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Climate Change Art and Action

October 7, 2009

Many artists are using their art to draw attention to climate change. David Buckland’s ice texts document, and comment on, melting polar ice. Brazilian artist, Nele Azevedo’s installations of men sculped from ice sit thoughtfully as they melt in the hot sun. In Los Angeles, dozens of large globes have been painted and decorated by artists and school children to produce Cool Globes, a large public art exhibit about global warming. Eve Mosher’s High Waterline Project shows New York City residents how rising ocean levels would change their city. This video shows how the work allows her to engage with people as she makes her mark. In this beautiful video, Freida, a Greenpeace campaigner, tells the story of the reduction in Arctic ice from a personal perspective. Franke James uses her blog to provide an ongoing account of how she has changed her lifestyle in an effort to do her part to reduce CO2 emissions. The designers of the 100 Months Website have taken a more objective, scientific approach, by presenting the science behind Global Warming and alerting visitors to the little time that remains to address the problem. Street events, like this one outside a Wellington branch of the ANZ bank protesting unsustainable logging in South East Asia, can be a creative and effective way to highlight a specific issue. Greenpeace’s recent act of civil disobedience to draw attention to “Fonterra’s Climate Crime” attracted plenty of news coverage as well as some criticism. Some organizations, such as Act for Climate Change, and Beyond Talk, advocate direct action as a necessary way to work for real change. The activities that they promote contrast sharply with safer,  uncontraversial strategies, such as the Portland project to arrange kayaks to form a floating number 350 on 24 October.

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