Yesterday, marking the 100-day countdown to the world-changing climate change conference in Copenhagen, Greenpeace presented beautiful ice sculptures in China and India to “to symbolise the ‘disappearing future‘ for the 1.3 billion people in Asia at risk of water shortage as a result of climate change” and “to show ‘the world washed away’ by glacial melts. They also engaged in several other creative demonstrations around the world to encourage climate action in Copenhagen in December.
In China, Greenpeace displayed an ice sculpture of 100 children at the Temple of Earth in Beijing. This was to symbolize our “disappearing future” if something isn’t done about climate change. In India, the ice sculpture is a huge 100 on a map of the world. As the 100 melts, the world is covered in water, flooded.
Greenpeace says that the Himalayas are reaching a real tipping point, and if something isn’t done about climate change quickly, future generations in Asia will have real difficulty getting clean water that will sustain their lives. “A climate tipping point is unfolding in the Himalayas. The rapid melting of glaciers caused by global warming is jeopardising the water supply for 1.3 billion Asians who live in the watershed of the 7 great rivers that originate in the region.”
India and China together include one third of the world’s population, but they have far less water per person than the average global citizen. The Himalayan glaciers, which they rely on today, are melting faster than other glaciers in the world, making their future situation look even worse. “The Himalayan glaciers are melting at a rate faster than recorded for other glaciers anywhere in the world. The IPCC suggests that glacier coverage will fall by at least 43 percent and possibly as much as 81 percent by the end of the century – depending on how effectively we act to restrain our greenhouse gas emissions.” Countries in other parts of the world will pay for this as well, as we rely on many of their crops and products.
The climate conference in Copenhagen is where leading world countries will decide if, and how much, we are really going to reduce climate change. China and India are critical players in this — at the very top of the list. How they negotiate with the US and the EU are central to the future of climate change and the world.
Other Greenpeace demonstrations around the world yesterday included large clocks in 8 Brazilian cities associated with the tcktcktck campaign and a giant banner of a clock in Belgium composed of 10,000 people, among others in the Philippines, Switzerland and so on.
With others, Greenpeace is urging world leaders to take action on climate change. If they do not do something now, we may be out of time.
For more information on world leaders in global warming emissions, read “Ice Cap to Ice Cap, Which Countries Lead the World on Global Warming Emissions?“
For more information on negotiations between India & China and the US, read “Future of Global Cooperation on Climate Change: From the US to India and Back“
Image credit: fansile via flickr under a Creative Commons license