Global Climate Change

Performers make video statements about climate change

This post comes to you from Culture|Futures

The Climate Message Video Festival is an online initiative that brings together musicians from all over the world to increase awareness of climate change. They don’t meet in real life, they all meet on Youtube. Festival organiser and jazz musician Warren Senders from USA aims to have uploaded an even 1,000 videos by Earth Day on 22 April 2014.

climate-message_warren-send

“Whether we reach that number or not, the video festival will keep on keepin’ on. The goal is to have sounds and voices from all over the world saying in as many different languages and styles as possible that the time to get serious about climate change is now.”

“As a musician, as a human being, and as a citizen of Planet Earth, I can say that we all need to be committed to the fight against global climate change, so that our songs can go on to generations in the future.”Warren Senders

If you’re a performer in any idiom, you can join the Climate Message Video Festival – an online initiative bringing together musicians from all over the world to increase awareness of climate change: www.theclimatemessage.com

To make a Climate Message video, here’s how: 
Use a smartphone or webcam (or a friend’s) and record about a minute’s worth of your music and talking. Then email it to theclimatemessage@gmail.com, along with your name, contact information, and any details you want included.

Warren Senders will then upload it to the YouTube channel, and feature it on The Climate Message website. Eventually all the videos will be linked to an interactive world map.


Climate Message from Warren Senders, teacher and performer of Indian classical music, Medford, Massachusetts, USA


Climate Message from Banning Eyre, radio broadcaster, writer, musician, Connecticut, USA


Climate Message from Jarrett Cherner – piano – Brooklyn, New York, USA

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Culture|Futures is an international collaboration of organizations and individuals who are concerned with shaping and delivering a proactive cultural agenda to support the necessary transition towards an Ecological Age by 2050.

The Cultural sector that we refer to is an interdisciplinary, inter-sectoral, inter-genre collaboration, which encompasses policy-making, intercultural dialogue/cultural relations, creative cities/cultural planning, creative industries and research and development. It is those decision-makers and practitioners who can reach people in a direct way, through diverse messages and mediums.

Affecting the thinking and behaviour of people and communities is about the dissemination of stories which will profoundly impact cultural values, beliefs and thereby actions. The stories can open people’s eyes to a way of thinking that has not been considered before, challenge a preconceived notion of the past, or a vision of the future that had not been envisioned as possible. As a sector which is viewed as imbued with creativity and cultural values, rather than purely financial motivations, the cultural sector’s stories maintain the trust of people and society.

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Feeling Climate Change

This post comes from Chantal Bilodeau’s Artists and Climate Change Blog

Rare Tornado
RARE TORNADO | 2013
oil + charcoal on canvas | 40″ x 36″ x 1.5″
FIELD NOTES: Today there are more frequent RARE TORNADO incidents in areas of the world that are not normally hit. Tornado experts are studying whether global climate change is the cause because climate change increases levels of energy, as well as increases clashes between cold air masses and warm humid air masses. Chances are that the El Nino in 2014 will lead to a record breaking year on many weather fronts.

Danielle Nelisse is an abstract artist noted for painting large scale contemporary abstract art in oil on canvas. She also happens to be a private investigator and an immigration attorney, an unusual combination of skills and interests that gives her a unique perspective on the human condition. Her Urban Ecology | Climate Change Series was recently shown at the Encinitas Civic Center Gallery in Encinitas, California. A follow-up to her Transformative Geopolitics Series, which “was inspired by discussions in California and elsewhere about how to resolve international border issues, multiple identities, inequality, and the ways that exclusion of foreign nationals can dominate contemporary geopolitics,”

Danielle’s Climate Change Series expresses “her inner reflections about the complexities in dealing with urbanization, climate change, and natural disasters.”  Bold-colored, dynamic and complex, her work makes it impossible to intellectualize an issue we so easily (and sometimes, readily) like distance ourselves from. Instead, it invites us to deeply and courageously feel our feelings, and perhaps recognize that there is beauty even in sadness.

In addition to being an abstract painter, you are a private investigator and an immigration attorney. How do these different roles inform your work?

