[October 27 2014]
From today, one hundred tonnes of inland ice from a fjord outside Nuuk, Greenland, will be melting in Copenhagen City Hall Square. I have realised the project, called Ice Watch, with my good friend, geologist Minik Rosing, from the Natural History Museum of Denmark.
What remains of the ice blocks will be removed on Wednesday, 29 October, and distributed to twelve local schools in Copenhagen.
With Ice Watch, we hope to direct attention to the publication of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Fifth Assessment Report on the Climate, to be published following the IPCC panel gathering that starts tomorrow in Copenhagen. As an artist, I am interested in how we give knowledge a body. What does a thought feel like, and how can felt knowledge encourage action? The inland ice gone astray makes the climate challenges we are facing tangible. I hope that people will touch the ice in City Hall Square and be touched by it. Most everyone acknowledges that climate change is a fact. Temperatures are rising. The ice is melting. Sea levels are rising. But what are we doing?
Today we have access to reliable data that shed light on what will happen and what can be done. Let’s appreciate this unique opportunity – we, the world, must and can act now. Let’s transform climate knowledge into climate action.
Let’s be ambitious about the climate. We are all part of the ‘global we’; we must all work together to ensure a stable climate for future generations. Text and photo Olafur Eliasson