate and Global Change, Head of the Regional Climate Research Group. Lead author of the 6th Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

"I am participating in the campaign because we scientists should inform the public about climate change and should neither underestimate nor exaggerate the seriousness of the situation."

Harald Rieder, Head of the Institute of Meteorology and Climatology Vienna (BOKU)

"I am participating because we have to internalise the fact that climate change does not take a break. We can still achieve the Paris climate targets, though it’s a few minutes to twelve."


Ruth Swoboda, Scientific Director, inatura (Dornbirn)

"As a society we are world champions at lying through our teeth, at putting everything into perspective for as long as is required for it not to go against our habits, or simply at giving up. There is neither the time nor the space on earth left for this behaviour. No, it’s not about creating panic or fear, the concern here is with plain facts. If we want to put it quite simply, then how we act today is becoming too costly for us as a society and as result too inequitable to be able to lead a good life. There’s actually not much more to it than that."


Milan Feyferlik, Fridays for Future Graz

"The Paris Climate Agreement is five years old. In fact, there’s nothing more to say about it – after all, David Bowie already wrote it in a song:"

"News guy wept and told us,
Earth was really dying
Cried so much his face was wet,
Then I knew he was not lying.
I never thought I'd need so many people"
(Five Years, 1972)


Valerie Peer, Fridays for Future Graz

"In 2015 nearly all the countries of the world agreed in the Paris Climate Accord that we have to do something, otherwise we won’t be able to halt climate change. The reason everyone is making a great fuss of it now is that they have to deliver their targets and achievements every 5 years."

Natural History Museum

8010 Graz, Österreich
T +43-316/8017-9100


Opening Hours

Tue-Sun, public holidays 10am - 6pm

Guided tours
Please visit our calendar.
Guided tours on advance notice.

Centre of Natural History
Weinzöttlstraße 16
8045 Graz, Österreich
T +43-316/8017-9000
Appointment upon request

Café OHO!
Tues-Sat 10am-12pm


10th April 2023
1st May 2023
29th May 2023

21st February 2023
24th/26th December 2023