As a private investigator I am asked to obtain information from people in creative – but legal – ways.  As an attorney I must also gather facts about a case, apply the law, and then edit the facts down to the most relevant.  In other words, in my legal work there is a tension between facts, rules, and creativity.

As an artist, there is also a tension between structure and creativity. I express my emotions through color harmony, composition and line. Both my legal work and art work involve the same skills: creative discovery; strategic editing; thoughtful rule application; all while allowing passion and creativity.

 What was the inspiration behind your Urban Ecology | Climate Change series?

I have always felt that I have a say in my destiny and that even though I am only one person, I can make a change. My past is filled with work where I was able to champion the rights of others. The issue of climate change looms large and I am getting nervous because it does not yet seem to be considered an important global issue.

Recently I moved to a new studio in Bonita, California, which is located down by the border of Mexico in a beautiful desert area – and year round my studio is atypically warm. My clients live all over the world and provide me with firsthand accounts about their struggles with uncommon weather events, which are reinforced by media reports. Recently one of my clients was separated from her husband due to the 2013 typhoon in the Philippines. Another was waiting for weeks in the summer of 2013 for a U.S. Consulate to issue his work visa during an abnormal intense heat wave in India that resulted in continued temperatures of 110 F. I may not always be directly impacted by every weather event, but I am indirectly impacted as I experience intense emotions after observing how climate change impacts people worldwide.

Urban Oasis
URBAN OASIS | 2013
oil on canvas | 36″ x 36″ x 1.5″
FIELD NOTES: Desert cities typically record a cooler temperature than the surrounding area. Studies suggest it may be due to the URBAN OASIS effect where irrigated plants in the city help it stay cooler than the dry desert region surrounding it. Arizona State University’s Global Institute of Sustainability is studying five sub-tropical desert city region – Las Vegas, USA; Beer Sheva, Israel; Jodhpur, India; Kharga, Egypt; and Hotan/Hetian, China to measure the amount of climate change caused by urban desert cities.

What is your process? What happens between the original idea and the finished painting?

I initially set parameters for myself, such as the size of the canvas and the palette. For this series I decided upon oil paint on large scale canvas. For the most part I am not looking to paint the literal equivalent of a figure or a landscape, but in a nonrepresentational way to gradually balance formal elements such as color, light and space with psychological and conceptual issues. I alternate between gestural action painting strokes done with a large brush or piece of charcoal, and careful thick oil paint applied with a palette knife. There are many stages of editing and layering until I feel satisfied that it is balanced in composition, color and movement.

What do you think is the single most important thing artists can do to address the problem of climate change?

I think that uncertainty about climate change is causing everyone increased anxiety as our concerns accumulate over time. The situation appears to be so overwhelming and effective solutions so complex that it is easier to either avoid thinking of how to deal with it or deny climate change is happening at all. It will take massive cooperation on a global level to make changes and that sounds daunting, if not impossible. Increased discussions about our emotions and how to adapt to the new climate may reduce worry, anxiety and stress and lead to creative solutions. If artists can inspire even a single conversation about emotions caused by climate change, I believe they have made a difference.

What gives you hope?

It is very encouraging to learn about artists of all types who are expressing themselves about climate change. For a long time it felt like I was the only person concerned about it and of course that was not true. I think, just like all unpleasant issues, the more we discuss the reality of climate change and how to adapt to it, the more people will not feel so helpless or sad about the issue. I believe that heightened awareness and a sense that we are all in this together will lead people to take responsibility and stop denying there is an issue as a psychological defense mechanism. Through my art I hope to inspire creative ideas about how to cope by inducing curiosity, concern, or even skepticism – anything to keep the conversation about climate change going.

Water Vapor
WATER VAPOR | 2013
oil on canvas | 36″ x 48″ x 1.5″
FIELD NOTES: A recent study finds that WATER VAPOR is distributed at different heights in the atmosphere, causing fewer clouds to form as the climate warms. Researchers from Australia’s ARC Centre for Climate Systems Science found that 2013 levels of WATER VAPOR resulted in less clouds, which made the atmosphere far more sensitive to heat-trapping gases such as CO2.

