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A Climate Clock in NYC’s Countdown to Prevent Planet-Wide Disaster

A Climate Clock in NYC’s Countdown to Prevent Planet-Wide Disaster

Ten stories high in Manhattan’s Union Square, there sits a clock. But it isn’t your ordinary clock. It’s not a Benjamin Button clock either. This clock counts down the time we have to avert a potential climate disaster.

The Climate Clock was a project of artists Andrew Boyd and Gan Golan. Both artists wanted the world to know that human civilization has a deadline to prevent a worldwide climate disaster. On September 17, the clock began its countdown from seven years, 103 days, 15 hours, 40 minutes, and seven seconds till the climate change deadline.

If the current rate of greenhouse gas emissions continues, once the clock runs out of time, the world’s temperature will sit at 2.7 °F above pre-industrial levels. Simply put, by that time, it will be too late for us to heal the world (and we’ll suffer the consequences).

How the Clock Works

We still have seven years to undo our mistakes, people. Image from Climate Clock

The Climate clock displays two numbers. The first one, colored red, is the timer, which counts down the time it will take before the world burns through its “carbon budget,” the amount of carbon released into the atmosphere. Boyd and Golan calls it our “deadline,” the time the world has to take action in keeping the earth’s warming levels under 1.5°C.

The second number, colored green, tracks the growing percent of the world’s energy supply, which is derived from renewable sources. Boyd and Golan call the green number as our “lifeline.” According to these artists, the world must get its lifeline to 100 percent before the deadline hits zero.

The earth has already experienced a season with an average temperature of at least 2.7°F above pre-industrial levels, reports NASA. If the Earth’s temperatures go beyond this threshold, the world will experience severe droughts and heat waves, as well as extreme storms.

The Climate Clock was Boyd and Golan’s contribution to Climate Week 2020. It went on display at NYC until September 27.

But just because the clock is gone, it doesn’t mean the countdown has ended. Time is still ticking, which means we have an opportunity to turn things around.

Brands Make a Difference

Instead of using bubble wraps, Garnier partnered with EcoNest Philippines to use honeycomb protective packaging Photo from the Author

Fortunately, many people and establishments are taking action in protecting our environment. Plenty of companies are doing their part in beating the Climate Clock. Here in the Philippines, we are also running the race against the ticking climate clock.

Beauty brand L’Oreal, for example, launched Green Beauty, an initiative under one of the group’s products Garnier. Green Beauty campaigns an end-to-end approach to sustainability by reducing the beauty industry’s environmental impact at every stage of the production chain — from purchasing, recycling and education.

One of the company’s PH initiatives is the Green Parcel.

Garnier is the first beauty brand to use sustainable e-commerce packaging made of cassava starch, honeycomb and other biodegradable materials. Each purchase made from Garnier’s official store on Shopee will be specially packed in eco-friendly packages.

Even small businesses are pitching in Save Mother Earth projects.

Daydream Republic promotes traveling and environmental awareness by launching new travel merchandise that promotes mindful living. The business’s collection of products include travel- and environmental-friendly personal reusable items like net bags, collapsible bottles, cutlery, net bags and more.

You can help, too.

Photo by Pop and Zebra on Unsplash

You don’t have to be a big or small business to do your part. Consider the following steps:

  • Make your commute green. Avoid driving when you can. Since public transportation is a 50/50 pursuit due to the pandemic, why not ride a bike to work? If you really need to get their by car, suggest a carpool with friends but still following distancing protocols.
  • Be more conservative with energy usage. Energy efficiency prevents pollution. Always turn off your lights and unplug devices that are not in use. Also, replace your lights with energy-efficient light bulbs, so you can save more on electricity.
  • The production of goods is unavoidable. A cleaner alternative to stopping production would be to invest in recycling. Collect your discarded glass, paper, electronics and plastic and learn how you can re-use them. If not, give them to your local recycling center.

The Climate Clock is not a doomsday device.

On the contrary, it’s a reminder that we still have time to save Mother Earth. Instead of simply watching and waiting for time to run out, use the remaining years, hours, minutes, and seconds that we have to practice sustainability and give the Earth some life-saving TLC.

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