Tick Tick Tick… We’re extremely close to a brink!
Clocks can be very useful, of course they tell how much time has passed, what hour it is and how much time is left till the next meal. In some cases, when they tell how much time is left they can cause stress, for example, in an exam hall when only a few minutes are left, we start to panic, and let’s not talk about how timers on a timebomb can instill fear. But this Climate Clock might be, no it actually is, the most important number in the world! It shows how much time we, as a human civilization, have left to make amends before an appraoching climate catastrophe completely wipes out humanity and other species with it.
The Climate Clock tells how much time is left, down to the last second, before it’s too late for us to make a change. We could reach an irreversible point, which could be the beginning of the end. And this clock is ticking… so we better #ActInTime.
In New York City, the Giant Metronome at Union Square, which was actually an art installation once had its own unique way to display time, measuring 24 hour cycles, but it has now adapted to a different way of showing time with an ecologically centred message aiming to create awareness about the critical window of time we’ve got left to transition to a sustainable world.
Artists Gan Golan and Andrew Boyd are the co-creators of the Climate Clock. Based on the current rate of emissions, which is immense, the Earth’s ‘Carbon Budget’ would be exhausted in 7 years, 97 days and 15 hours, to give an estimate. Yes, The Earth has a carbon budget and so does have a deadline.
The Artists and the Team say that the science behind the Climate Clock is based on the methodology of the Carbon Clock by the Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC) in Berlin which uses data from the recent IPCC Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C. The report states that starting from 2018, a carbon dioxide budget of 420 Gt of CO2 gives us a 67% chance to stay under 1.5°C of warming.
Inspired by the Doomsday Clock, Mr. Golan and Mr. Boyd decided that the Climate Clock would have the most impact if it were displayed in a conspicuous public space and presented like a statue or an artwork. The display at the NYC One Union Square South marks until September 27, 2020, which marks the end of Climate Week.
If we’re not able to make a shift to a sustainable society then the cataclystic chain events that would follow range from severe droughts, more floods, famines, bigger and frequent wildfires etc. The suffering and turmoil would force extensive human displacement and our society would have to deal with such challenging conditions where sustaining human life would be very difficult. The world is extremely close to a brink and it is a now or never kind of a situation where it all depends on what we do in this little chunk of time and it is running out.
Humanity has not been on planet Earth for a very long time, but in this short span of time, we have managed to destroy a gigantic portion of our planet and its resources. We continue to do so, while being fully aware that our actions have adverse consequences. And there is not a snooze button on this clock, all we can do is try our best to understand that this is our last opportunity.
This is not a doomsday clock, the number is not zero, we still have time and change is possible. Only with collective efforts from around the world and global unity can we bring about a positive transformation in our society because we have a lot to lose here. Reduce your own carbon footprint, think and act responsibily and have the #aimtosustain.