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Artists and Climate Change is a blog by playwright Chantal Bilodeau that tracks artistic responses from all disciplines to the problem of climate change. It is both a study about what is being done, and a resource for anyone interested in the subject. Art has the power to reframe the conversation about our environmental crisis so it is inclusive, constructive, and conducive to action. Art can, and should, shape our values and behavior so we are better equipped to face the formidable challenge in front of us.

Go to Chantal Bilodeau’s Artists and Climate Change Blog

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What does culture have to do with climate change? Everything

This post comes to you from Culture|Futures

Introduction to ‘Carbon 14: Climate is Culture’ by Claire Sykes, Curator and Programming Director, Cape Farewell Foundation

carbon14_climate-is-culture

The scientific evidence tells us that the global climate system is changing at an unprecedented rate and in increasingly destructive, self-accelerating ways. But this alarming information alone can be bewildering without narratives and expressions that connect it to our lives and our communities, to our fears and our aspirations. Creating those connections is the work of culture.

A cultural response to the problem of climate change harnesses the powers of creative insight, human emotions, and understanding to effect change. Collaborating with scientists and confronting the facts around global climate change, the artists participating in Carbon 14: Climate is Culture are all responding to different aspects of this climate challenge in poignant, nuanced, subversive, often humorous, and always passionately human ways.

“We need to embrace change and unleash the power of our creativity, ingenuity, innovation, and ability to cooperate — in short, to demonstrate our humanity.”
Claire Sykes

carbon14-exhibitionroom

The exhibition features 13 art installations, including seven new commissions. Subjects include explorations of a changing Arctic; the health of the oceans; biodiversity and extinction; sustainability and new, clean technologies. Central are questions of politics, economics, and ethics.

Climate change is a difficult subject, open to misrepresentation, denial and confusion, yet it cannot be ignored. Nor can we talk about it in isolation as a purely scientific matter. While climate change presents as an environmental problem, it is — as this exhibition insists — fundamentally a cultural one.

Meaningful change must happen first at the level of culture — how we choose to live, and what we choose to do. The questions raised by the climate crisis are about innovation, economics, politics, and essentially, ethics—our responsibility to future generations and the common good—and these are all questions of culture.

carbon14-inuit

A Cultural Shift
What we do now matters on a scale that previous generations could never imagine and will affect future generations in ways we are only beginning to understand. Mitigating climate change will require both the development and delivery of clean and renewable energy sources, and changes in our behaviours and patterns of consumption to reduce our dependence upon fossil fuels.

We need to embrace change and unleash the power of our creativity, ingenuity, innovation, and ability to cooperate — in short, to demonstrate our humanity. We have a unique opportunity to make all the difference. The time is now and together we can.

Claire Sykes
capefarewellfoundation.com

carbon14-evaholtby

The above text was republished from capefarewellfoundation.com with permission from the author.


More information about ‘Carbon 14: Climate is Culture’

‘Carbon 14: Climate is Culture’ was produced by Cape Farewell Foundation in partnership with ROM: Contemporary Culture. It is the inaugural programming coming out of the North American office of Cape Farewell – the Cape Farewell Foundation – which is based in Toronto.

Carbon 14 is a two-year project that began with an intensive workshop on the shores of Lake Ontario in the fall of 2011 and continues with a wide range of programming activities, culminating in this exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum’s (ROM) Centre for Contemporary Culture, a performing arts festival with The Theatre Centre (Toronto), and a rich series of public programs and events.

» ‘Carbon 14: Climate is Culture’ media coverage:
capefarewellfoundation.com/carbon14/press

» ‘Carbon 14: Climate is Culture’ website: capefarewellfoundation.com/carbon14
» North America: capefarewellfoundation.com
» UK: capefarewell.com

Culture|Futures article – October 2013:
Canada: ‘Carbon 14: Climate is Culture’ exhibition

Culture|Futures is an international collaboration of organizations and individuals who are concerned with shaping and delivering a proactive cultural agenda to support the necessary transition towards an Ecological Age by 2050.

The Cultural sector that we refer to is an interdisciplinary, inter-sectoral, inter-genre collaboration, which encompasses policy-making, intercultural dialogue/cultural relations, creative cities/cultural planning, creative industries and research and development. It is those decision-makers and practitioners who can reach people in a direct way, through diverse messages and mediums.

