With the COP27 – the 27th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change – now running in Egypt, it was even more disheartening to read recent reports in the major science journals that the melting of the polar ice caps, the Greenland ice-cap and glaciers all around the world is accelerating at a pace beyond previous predictions.
The Arctic ice cap is likely to disappear permanently within the next few years, which will further increase global warming due to the higher heat absorbing capacity of open ocean compared with reflective and insulating ice. The West Antarctic ice shelf is melting more quickly than previously predicted, as scientists have discovered more about the complex structure of the shelf and its interactions with the underlying geology. If this massive volume of ice melts, sea levels will rise by several metres, inundating most coastal cities and communities.
Over and above the sea level rises due to ice-melt, global warming will increase the volume of the oceans due to thermal expansion, further adding to the permanent flooding of our coastlines.
As individuals, there is depressingly little we can do in the short term – major changes in direction are needed by governments and large corporations alike. Nevertheless, as artists, scientists and concerned citizens, we can continue to sound the alarm bells and spread their call anyway we can. Over the last few years, most of my videos have addressed environmental issues in some way or another.
Many of these videos have been shown as part of events addressing climate change. In November, floodtide and colony collapse are screening as part of the Nature and Culture Poetry Film Festival in Copenhagen, while floodtide is part of the ART Speaks Out program on IkonoTV, coinciding with COP27.
ANOMALY is a new video that combines a plot of the rising sea surface temperatures, recorded by the Australian Bureau of Meteorology over more than 120 years in Southern Australia, with a visualisation of the effect of modest sea level rise along a sunny beach at Moana / Potartang on the coast of South Australia, not far from Adelaide. It’s a depressing graph.
You can see more of my videos commenting on climate change at the following showcase. As well as videos that have been screened widely, there are several newer ones I have made this year and that are just beginning to find their place in the world: