Tideline Project Illustrates Rising Sea Levels

david suzuki Mussels and starfish

Jordan (where this Green Prophet lives) is not my Xanadu because it lacks an oceanic coastline: but, hey, if climate change keeps raising sea levels my dreams can (catastrophically) come true…Green Prophet’s brought you vivid images of NASA flood maps, and alarming predictions of Mediterranean basin flooding.  This winter’s extreme precipitation may have added precious water to regional stocks, but the prognosis for continued flooding is grim.

An old (2010) video clip is making the rounds, clunky imagery of a very cool piece of street art, it’s underlying message remains perfectly relevant.

Environmental art-activists, underwritten by the David Suzuki Foundation, created large fabric panels encrusted with barnacles and mollusks, which they then affixed to Vancouver street poles.  The installation was beautiful and jarring, converting a standard piece of urban hardscape into a precursor of what may happen when seas do rise.

Improbable?  Check in with the New Yorkers living in Brooklyn in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, or in Hoboken, NJ where thousands were trapped in upper floor apartments for days when the bulging New York Harbor overran bulkheads and poured several feet of water onto city streets and sidewalks. Their cousins in Tel Aviv can commiserate, with epic floods brought on by intense rainfall.

Let’s open the phone lines: is it global warming or the natural aftereffect of insensitively planned urbanization?  Argue the cause, but see the effects. Drought and flooding, the yin and yang of climate change, combine with glacial thaw causing radical changes to sea levels which impact terrestrial landscapes. The impacts are far-reaching: it’s an environmental riff on the old “knee bone’s connected to the hip bone” ditty.

Can you imagine your city underwater?

The Tideline Project, which master-mended the artwork, recycled hundreds of mussels from Vancouver’s restaurants to create the fabric which formed artificial tide lines throughout the city. By making it appear as if Vancouver had been (habitually) flooded, their intent was to illustrate that global warming is closer than we think.  Similar works in Israel, Egypt and Tunisia might raise awareness as to the local threats caused by the specter of climate change.

The David Suzuki Foundation is a non-profit organization operating in both Canada and the United States. It aims to “Work towards balancing human needs with the Earth’s ability to sustain all life. Our goal is to find and communicate practical ways to achieve that balance.”

The cool street art depicted in this video will become a reality in many coastal cities in about 50 years.  I wonder if I’ll be around to surf Amman?

Image of mussels and star fish from Shutterstock

One thought on “Tideline Project Illustrates Rising Sea Levels

  1. JTR

    The stock market is growing and as long as the big boys are making lots of money, they could care less about flooding cities. If the last living humans on Earth were billionaires it would be poetic justice, there money totally useless.

    Reply

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