Affecting the thinking and behaviour of people and communities is about the dissemination of stories which will profoundly impact cultural values, beliefs and thereby actions. The stories can open people’s eyes to a way of thinking that has not been considered before, challenge a preconceived notion of the past, or a vision of the future that had not been envisioned as possible. As a sector which is viewed as imbued with creativity and cultural values, rather than purely financial motivations, the cultural sector’s stories maintain the trust of people and society.
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Canada: ‘Carbon 14: Climate is Culture’ exhibition

This post comes to you from Culture|Futures

ROM_exhibition

Collision of science and art. On 19 October 2013, Toronto’s Royal Ontario Museum, one of the largest museums in North America, opened ‘Carbon 14’ — an art exhibition and four-month programme of theatre plays, talks and seminars about climate change.

Collaborating with scientists and cultural informers in confronting the facts of global climate change, the artists participating in the ‘Carbon 14: Climate is Culture’ exhibition respond to various aspects of the climate challenge in poignant, nuanced, subversive, often humorous, and always passionately human ways.

Subjects include explorations of a changing Arctic, the health of oceans, biodiversity and extinction, sustainability and new, clean technologies; and central questions of politics, economics, and ethics.

Imaginative, experimental and eclectic in its approach, ROM Contemporary Culture explores new ideas and new technologies to raise provocative questions about the natural world, living cultures and the creative mind. This season ROM Contemporary Culture explores the issue of environment and climate change asking: how does landscape change a culture and how does culture change a landscape?

Curated by David Buckland and Claire Sykes, and produced by Cape Farewell in partnership withROM Contemporary Culture, ‘Carbon 14: Climate is Culture’ explores the growing global issue of climate change through the eyes of scientists, artists and cultural informers.

Art and science come together like never before in this engaging and provocative exhibition, two years in the making. The exhibition features 13 art installations.

» Experience the collision of science and art with the Carbon 14: Climate is Culture exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum in Canada.

 


Carbon 14: Climate is Culture Festival

October 2013 – February 2014

In addition to the Carbon 14: Climate is Culture exhibition, Cape Farewell have developed a rich series of public programs, satellite projects and events that are set to unfold throughout the four-month exhibition run.

‘Climate is Culture’ will be four months of cultural engagement visioning the challenge and the possible future, a unique and powerful narrative engagement with what is one of the most pressing issues of our time, climate change.

Highlights include:

• A performance series produced in partnership with Toronto’s The Theatre Centre, featuring the world premiere of Sea Sick – performed by Alanna Mitchell and adapted from her award-winning book; the Canadian premier of Cynthia Hopkins‘ multi-media musical performance piece This Clement World; and special musical performances. The series runs January 26 – February 9, 2014 at The Theatre Centre, Toronto.

• The Trial of David Suzuki – a powerful live theatre and public engagement project conceived and produced by Laurie Brown, in partnership with Donnelly Law. The Trial of David Suzuki will be held on November 6, 2013 at the Royal Ontario Museum. (More information below)

• Public screen-based art projects in partnership with Pattison Onestop, as part of their Art in Transit program, set to unfold on the Toronto Transit System (TTC) subway platform screens, on the Pattison Onestop network of shopping centre screens nation-wide, and on various digital billboards in the city. The first installment of art work in November 2012, featured Ship of Fools: Artist and Climate Change, with work by James Balog, Heather O’Neill, and Shad.

• Public lectures, talks and discussions, including the Carbon 14 Dialogues on topics ranging from the changing Arctic landscape, to the theme “climate is culture” developed in partnership with ROM and the Munk-Gordon Arctic Security Program.

• Satellite exhibition and related programming focused on water at THEMUSEUM in Kitchener, Ontario, featuring work by Eamon Mac Mahon in conjunction with Surface Tension: The Future of Water. This exhibition runs September 20, 2013 through January 5, 2014.

» Download your copy of the Carbon 14: Climate is Culture Festival and Exhibition Guide. (PDF)

 


Theatre: ‘The Trial of David Suzuki’

Suzuki stands accused!
Imagine a time when we might find our most trusted and respected scientists tried in a court of law for speaking out against environmental practices. We’re not there yet, but the “Trial” does take the views about climate change of one well-known and controversial scientist, and give his supporters, and those that disagree with him, equal time to challenge each others ideas about our changing environment and how the way we live impacts it.

‘The Trial of David Suzuki’ — a powerful live theatre and public engagement project conceived and produced by Laurie Brown, is presented by Cape Farewell in partnership with Donnelly Law and ROM Contemporary Culture as part of the Carbon 14: Climate is Culture exhibition.

» Click here to book tickets or for more information on ‘The Trial of David Suzuki’.

Related articles

CultureFutures – 27 August 2013:
Art about climate change: a new trend

Culture|Futures is an international collaboration of organizations and individuals who are concerned with shaping and delivering a proactive cultural agenda to support the necessary transition towards an Ecological Age by 2050.

The Cultural sector that we refer to is an interdisciplinary, inter-sectoral, inter-genre collaboration, which encompasses policy-making, intercultural dialogue/cultural relations, creative cities/cultural planning, creative industries and research and development. It is those decision-makers and practitioners who can reach people in a direct way, through diverse messages and mediums.

Affecting the thinking and behaviour of people and communities is about the dissemination of stories which will profoundly impact cultural values, beliefs and thereby actions. The stories can open people’s eyes to a way of thinking that has not been considered before, challenge a preconceived notion of the past, or a vision of the future that had not been envisioned as possible. As a sector which is viewed as imbued with creativity and cultural values, rather than purely financial motivations, the cultural sector’s stories maintain the trust of people and society.
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Carbon 14: Climate is Culture Exhibition + Festival

logo-cf-c14-transThe Cape Farewell Foundation in Canada announced details today of a unique, visionary and powerful four-month cultural engagement on one of the most pressing issues of our time— climate change.

The Carbon 14: Climate is Culture Exhibition + Festival will take place between October 2013 and February 2014, encompassing multifaceted programs, including a major exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum’s (ROM) Centre for Contemporary Culture, a performing arts festival with The Theatre Centre, and a rich series of public programs and events.

As the centrepiece, the Carbon 14: Climate is Culture exhibition at the ROM opens October 19, 2013 – February 2, 2014. The exhibition will include bold collaborative projects by: Zacharias Kunuk + Ian Mauro, Myfanwy MacLeod + Janna Levitt, Mel Chin, Lisa Steele + Kim Tomczak, Sharon Switzer, Minerva Cuevas, Melanie Gilligan + Tom Ackers, Donald Weber, David Buckland + Tom Rand, and Jaco Ishulutaq.

The Carbon 14: Climate is Culture exhibition was produced by Cape Farewell Foundation in partnership with ROM Contemporary Culture and is curated by David Buckland and Claire Sykes.

“Confronting the facts around global climate change, the artists participating in Carbon 14: Climate is Culture are all responding to different aspects of this climate challenge, in poignant, nuanced, subversive, often humorous, and always passionately human ways. Subjects include explorations of a changing Arctic, the health of the oceans, bio-diversity and extinction, sustainability and new, clean technologies; and centrally questions of politics, economics, and ethics.”

– Claire Sykes, Curator and Programming Director for Cape Farewell Foundation

For 12 years, Cape Farewell has successfully brought together artists and scientists—some of the most creative and insightful minds available to us— to interrogate the reality of climate change, to address causes and envision solutions, and to imagine, design, and communicate on an emotional and human scale what a resilient and exciting future might look like. Working internationally through a rich program of expeditions, research, exhibitions, public art projects, books, films and performances, Cape Farewell, as creative agent for change and the leading cultural catalyst on climate, has successfully inspired some of our greatest storytellers to address humanity’s greatest challenge. Now Cape Farewell has a North American base in Toronto.

“The people of the City of Toronto will be proud to be the first North American city to host a Cape Farewell Festival, and to have an opportunity to present the global issue of climate change through a Canadian lens. Torontonians are concerned about their environment and the effects of climate change, and we hope that the Carbon 14: Climate is Culture Exhibition + Festival will become an important part of the Toronto calendar.”

– David Miller, Chair of Cape Farewell Foundation, Toronto

“In November 2011, on the shores of Lake Ontario, we invited twenty-five North American visual artists, film makers, musicians, writers, and advertising directors to gather in Toronto to interrogate eight ‘informers’ drawn from across the professional spectrum of climate engagement; climate scientists, economists, new energy technologists, and social scientists; on the facts of climate change. The ask from the creative minds was to engage and through a process of action-based research make artworks, plays, music, poetry that would form the basis of an exhibition at the ROM. Two years later, they have triumphed! Fourteen collaborative works will be presented as part of the Carbon 14: Climate is Culture exhibition and surrounding festival.”

– David Buckland, artist, and Founder and International Director of Cape Farewell

For further information, interview requests, or media passes to events, please contact:

Debby de Groot, MDG & Associates
647.295.2970
debby@mdgassociates.com

Click here to download the Carbon 14: Climate is Culture Exhibition + Festival Press Release.

#COP15 Political Wrap Up

It is now December 19th, the day after COP15 was intended to end. It didn’t though. It went well on into the the night. I stayed up watching the live feed until a recess was called around 4 a.m. However, I was able to get the idea.

We’re not there… yet?

That is perhaps one of the most bizarrely intended phrases I’ve ever written. Did we get a deal? Sort of. Did we get the deal we wanted (and mind you I’ll refer to everyone with this use of “we”)? No, no one got what they wanted. Is there hope that there might be a future for political action on this issue? I think so, but we must match that with our feelings of failure.

Sigh… Failure.

That’s a bit of what we’re left with. This failure has been attributed to the strong arm tactics of the United States and our president, Mr. Obama. But, I don’t think it looks like our fault. I do think it looks like our (I’m speaking as a citizen of the United States) political system: big, unwieldy, dispersed and slow.

And so it should be to some extent. If we were to railroad it through as a 350 ppm agreement, would everyone suddenly have been happy? No. Sadly, of course, very sadly, no. It is what is ecologically necessary, if not, as I would hope could be pointed out, almost generous as a target. But, I’m on the environmental side. I work in the realm of the arts and typically non-profits/NGOs (Or a hybrid like the CSPA). I could probably get pigeon holed as a leftist activist and you wouldn’t be far off. But, there are other people, who are not like me, in the world. And, despite my spite, I need to respect them and what they want/need (Or, what I, in my bias, will say is what they think they need, but only actually, acutely, want).

Do I give credence to the Rushes of the world who claim that global climate change is a hoax? No, and you may have noticed that to diffuse that, I refer to it as ‘climate change’ and not ‘global warming’. In that early morning recess I listened to some clip talking about how climate change is a great world-wide conspiracy against capitalism and the United States. Which of course is like saying that the peace movement is un-american. No, it’s not, it’s ultimately without nationality. But as McLuhan said, all violence is about threats to identity.

Rush Limbaugh’s Right-Wing America-centric identity is threatened by  taking a worldwide view. The Danish Police, ordered to keep order, have their identity threatened by dis-order, the masses of people coming towards them together. Demonstrators (predominately, but not exclusively peaceful ones) see the locked doors of the Bella Center and the police surrounding it as a threat to their identities. Developing nations see their unequal share of the climate change issue as a threat to their (developing) identity. Low-lying countries see rising tides as a threat to their identity perhaps most drastically.

If we act on the violence, if we don’t seek balance, we’re lost. And trying to get a lot of people to agree on something that is balanced, though rarely entirely fair, is not only hard and time consuming, but very American. The conflicted American attitude that oscillates between leadership and isolation consumes more than 300,000,000 people.

More than 50 times as many people, through unequal representation (favoring the big, rich nations on financial backing of political will and favoring the small, poor nations on per capita representation), are conflicted right now between self-interest and common identity, both reinforced and condemned by their peers. If anything, this isn’t an anti-american conspiracy, it’s an americanization of global politics. Our experiment in democracy, in which we’ve tied everyone’s hands to move forward quickly is binding the world together. And it follows, that people will be angry with us, as we’re a threat to their identity and individual will. Not through our strong arming, but our entropic nature. And if you think about it that way, Obama showed up to do what we hired him to do at home, set an agenda and get things moving. He is a powerfully positioned political man, with very little ability to make unilateral change anywhere. I’ve found myself explaining this to many people here, Obama doesn’t do much directly. No president of the USA does, no individual leader in a democracy does.

Anyway, it was dizzying to me to think we could negotiate anything that works for anyone in 2 weeks when we’re trying to protect billions of lives. And we didn’t. We failed. We failed in trying to get the entire planet to move together. It’s a 6 Billion + 2 legged (a second one on either end) race with ourselves. We’re all lined up at the starting line together. And the, pardon the stereotypes, Kenyan marathon runner is tied to the next contestant on “The Bigger Loser”, who is tied to somebody on crutches.

If we want to get anywhere, we need to figure out how to move together. We didn’t do that in Copenhagen. Instead we sort of figured out how to figure out working together. And there were so many people ready to go, we’ve got some forward momentum. We’re getting closer and closer to critical mass, where it’s not about what’s preventing us from getting go, but what if anything could prevent us from stopping. We’re over coming (and I do mean to say we are doing, not trying) a whole lot of inertia. COP15 failed, but Copenhagen succeeded in bring more and more of the world together, even if we are extremely disappointed (let us not at all downplay this) that this wasn’t enough to tip things in our (unfortunately that refers to everyone, even the climate deniers) direction. We’ll only feel we were successful when the COP comes with us.

Shame on anyone who says we’re going to get things to change at Cop16. Shame, because it’s not going to happen at COP16, it’s going to happen now. Every diplomat prepared to not let the Copenhagen Accord rest, every reporter, NGO and activist inside and locked out of the Bella Center, every climate action, every tweet with #COP15 trending, they are all going to continue without waiting for a year. We all got a chance to be in the same place, at the same time, break bread and see who was here.  We reified the sheer mass of the movement. I think there is something to be said for that as we pull each other along.

So, we failed. Failed to save the world, failed to stop climate change, failed to create a binding agreement for nations to move forward, failed to find faith in leadership. But we only failed in terms of Friday, December 18th, 2009. But each following day we’ve got more hands on the wheel bring us hard to port.

Some Recap from around the web:

Xavier Cortada "Native Flags" at Verge Miami

In conjunction with ecoartspace, Miami-based artist Xavier Cortada will present a participatory artwork titled Native Flags and invites everyone attending the Verge Art Fair as well as the general public to collaborate in the creation of the work.

Melting polar sea ice has global political powers clamoring to place their flags over the Arctic to control the Northwest Passage shipping lanes and the petroleum and mineral resources beneath the ice. Cortada developed Native Flags as an eco-art project to engage people globally in a reforestation campaign to prevent the polar regions from melting. At home, participants can also plant a native tree next to Cortada’s green flag and ask their neighbors to do the same. Together, they can help to support the regrowth of the planet’s native tree canopies – one yard at a time.

On June 29th, 2008, Xavier Cortada arrived at the North Pole and planted a green flag to reclaim the landscape for nature. The trip was sponsored by New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) as part of Cortada’s larger 90N project. The work addresses global climate change and included the reinstallation of Cortada’s Longitudinal Installation and Endangered World projects as part of a National Science Foundation Antarctic Artist and Writers residency.

Cortada has created art installations at the Earth’s poles to generate awareness about global climate change and has developed participatory art projects to engage communities in local action at points in between. Cortada’s work created during his National Science Foundation Antarctic Residency has been exhibited in museums including: Weather Report, curated by Lucy Lippard at the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art in 2007, and Envisioning Change, a United Nations Environment Programme-sponsored exhibition which opened in Oslo, Norway in June 2007. Cortada launched the Reclamation Project in 2006 to remind Miami Beach residents and visitors of the island’s origins as a mangrove forest by having over 2500 mangrove seedlings displayed in shop windows across the island. Annually, volunteers plant the seedlings on Biscayne Bay.

Catalina Hotel, 1732 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach, Florida Opening preview reception: Thursday December 3rd, from 6 to 10pm Friday & Saturday, December 4-5, noon to 8pm Sunday, December 6th, noon to 6pm

Go to EcoArtSpace

Rock Stars Rock Climate Change

A new song has been recorded by some of the biggest stars of music and film to support a global climate change campaign.
The project is part of the tck tck tck campaign, which is raising awareness of the need to combat rising carbon emissions levels.
This is particularly vital in the run up to the United Nations (UN) Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen this coming December.
‘Beds Are Burning’ is a cover of a 1987 Midnight Oil track – the group’s singer Peter Garret is now Environment Minister in Australia.

Go to Eco-Catalysts

The day RSA Arts & Ecology met US Energy Secretary Steven Chu

It’s not every day you get to meet the person who’s in the single most important job for tackling global climate change. Last week, environment journalist Paul Quinn was attending the Nobel Laureate Summit on climate change’s gala dinner on behalf of the RSA Arts & Ecology Centre. Walking up …
Go to RSA Arts & Ecology

Artistic Licence: Lights Out for Earth Hour

Reprinted from Lighting and Sound America Online, 10 April 2009:

Hailed by the World Wildlife Fund as “the world’s first global election,” Earth Hour took place on the evening of March 28. To show concern for global warming, individuals and major organizations around the world were encouraged to vote “Earth” by switching lights off for one hour, or vote “global warming” by leaving lights on.

The aim is to collect one billion votes for “earth” and present the results of the election to world leaders at the 2009 Global Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, the outcome of which will replace the Kyoto Protocol.

“We have a great concern for the environment at Artistic Licence and wanted to show our support by teaming up with some of our customers who share our concern about the threat global warming is imposing on us,” says Artistic Licence’s managing director, Wayne Howell.

The property management firm, Broadgate Estate Ltd, a founder member of the UK Green Building Council, provided just such an opportunity. Broadgate had organized the “lights-out” for Earth Hour in all of it estates—including the installation of in-ground lighting at Finsbury Square on which the company had worked with Artistic Licence in 2004 and for which it again called on Artistic Licence to help implement the switch-off on March 28.

The Finsbury Square installation consists of a large, in-ground array of color-changing lamps, laid out in a semi-symmetric pattern. The array uses over 650 individually controllable light modules, each providing independent colour mixing creating a dynamic floor of colour with effects ranging from subtle moods of color to dynamic animation.

The concept was designed by Mark Ridler of Maurice Brill Lighting Design, who called in Artistic Licence to develop, manufacture and install the system, thereby creating Colour-Tramp in the process.

Artistic Licence’s Colour-Tramp is a new breed of lighting controller that communicates via the Art-Net Ethernet standard and implements all the functionality of Remote Device Management.

Operating as both a lighting controller and as an installation management system, it was one of Colour-Tramp’s newly implemented features that was used trigger the Earth Hour switch-off on voting day.

Howell was able to program the switch-off to happen automatically at 20:30—and reinstate at 21:30—by simply emailing the controller installed on site. The feature allowing Colour-Tramp to be remotely control by email was only introduced earlier this year.

“That’s how easy it is to maintain control of an installation’s energy consumption,” says Howell. ” We have already instituted power saving measures on the Broadgate Project with the recent introduction of astro-triggering to ensure the display only starts at a time relative to sunset. Now we can send further instructions quickly and easily to fine tune performance and power usage.

“Artistic Licence is dedicated to developing more efficient forms of lighting and control and our product range reflects this.”

“Our current work involves the newly formed Zero Carbon Project which aims to bring together the combined knowledge and technical expertise of our industry to develop sustainable, alternative forms of lighting through micro power generation. In our industry we are in a position to make a real environmental difference.”

Earth Hour started in Sydney in 2007 and by 2008, 50 million people worldwide joined the cause as lights were turned out on landmark buildings such as San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge, Sydney Opera House and the Colosseum in Rome.

In 2009, the movement has earned the backing of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Artistic Licence and Broadgate Estates have pledged their support alongside the London Eye, Beijing’s Bird’s Nest, the Pyramids at Giza, the Empire State Building and the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpar.

To join the discussion on Artistic Licence’s Zero Carbon Project please email: ZeroCarbon@ArtisticLicence.com

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